Actress: Polanski raped me in 1982

May 14, 2010 at 6:59 PM
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LOS ANGELES, May 14 (UPI) -- British actress Charlotte Lewis says filmmaker Roman Polanski raped her in 1982 in Paris when she was 16, ABC News reported Friday.

Lewis later starred in Polanski's 1986 film "Pirates."

The 76-year-old Oscar-winning director has been under house arrest since December 2009 while he awaits a decision regarding whether he will be extradited to the United States in a separate decades-old case in which he was accused of drugging and raping a 13-year-old girl. He was held in a Swiss jail for nearly two months before he posted bail and was placed under house arrest.

The filmmaker, who had been living in France but was in Switzerland to attend a film festival at the time of his arrest last year, has not traveled to the United States since he pleaded guilty in Los Angeles to having unlawful sex with a minor. He fled the United States before he could be sentenced.

Polanski's lawyers have alleged misconduct on the part of the Los Angeles criminal justice system at the time of the plea deal and are fighting extradition from Switzerland to the United States.

"Mr. Polanski sexually abused me in the worst possible way when I was just 16, four years after he fled the United States to avoid sentencing for his crime," ABC News said Lewis told reporters Friday.

Without offering many details, Lewis said there were "similarities" between her rape and the 1977 case.

"Mr. Polanski knew I was just 16 when he met me and forced himself on me … in his apartment in Paris," the 44-year-old actress said.

"He victimized another child while a fugitive from justice. … The sentencing judge needs this information to make an informed decision," Lewis' U.S. lawyer Gloria Allred added. "The judge may consider predatory claims … (that) could certainly have an impact on Polanski's sentencing."

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