British actress claims Roman Polanski victimized her when she was 16 years old

Charlotte Lewis attends a during a news conference in Los Angeles

On Friday, we previewed an upcoming press conference featuring Gloria Allred, one of her clients, and accusations about Roman Polanski acting skeevy towards yet another underage girl, this time in 1985. Well, the press conference went on, and I’m sorry I’m just getting to it now. The accuser is a British actress named Charlotte Lewis, which, incidentally, is the name of a character on Lost, so that threw me off initially. I kept expecting to see photos of a redhead with “flash” trauma. But this Charlotte Lewis, the real Charlotte, worked with Polanski when she was 16 years old, on a film he directed in France called Pirates. During the press conference, Lewis claimed that Polanski “sexually abused me in the worst possible way when I was 16 years old.” Here’s more:

A 42-year-old British actress is alleging that “she was victimized” by controversial director Roman Polanski when she was 16 years old, has confirmed.

Charlotte Lewis, who starred in the Polanski film Pirates, spoke at a news conference Friday saying “he (Roman Polanski) sexually abused me in the worst possible way when I was 16 years old.” Lewis is represented by high-powered attorney Gloria Allred, who said she if Charlotte’s allegations are true, they “are relevant for his sentencing.”

After being a fugitive from justice for more than 30 years, Polanski was arrested in Switzerland in September 2009 for unlawful sexual intercourse with a 13-year-old girl in 1978. He is under house arrest and is fighting extradition to the U.S. where he faces up to two years in California state prison.

Allred says “If Charlotte’s allegations are accepted as true; then Mr. Polanski was able to victimize another child while he was a fugitive from justice.”

The legal age of consent in Paris is 15.

Allred says she has taken the case to the Los Angeles Police Department and the LA District Attorney’s Office. While Lewis would not give specifics, she said “In addition to the fact that both myself and his previous victim were underage, I believe that there are other similarities in the crime that he committed.”

She continued, “Mr. Polanski knew that I was only 16 years old when he met me and forced himself upon me in his apartment in Paris. He took advantage of me and I have lived with the effects of his behavior ever since it occurred. All I want is justice.”

Through her 20 year career, Lewis was on an episode of Seinfeld and multiple TV shows. When asked if she was shopping a book deal, Allred responded by saying “next question.”

[From Radar]

It’s unclear what Lewis is trying to achieve. Obviously, by doing the press conference in Los Angeles after so much time has passed, it looks like Lewis isn’t interested in any criminal charges Polanski could have faced in France. Perhaps Lewis really is just interested in influencing the sentencing for the California case, and perhaps changing the conversation about Polanski in general. Personally, I don’t doubt Polanski had sex with a 16 year old actress – I think he likes to rape/have sex with teenagers in general, and he was only charged the one time.

Radar is also running two other pieces about Lewis. One is this interview with Lewis’s friend Jon Jacobs, who is basically acting as her character reference. Jacobs tells Radar: “I’m not going to doubt her. She’s not a liar.” Radar also ran a piece about who else Lewis has dated in the celebrity/Hollywood community. Allegedly, she dated Charlie Sheen in the late 1990s, which would have been pre-Denise Richards. She’s also rumored to have dated Eric Clapton and Eddie Murphy. Oh, and she posed for Playboy.

Gloria Allred News Conference With New Alleged Roman Polanski Victim

Gloria Allred News Conference With New Alleged Roman Polanski Victim

Gloria Allred News Conference With New Alleged Roman Polanski Victim

Promotional images of Charlotte Lewis from Polanski’s ‘Pirates’ in 1986. Credit: WENN.

