The Oscar folks may eventually be debating the membership status of famed director Roman Polanski in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein sex scandal as a woman claims she was molested by Polanski when she was 10 years old and posed naked during a deserted beach photo shoot.
A petition to remove Polanski from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences was fewer than 1,000 short of its 18,000-signature goal Monday.
It was launched by the woman claiming to be a Polanski sex-attack victim in 1975 — two years before he faced rape charges.
Polanski has lived in Europe for decades after his statutory rape conviction in Southern California for having sex with a 13-year-old girl. Efforts by Polanski’s legal team to quash the conviction and allow the director to return to the U.S. have been unsuccessful.
“When I was 10 years old, Roman Polanski photographed me naked under an open fur coat on the rocks at deserted Will Rogers State beach in Malibu. I believe my mother arranged the encounter,” said artist Marianne Barnard.
“After it happened, I didn’t say anything to anyone. I wish that I had been brave enough to speak out, tell a friend, their parent or even a teacher. Maybe if I had, the other girls wouldn’t have been molested by Polanski (a convicted statutory rapist) also. That’s a terrible heartache to carry.”
The Sun newspaper in Britain said Barnard was inspired to tell her story by actress Rose McGowan and “all the other women who had come forward and made allegations about shamed movie mogul Harvey Weinstein.”
She told the Sun: “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.
“But then he wanted me to take my bikini bottoms off — I started to feel very uncomfortable. Then at some point I realized my mom had gone. 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.”
— Marianne Barnard (M) (@Marianne_M_B) October 13, 2017
— Susan S. Moss (@smoss319) October 23, 2017
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