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In a press conference at her attorney Gloria Allred’s Los Angeles office, Charlotte Lewis, an actress who appeared in Polanski’s 1986 film “Pirates,” alleged that Polanski sexually abused her in the “worst way possible” when she was 16 years old. Lewis claims the attack took place in Paris in 1982, four years after he fled the U.S. to escape sentencing for the sexual assault of 13-year-old Samantha Geimer.
According to Lewis, now 42, Polanski was aware that she was 16 at the time when he “forced himself” on her in his apartment. The legal age of consent in France is 15.
“He took advantage of me,” Lewis said. “What I want is justice.”
Allred, who assisted her client in reporting the alleged attack to authorities Thursday, said Lewis’ claims, if found to be credible, can influence Polanski’s sentencing. She declined to call the case a rape, saying the attack took place in the manner in which it was described.
“Accountability for a crime against a child has no time limit,” Allred said, arguing that he deserves no compassion for his age,or for the number of years that have passed.
Allred attributed Lewis’ 28-year-silence to a fear to come forward at the time of the attack, especially because of the high-profile nature of the case.
In addition to her work on “Pirates,” Lewis also appeared in the Eddie Murphy film“The Golden Child.” She was also on the cover of Playboy magazine in 1993.
A call to Polanksi’s rep was not immediately returned Friday.