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47 Responses to “British actress claims Roman Polanski victimized her when she was 16 years old”

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  1. London Lady says:

    There is a big peice about this in the Sunday Mail, but what I do not really understand (not being a lawyer) is what charges she is bringing against him. In the piece it sounds as if she got caught on the “casting couch”. Ploanski tells her that if she wants a role in his film she has to sleep with him, she rejects him, goes back to her room and then returns to his apartment because she is afraid to turn down the offer as she sees it as her big break (she and her mum were living on benefits at the time). So while still disgusting, it reads in the Mail on Sunday that it was consensual as she understood what he wanted when she returned to his rom, which is clearly not what we are reading in other reports. Clarification required..

  2. Aitch says:

    I am old enough to remember her when she was a Hollywood “IT” girl for a couple of years. She dated Murphy for a while. I have actually thought about her over the years and wondered about what happenend to her.

    Allred has zero credibility due to repping Tiger Wood’s famewhores and those extortionist nannys of Rob Lowe’s.
    I am thinking Lewis doesn’t know this living in Enlgland.
    I guess it is up to the judge to decide wether this will have any influence in Polanski’s sentencing.

  3. Ann says:

    My guess is she wanted to make it clear that Polanski had a history of pressuring young girls into sex by taking advantage of his fame and power as a famous director. I don’t think it’s about money or fame for Lewis. It’s gotta be kind of sickening to have had an unpleasant personal experience with this creep and read about that this “genius” is supposedly being unjustly “persecuted”.

  4. trollydolly says:

    Kudos to her for talking about her experience at the hands of this paedophile creep. It’s astounding how many celebs support this arsehole, Polanski.

  5. juicyjackie says:

    16? Thats old for him

    Alas, 16 is the age of consent in the UK so no law was broken as it was consensual

  6. onyx says:

    I think her story just validates his shady character and abuse of the position of a man in power. whether or not she knew what to expect when she returned to his room is irrelevant, because it just attests to his improper attidute and demeanor in general. maybe she was hoping to convince him otherwise to give her the role. clearly he took advantage of the situation, as I’m sure there are soo many more stories that either will surface or stay untold. the pattern is very clear. he preyed on very young, naive women. he baited them and received pleasure from forcing himself upon them. he is and always will be a distusting, vile human being. I have always been very outspoken about how wrong it is to even allow this “gifted and Talented” person to remain in the position of control and award him for his genius. maybe we should have talent scouts going through pedophile files at the local precinct to make sure we’re filling the gaps in Hollywood.

  7. Whatever says:

    Her decision to come forward is good because Polanski is playing the poor victim role, which is disgusting. He is a pedophile and the HW people defending him need to remember that.

  8. Beca says:

    um, juicyjackie, just because someone is old enough to consent doesn’t mean that the sex was consensual. no statutory rape law was broken, sure. however, regardless of age, it’s illegal (and sick) to have sexual contact with someone who doesn’t want it.

  9. Lenore says:

    If this woman was truly abused then she has my utmost sympathies, and I have no doubt that it’s possible she was raped; Polanski has happily acknowledged that he likes young girls, and he seems to display a very old-fashioned (read: medieval) attitude to women, in that if they don’t want to get f_cked, then they shouldn’t be alone with him, and if they ARE alone with him, then of COURSE they want it. That seems to sum up his whole response to the original rape charges – he’s always been more concerned about the injustice done to him by the courts, than the pain he inflicted on Samantha Geimer.

    But I’m confused as to why she would suddenly come forward at this moment, and what she hopes to achieve, if anything. If she’s just out for publicity, why not come out at any time over the last two decades – when the documentary came out, or when Geimer’s interviews were televised, or when The Pianist won the Oscar, or when Oliver Twist was being criticised because of the “paedophile” director working with kids? She’s had plenty of opportunity to get in the papers already, and hasn’t. So I tend to believe her, basically.

    If her claims are true, it’s unlikely she could ever get a conviction or even bring the issue to trial. And how is it actually relevant (as Allred claims) to his sentencing – it’s only hearsay, in legal terms.

    I can appreciate it if her trauma and indignation was simply too much finally and she wanted to speak out, but retaining Allred suggests that she intends for it to become a legal issue, and I don’t see how it can possibly become one.

