• A French newspapers says a French woman in her early 60s claims she was raped at age 18 by Oscar-winning filmmaker Roman Polanski, who has been a fugitive from the US for more than four decades since pleading guilty to a sex offense.
  • Le Parisien reported Friday that the woman alleges she was raped in 1975 at Polanski’s chalet in Gstaad, Switzerland, when she was 18.
  • “Rape is a time bomb,” she told Le Parisien. “The memory does not fade. It becomes a ghost and it follows you, and it changes you insidiously.”
  • It quotes Polanski’s lawyer, Herve Temime, as saying that Polanski “firmly contests” the allegation.
  • Polanski pleaded guilty in the U.S. in 1977 to having sex with a 13-year-old.

PARIS (AP) – A French newspapers says a French woman in her early 60s claims she was raped at age 18 by Oscar-winning filmmaker Roman Polanski, who has been a fugitive from the US for more than four decades since pleading guilty to a sex offense.

Le Parisien reported Friday that the woman alleges she was raped in 1975 at Polanski’s chalet in Gstaad, Switzerland, when she was 18.

“Rape is a time bomb,” she said to Le Parisien. “The memory does not fade. It becomes a ghost and it follows you, and it changes you insidiously.”

Le Parisien reported that it spoke to several people who the woman told about the incident a few months after it is alleged to have taken place, and the newspaper reports that she told her husband about the alleged incident in 1993.

Le Parisien quotes Polanski’s lawyer, Herve Temime, as saying that Polanski “firmly contests” the allegation. France has a 20-year statute of limitations, Variety reports.

The attorney “deplored” that the claim is being made public shortly before Polanski’s latest film, “J’Accuse,” is being released in France. Le Parisien quotes the woman as saying the film triggered her decision to go public.

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“J’Accuse” tells the story of the Dreyfus affair – when at the close of the 19th centruy a French-Jewish artillary officer was wrongfully accused of being a German spy. Earlier this year, the won the Silver Lion Grand Jury Prize at the Venice Film Festival.

Polanski pleaded guilty in the US in 1977 to having sex with a 13-year-old. He has been living in France since fleeing the US prior to sentencing in that case in 1978.