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