  10. Vi says:

    juicyjackie- where does it say it was consensual? she says she was violated and abused not that she has sex with him. i’m glad she’s come forward, maybe hollywood will stop letting polanski play victim now.

  11. Fluffy Kitten Tail says:

    Just another example of what a disgusting pedo that man truly is.

    People who support him are as sick as he is. I wonder how many other young girls he assaulted over the years, bullied and paid off.

  12. N.D. says:

    I’m still not fully convinced that she’s honest about what happened (too many questions like why just now, why hire Gloria Allred) but this situation is rape. Although it looks like there were no physical violence or drugging and her age wasn’t an issue by UK laws but he still forced her to have sex with him using his powerfull position. It’s like boss making his subordinate to slip with him using some job related blackmailing or inducement or both. May be it’s not called rape in lawyer terms but certainly would qualify for sexual harrasement.

  13. Lindsay says:

    “It reads in the Mail on Sunday that it was consensual as she understood what he wanted when she returned to his room.”

    He followed the law where he was at, whether you agree with it or not, and she wasn’t actually sexually assaulted if it was consensual. She may feel like a victim because she was pressured and so young but she chose to do it to get the part. She could have said no but we’ll never know what he would have done. I still feel for her, she was definitely taken advantage of.

    “Mr. Polanski knew that I was only 16 years old when he met me and forced himself upon me in his apartment in Paris. He took advantage of me and I have lived with the effects of his behavior ever since it occurred. All I want is justice.”

    If that is true it is rape regardless of her age. The age of consent means they believe you are old enough to consent not that you automatically due. Regardless of your age if you don’t consent it is rape/sexual assault.

    He has been sentenced for the rape years ago. New victims that come out now will just make him look bad. Any wrong doing he did here would have been too long ago to do anything about since he was a fugitive in Europe for so long. If he broke a law there it would be up to that country’s legal system to decide if they can and will do anything about it. He will receive a new sentence and possible trial for fleeing.

    Lenore – it isn’t hearsay if it happened to you. It would be hearsay if her friend said she said she was raped. It was her experience. If the victim’s testimony was considered hearsay they would never be able to testify or give a statement of what happened to the police.

    Vi- In the Sunday Mail newspaper they claimed it was consensual.

  14. Lil says:

    Tell me who is your lawyer and I’ll tell you who you are.

  15. Meimei says:

    “Allred has zero credibility due to repping Tiger Wood’s famewhores and those extortionist nannys of Rob Lowe’s.
    I am thinking Lewis doesn’t know this living in Enlgland.”

    Speaking as another European: if she doesn’t, she must be both blind and deaf.

    Her choice is really poor if she’s in fact telling the truth, because in my mind Allred does not equal credibility.

  16. Lindsay says:

    Lenore- She retained Allred because she has experience in getting the story as widely told as possible and would help her avoid being slandered and act as a public relations manager. That is why many of Tiger Wood’s umm… “partners” went to her.

    She has used her record of being a pretty good attorney to become a fame seeker she takes cases that don’t really have a legal problem. She is a great defender of wronged and abused women. But only if they are famous or the abuser was famous, she is generous like that. Sometimes she will take a case if it has lots of media attention.

    This couldn’t even be a civil case because it happened here. But hopefully it is enough to convince people no matter how talented he is he is a terrible person. There are other directors. He isn’t just James Cameron horrible. He is a criminal who takes advantage of young girls. i don’t understand how any actor or producer that are women themselves or men that have sisters, daughters, nieces, children or really any woman in their life that they love still think that this is ok. Talent and power in Hollywood should only go so far. Being mean or unreasonable sometimes, acting like a diva if you have earned it, having a wild lifestyle, things that only hurt you or your professional reputation are fine, if you accept the consequences. Rape, repeatedly taking advantage of young girls, braking the law, becoming a fugitive unacceptable.

