The Daily Beast details how in 1975, filmmaker Roman Polanski invited then-10-year-old Marianne Barnard to a beach to photograph her in a bikini and furs, sitting atop a pile of rocks. Her mother was also invited along to chaperone (although that doesn’t appear to have helped).
During the shoot, she says that Polanski asked her to remove her top, and given her inexperience, she didn’t think anything of it. “First he was taking pictures of me in the bikini, then it was with the coat then he said take off the bikini top, which I was comfortable with as I was only 10 and I often ran around with no top on,” Barnard recalled.
It was after he allegedly told her to remove her bottoms that she became wary of his motives. “But then he wanted me to take my bikini bottoms off—I started to feel very uncomfortable,” said Barnard, who realized her mother, who had accompanied her there, had stepped away from the shoot. “I don’t know where she went and I didn’t really register her leaving but she was no longer there. Then he molested me.”
Bernard says she still suffers PTSD from the encounter, but that to helps to share her story with others.
“I felt terribly conflicted that I have been silent all this time and all these women are bravely coming forward and I thought to myself I can’t in good conscious knowing what I know—and having gone through what I’ve gone through—not speak out,” she continued. “Even though it puts me in a very bad—even dangerous position—with my mom and Polanski and other people who are involved, I can’t be silent any more.”
Polanski has been in the news again recently following the Weinstein scandal, which prompted German actress Renate Langer to come forward with her account of Polanski of raping her when she was 15. Of course, she is hardly the first person to allege such conduct:
Since Polanski was convicted of drugging and sexually assaulting 13-year-old Samantha Geimer in 1977, forcing him to live in exile, three other women besides Barnard have come forward accusing the legendary filmmaker of sexual assault. Charlotte Lewis, a British actress, accused Polanski of “forcing” himself on her back in 1982, when she was just 16; a woman identified only as “Robin M” alleged reported to the LAPD that she was sexually assaulted by Polanski in 1973 at the age of 16.
A fifth woman has come forward accusing Roman Polanski of sexual assault. She says she was 10 when it happened: https://t.co/hu33p0Njft pic.twitter.com/5pJCTcjwtH
— Marlow Stern (@MarlowNYC) October 21, 2017
(Photo: Pacific Coast News)