Polanski Victim Makes a Statement with Her Memoir's Haunting Cover

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Samantha Geimer looks young and beautiful, her hair glowing in the sun and her eyelids heavy, in the photo that graces the cover of her forthcoming memoir. But the story behind the photo makes it haunting, The Hollywood Reporter's Andy Lewis reveals: the image was snapped by director Roman Polanski less than three weeks before Polanski raped Geimer. 

The use of the photo for the cover of September's release The Girl: A Life in the Shadow of Roman Polanski, Lewis writes, is highly symbolic for Geimer. "Since the incident, the media has always illustrated the story with a picture of Polanski," Lewis explains. "Geimer finally wanted to put her own face on the story, and this picture reflected the starting point for her."

Geimer (then Gailey) was 13 years old when the photo was taken in February of 1977, during their first photoshoot, in which Polanski—whom she met through her mom—he had her pose topless. In early March, he took her to Jack Nicholson's home on Mulholland Drive, where he gave her drugs and raped her.

According to Lewis, Geimer writes about the importance of the photographs to her and how they came into her possession during the civil suit filed in 1988: "During the civil suit, his lawyer had to turn those photos over to me. These photographs, important both legally and historically, would likely have never been discovered if not for the civil suit." 

Polanski has been living in exile since the 1978 trial. Geimer has since advocated for his case to be dismissed. 

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.