Pressure mounts on Roman Polanski over new sexual assault allegation | Film | The Guardian

-winning has threatened legal action over claims by a former that he raped her in the 1970s.

The 86-year- -maker denied the allegation, but pressure is mounting on Polanski, who fled to in 1978 after admitting to the statutory of a 13-year-old in .

Dujardin, of Polanski’s latest film, which comes out in France on Wednesday, abruptly cancelled a - on the TF1 station, which was set for Sunday.

And the French ’ guild ARP could meet to discuss his exclusion, its vice told the Parisien newspaper.

An ARP later told () that although no board meeting had yet been organised, “if we are going to decide on Roman Polanski’s , we do so with the approval of film-makers”.

Valentine Monnier, a and former , has accused Polanski, who is French-Polish, of an “extremely violent” and rape at his chalet in the Swiss resort of Gstaad in 1975, when she was 18.

Monnier claimed he tried to make her swallow a pill during the attack, and later made a tearful while demanding a promise that she never tell anyone.

“I I was going to die,” she said in an open letter published by Le Parisien, which also interviewed her.

“Mr Polanski disputes in the strongest terms this rape accusation,” his Hervé Temime told AFP in a statement.

“We are working on the legal action to bring against this publication,” he added.

Polanski and his film, An and a , had already courted controversy in September when it was included in the , where it won the grand jury prize.

Monnier, who acted in in the 1980s, said the release of the film, about one of the most notorious errors of justice in French , the Dreyfus affair, had prompted her to speak out.

“How could he benefit from funds to instrumentalise history, and in doing so rewrite his own to cover up his criminal past?” she wrote, referring to French subsidies for film productions.

“He pummelled me until I gave in and then raped me, making me do sorts of ,” she added.

She had previously written to France’s lady Brigitte , who forwarded two letters to France’s Marlène Schiappa, who has pushed for new measures to combat sexual .

Schiappa wrote to Monnier in March last year and hailed her courage “in daring to break the silence”, but stressed that the allegations had to be dealt with by the judicial system.

But her account prove a turning point for French , where the #MeToo movement that roiled has not prompted as deep a reckoning of alleged abuses in the industry.

Monnier is the first Frenchwoman to accuse Polanski of rape. Since he was arrested in in 1977 on charges of drugging and raping Samantha Gailey, known as Samantha Geimer, five including Monnier have come to allege that he either raped or sexually assaulted them.

Polanski has denied all of the claims, but in 2017 he left his post as president of the Cèsars, the French equivalent of the , and the following year he was expelled from the Academy of Motion Arts and Sciences.

Alain Terzian, president of France’s film promotion association, which oversees the Cèsars, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Both France and have refused to extradite Polanski to the US, where California prosecutors are pressing their case even after Polanski paid Geimer $225,000 in an out-of- in 1994.

On , Geimer criticised Monnier for not speaking sooner, writing on Saturday:

“Taking for not being more supportive of accusers who use film release dates to schedule their revelations with the press & sat silently while I was called a liar & a gold digging whore in 1977 knowing they may have prevented it, if they had & my ’s courage.”



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