Filmmaker Roman Polanski has been accused of sexually assaulting a 10-year-old girl in 1975.
Marianne Barnard becomes the fifth woman to make abuse allegations against the director, who fled America in 1977 and has lived in exile ever since after he pleaded guilty to statutory rape having admitted to unlawful sexual intercourse with 13-year-old Samantha Geimer at a Hollywood party in a pre-trial hearing.
Barnard claims Polanski molested her during a photoshoot after he asked her to pose naked on a beach.
“At first I had the understanding I was just going to the beach with my mom,” Barnard tells The Sun.
“She explained that this man wanted to take pictures of me in this fur coat. I thought it was to go into a magazine or something.
“At some point I realized my mom had gone. I don’t know where she went and I didn’t really register her leaving but she was no longer there. Then he molested me.”
Barnard, who claims she has suffered from post-traumatic stress and claustrophobia ever since her experiences that day, reveals she felt compelled to come forward after reading the experiences of the women who have spoken out about the sexual abuse and harassment they experienced while dealing with disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein. The producer has denied allegations of criminal sexual harassment, rape and sexual assault made against him by more than 50 women.
“I felt terribly conflicted that I have been silent all this time and all these women are bravely coming forward and I thought to myself, ‘I can’t in good conscience, knowing what I know – and having gone through what I’ve gone through’ not speak out,” Barnard adds. “Even though it puts me in a very bad… position with my mom and Polanski and other people who are involved, I can’t be silent any more.”
Barnard has made an official report about the alleged assault with the Los Angeles Police Department’s Robbery-Homicide Division sex crimes unit, and has also launched a petition calling on the members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to revoke Polanski’s membership, as they have done with Weinstein.
Polanski remains a fugitive from justice. In June (17), a superior court judge rejected a request from Geimer to end the case against the filmmaker, after she insisted she had suffered enough as Polanski’s victim over the years.
The director has also faced allegations of sexual assault by three other women.
He has yet to comment on the latest accusations from Barnard.