The Girl

The Girl

A Life in the Shadow of Roman Polanski

Book - 2013 | First Atria Books hardcover edition
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In this memoir, the author, "the girl" at the center of the infamous Roman Polanski sexual assault case, breaks a virtual thirty-five year silence to tell her story and reflect on the events of that day and their lifelong repercussions. March 1977, Southern California. Roman Polanski drives a rented Mercedes along Mulholland Drive to Jack Nicholson's house. Sitting next to him is an aspiring actress, Samantha Geimer, recently arrived from York, Pennsylvania. She is thirteen years old. The undisputed facts of what happened in the following hours appear in the court record: Polanski spent hours taking pictures of Samantha on a deck overlooking the Hollywood Hills, on a kitchen counter, topless in a Jacuzzi. Wine and Quaaludes were consumed, balance and innocence were lost, and a young girl's life was altered forever, eternally cast as a background player in her own story. For months on end, the Polanski case dominated the media in the U.S. and abroad. But even with the extensive coverage, much about that day and the girl at the center of it all remains a mystery. Just about everyone had an opinion about the renowned director and the girl he was accused of drugging and raping. Taking us far beyond the headlines, this memoir reveals a thirteen-year-old who was simultaneously wise beyond her years and yet terribly vulnerable. By telling her story in full for the first time, Samantha reclaims her identity, and indelibly proves that it is possible to move forward from victim to survivor, from confusion to certainty, from shame to strength.
Publisher: New York : Atria Books, 2013
Edition: First Atria Books hardcover edition
ISBN: 9781476716831
Branch Call Number: 364.1532 G31g
Characteristics: 265 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm


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ChristchurchLib Feb 19, 2014

"Breaking a 35-year silence, the girl at the centre of the infamous Roman Polanski sexual assault case reflects on the events of that day and, taking readers far beyond the headlines, tells how her life was irrevocably altered by the rape and subsequent media attention." Biography and Memoir February 2014 newsletter

Feb 18, 2014

Everyone knows the story of Romana Polanski and how he skipped the country to avoid going to jail for the statutory rape of a 13 year old girl. Sounds cut and dried, but not the entire truth. Polanski actually did serve jail time in a plea deal designed to spare the young girl a trial ordeal, but once he got out, the judge changed his mind and wanted to send him back for an unspecified time, and then he ran. All through this, and over the years, the young girl at the centre of the case has tried to maintain her privacy. After the recent attempt to extradite Polanski, she now decides to tell her side of the story. And it is an interesting one at that. She doesn't play victim nor presents Polanski as some predatory monster. She just tells what she did and why and never surgar-coats anything. It is an astonishingly frank account, and she doesn't spare herself. If you know the story, this book is a must read. I really enjoyed it and I am glad Samantha is doing well now.

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