    Also, your learning moment for the day: He isn’t actually a pedophile. They prefer prepubescent children. He is a ephebophile prefers adolescents, generally girls 14-16, boys 14-19. Hebephiles are prefer children in the early years of puberty 11-14.

    The legal system and media often incorrectly use the term pedophile to refer to anyone attracted to minors. All are specific psychological illnesses.

    Most only prefer children of a certain age but can have healthy sexual relationships with adults. Not all people who sexually abuse children fit the diagnosis for any of these three conditions. Not all people that do meet the criteria abuse children. But it is still sickening.

  17. nnn says:

    Polanski like fresh flesh and is disgusting.

    His last wife, Emmanuelle Seigner was very beautiful when young. She was a super model and began modelling at 15.

    I don’t understand how such a pretty young girl, daughter of a famous photographer and a journalist, grand daughter of the chairman of the Comédie Française will marry this petite odd looking, much older and controversial director.

    He married her at 56 when she was barely 23 years old !

    I am still baffled that they have been married for the past 21 years though ! Their children, especially the girl who is 17 should really have a different look about her father who likes girls her age.

  18. aury says:

    i hope they throw the book at him. what a sick bastard.

  19. asiont says:

    I read somewhere that there are some photos of Lewis and Polanski posing together on a red carpet only a few years ago – it seems strange that she had good contacts with him for some years and now, when he is arrested and attacked by media, she is talking about being victimized and wanting justice

    I find this whole story hard to belive

  20. Lushus L. says:

    Has Nastassja Kinski (Tess) ever said anything on the topic of Roman Polanski taking advantage of girls? Just curious.

    • Anon says:

      I read an interview with Nastassja Kinski where she says she and Roman Polanski never dated, that that was just a rumor and he was more like a father to her and he was a great guy . . . ?

    • Katy says:

      I read an interview with her where she says she and they never dated, that that was just a rumor and he was more like a father to her and he was a great guy . . . ?

  21. badrockandroll says:

    asiont and lindsay: I agree with many of the points you make. The other thing that doesn’t make sense (the first being to hire Allred, which makes me think that this isn’t about closure or about justice for other victims of Polanski, this is about a book deal!) is that the alleged incident occured 3 years before she was cast in The Pirates. Even if all she knew about Polanski was her own experience with him (and that’s improbable, since he has been infamous for his predilection since the early 70s), why did she work with him later? This doesn’t seem to be the sort of “casting couch” bully sex thing because of that passage of time. Although I don’t necessarily believe her, I do wonder as to why her agent or her mother or her handlers all thought that it would be ok for her to visit him in his house without accompaniment. Of course, with Allred involved, my BS Detector may be over-sensitive, but this just doesn’t ring true.

  22. hatsumomo says:

    Attorney and client look related.

  23. dizzybenny says:

    if she was so discusted by him why work on his movie?why wait until now to talk about it?
    yeah her family was poor,just get a job like any other person would do.
    don’t get me wrong Polinsky deserves everything thats coming to him but this story dont make sense to me.

  24. Lindsay says:

    @badrockandroll- I am start to believe she was the victim she made herself out to be or even actually sees herself as one. Especially if they were photographed together a few years ago. The timing doesn’t really bother me when you think about it it is not really that outrageous to be hired as an actress and not see the film until three years later, its on the long side but not unbelievable. Preproduction, filming, postproduction, and a gap between the film being finished and the final release date, it could take three years.

    If she came out when he was doing the movie with kids, I could understand why she would come out to help them, and maybe believed her. Then she would have been coming forward to prevent other children from getting hurt. She isn’t helping anyone now but herself. And Allred doesn’t care if it is true and may have even put ideas in Lewis’ head and shaped her words for the most press.

    Maybe this lady saw how much there was to gain by coming forward for being victimized or sleeping with a celebrity. This is a pretty new obsession and years ago this type of thing wouldn’t open up the doors it would now.

