The current media blow-up over the Roman Polanski case has exposed our culture’s disturbing whitewashing of the personal characters of creative people, as well as served up an entirely bizarre idea that Polanski is somehow being persecuted “for his art.”
In 1977, the director was arrested for drugging and raping a minor. Yes, he plea-bargained down to a lesser charge before fleeing the country upon realizing that his plea bargain might not actually get him off the hook for the more serious charges, and that he might actually get some real jail time, but the fact remains – what he was initially charged with was rape, forcible sodomy, and giving drugs to a little girl. This happens to perfectly match the testimony of the victim, which anyone feeling the need to defend Polanski should really read before making any further comment, because it is horrifying.
Let’s face it, everyone pretty much knows what happened here. A rich, famous, powerful man used his position and the lure of a potential career in Hollywood to entrap a 13 year old girl into a situation where she was alone with him, drugged her with booze and Quaaludes, and then raped and sodomised her. While he was doing this, she was saying no and pleading to be allowed to go home. Anyone who wants to argue this – again, read the victim’s testimony.
This should be just about as watertight a rape case as has ever existed. The victim was drugged, and still, even when drugged, clearly non-consenting. She was underage and frankly, looking at photographs from the era, barely pubescent. And the man who raped her was old enough to be her father.
Pretty straightforward, right? Who could possibly blame a vulnerable child for what happened that night, or try to excuse the behavior of the man who attacked her?