In this searing and surprising memoir, Samantha Geimer, “the girl” at the center of the infamous Roman Polanski sexual assault case, breaks a virtual thirty-five-year silence to tell her story and reflect on the events of that day and their lifelong repercussions.
From her perspective, we learn what it was like to be questioned repeatedly prior to the actual filing of charges, and then again by various attorneys and a psychiatrist. Recalling how different attitudes were in the 1970s, especially for celebrities, it would take some maneuvering to protect the identity of the girl…but in the end, the ego of the judge in charge would ultimately change her life negatively going forward. When an agreement had been reached that could have ended the matter once and for all, the judge reneged on the deal, which led to Polanski fleeing to France.
Now many years later, despite efforts to dismiss the case, supported by the victim, the matter remains unresolved. Extradition from Switzerland was denied after the 2009 arrest, and one might think life could go on. But it hasn’t.
In concluding The Girl: A Life in the Shadow of Roman Polanski, Samantha wrote, in terms of Polanski: “As different as our lives have been, we do share a common sense of battle fatigue when it comes to the court system and the media. We’ve both been punished. We both want to move on.”
She has also stated that the events of that night in 1977 were not as damaging to her as the subsequent years of what the system has done to her. But despite it all, she has gained her own strength from taking matters into her own hands and writing about her experiences. An inspiring story that earned 5 stars.