    I hate to be a naysayer but something isn’t quite right. It takes a lot of courage to come forward after being sexually assaulted. Too many people don’t believe the victims who do and people that profit from it or lie about it only makes it worse.

  25. Tas says:

    I remember this woman from the movie “Golden Child” with Eddie Murphy.

  26. spooge says:

    Yeah.. um, I really want free publicity too.
    So, after giving this great thought, I’d like to announce that I too was molested by Roman Polanski when I was 16.

  27. GatsbyGal says:

    Polanski is a sick fuck who belongs in jail. He knows what he did, and he’s still choosing to act like he is the victim…he’s the worst kind of person. Actually, I take that back, he’s not even worthy of being called a human.

  28. Laura says:

    I’m actually unique in that I don’t consider it a mental illness to be attracted to a sexually mature individual, regardless of sex or age. 15, 16, 17…they’re pretty similar. so I tend to be more relaxed than most when it comes to statutory rape, especially when the girl knew what she as doing (which, as I was a bit of a Lolita myself, I an attest happens more than people think).
    However, this sick fuck is not a statutory rapist. He drugged this 13 year old, then raped and sodomized her as she pleaded with him to stop. That is complete, no questions asked, baldfaced RAPE. And that is why he should be horsewhipped and locked away for the rest of his life.

  29. asiont says:

    “In 1986 Charlotte claimed: ‘I found him very attractive, I’d love to have had a romantic relationship with him – and a physical one. You can’t help falling in love with him. But he didn’t want me that way.’

    Though it is worth noting that at the time she was speaking she was still working for Polanski and, it could be argued, in thrall of him.”

    “In another interview in 1999 Charlotte went on to claim that she did have a relationship with Polanski. But that it started after she had been cast in the film and when she was 17.

    ‘I wanted him probably more than he wanted me,’ she said then, claiming that they were lovers for six months in an affair that ended only when they began filming Pirates in Tunisia.”

    Read more:

    let’s all claim we were molested by Polanski.

  30. nana says:

    i remember, shes the woman opposite eddie murphy in the movie Golden Child. She has similarities to Tia Carere that time. voluptuous and shes very exotic like tibetian mongolian beauty.

    but some says shes crazy nowadays.. hope not otherwise .. ewww

  31. Anne de Vries says:

    The man drugged and anally raped a 13-year old. I’m stunned that some of you are chosing to believe that this woman is making this up. Why on earth believe a man with his track record over her?

  32. carrie says:

    casting couch!
    and in several older interviews,she said she had been his girlfriend!
    obviously he loves the very young women(girls!?)

  33. westcoaster says:

    I would be interested to find out how he explained or would explain to his children, why he raped a 13 year old girl?

  34. Lindsay says:

    @ getting a job would take a lot more work, maybe she saw the easy way out and took it. Plus with just a high school education she wouldn’t be able to make what she would as an actress.

    @ at Laura, your point about being attracted to sexuality mature individuals make sense. But a lot of 15 years olds aren’t ready they deserve some protection. I don’t think it is right that it is mainly used by parents to punish a boyfriend they don’t like.

    It isn’t possible to lock him up for life, there is a legal limit on the time spent. Going beyond that wrongful imprisonment. He would sue and take a lot of money from the state. Plus, he actually would be a victim. He has to be treat liked any other rapist.

    Just because we know the details of his actions, he issues statements that he is playing the victim, and that he fled causes a stronger emotional view. He fits in with all the other rapist, he did a terrible thing but so did they. But it is a good wishful fantasy!

  35. Lindsay says:

    Sorry these posts are so long I am trying to be some what succinct and failing! This is what many lawyer and others that follow legal issues speculate will happen when he is sentenced. But on top of this he will serve jail time for fleeing.

    It is terrible that in the plea bargain he was only charged with unlawful sexual intercourse, which is statutory rape; with a limit of imprisonment is two years. According to the plea agreement he would never serve any jail time.

    He was order to under go a psychological for 90 days but was released after 42. The probation officer, examining psychiatrist, and the victim all recommending against jail time. So the plea was only for probation, and dropping all the other charges; rape by use of drugs, perversion, sodomy, lewd and lascivious act upon a child under fourteen, and furnishing a controlled substance to a minor.

    Due to judicial misconduct due to how he heard both sides of the story in chambers before approving the plea. it is much more likely that the plea will stand and he will only serve probation.

    If the judge had acted ethically he was rumored to reject the plea and imprison him for an unknown length of time away from the general population and after he was released he would be deported back to France. When he heard the rumors he fled to avoid jail time.

  36. lway says:

    Polanski is a sick twisted pig – Agreed.

    What gets me is why does so much time have to pass before someone actually acts on something that happend to them? She waited 24 years? Surely at some point she must have realized that what Polanski did was wrong and she should do something about it?

    She waited for someone else (the 13 year old) to come forward first and then hired herself this dumbo Gloria as a lawyer …….. meh, it just doesn’t make sense.

    ALSO – If you’ve been a victim of rape or sexual abuse, would you really pose in playboy? Im sorry, but i would imagine that being raped or “sexually abused in the worst way” is not something you ever get over and that you’ll always be “cautious” to an extend….

  37. NayNay says:

    I hate to say if, but there are probably many others out there, that haven’t stepped forward yet. I just do not understand why women wait so long to speak out?

  38. RHONYC says:


    i remember she used to be sooooo beautiful!

    hell, i wanted to BE her when i saw ‘the golden child’.

    thanx, c.b.

    you’ve totally made my day! lol :-)

  39. Obvious says:

    allred, obviously she was not underage if the age of consent in her country is different then ours and she was over the age. while polanski did go through a terrible ordeal with his wife, and that does not excuse his actions, try to say your client was a victim because she was old enough to consent.

    and further more he should be tried only on the facts of the one case, by trying to influence the system, you could be contaminating the jury pool in the event of a retrial, there for giving his lawyers the defense of prejudiced jury. unless that’s her aim…

  40. original kate says:

    i have no doubt that roman likes the young ones and probably did pressure her into sex. whether this woman was technically raped or not (ie. did she consent?) who knows for sure? when i see gloria allred on the scene, i automatically think “famewhore.” why else would any sane woman align herself with that headline grabbing nutcase?

  41. Kim says:

    How do his wife and kids feel about his sleeping with a 13 year old? regardless if it was consensual or not? Would he be ok with a 50 yr old man sleeping with his son or daughter at 13? no way!

  42. Anne de Vries says:

    People process trauma in different ways. And she may well have felt that nobody would believe her or nobody would care. Or tried to put it all behind her and things came back to the surface with recent developments. How many new cases of child abuse in the RC church have come forward with the recent upheaval? I’d say that unless you have experienced it, you have no right to judge people for keeping silent OR coming forward, and the way in which they do so.

    And becoming very sexually promiscuous is actually one of the WARNING signs of sexual abuse to look out for especially in teen girls – it is really common to feel that since their body has already been violated, nothing really matters anymore. It’s sometimes also connected to subconsciously trying to regain some form of self-worth by wanting to feel wanted. Posing for Playboy is not strange in that context. Again, if you haven’t experienced it, you don’t really have a right to judge.

    One of the reason that the reporting rate on rape is so low (and conviction rate even lower) is that women are judged incredibly hashly on any behaviour that the judgers deem to be ‘not victim-like enough’, and meanwhile the rapists walk free. No consent is no consent, whether someone is a nun or a playboy model.

  43. Laura says:

    Lindsay-I know it wouldn’t actually be possible to lock him up for life (or to horsewhip him for that matter :P ). I just think that’s what should happen to all people like him. Like you said, fantasy.
    And not all 15 year olds are ready, but some are…it’s just a tricky area.

  44. skeptical says:

    this guy is a jerk and the 13 year old he raped and abused never even got her justice.

    why is he still walking around???