The artwork for "The Girl: A Life in the Shadow of Roman Polanski" is a photograph of the author at the age of 13, which was apparently taken by Polanski himself in 1977 just a few weeks before the notorious incident took place. (Polanski fled the country to avoid sentencing after pleading guilty to statutory rape.)
Geimer, then known by her maiden name of Samantha Gailey, channels both whimsy and melancholy in the pic, creating an extremely dark tone when you consider that she has no idea that her life is going to change forever in only a matter of days.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the photograph was taken on Feb. 20, 1977, at the author's Woodland Hills home during a photo session in which Polanski coaxed his young subject to pose topless. Three weeks later, Polanski allegedly drugged and raped her at a photo shoot at the Mulholland Drive home of the director's "Chinatown" star, Jack Nicholson.
The photo was one of several that surfaced during Samantha Geimer's civil suit against Polanski in 1988, which resulted in the filmmaker agreeing to pay her $500,000 plus interest as well as to hand over all the photos he took of her.
Geimer says she's using the photo as the cover art for the book as a way to reclaim her story, as most of the media coverage over the years regarding the incident has put Polanski front and center. Indeed, when Geimer, who is now 50 years old, announced the book last year, she said, "I am more than a 'Sex Victim Girl' [and] I offer my story now without rage, but with purpose — to share a tale that will reclaim my identity."
Samantha Geimer has spoken of the incident before, including with both Larry King and the Los Angeles Times in 2003. However, spokespersons for Atria, the book's publisher, say that the book "will give readers insight into many dimensions of the story that have never been previously revealed."
Samantha Geimer started to publically make peace with the Polanski incident in May 1997 via a letter to the Los Angeles County Superior Court asking that the Polanski criminal case be settled. Geimer also wrote a piece for the Los Angeles Times in 2003 entitled "Judge the Movie, Not the Man," saying that Polanski shouldn't be barred from receiving a Best Director Oscar for "The Pianist.""I don't really have any hard feelings toward him, or any sympathy, either. He is a stranger to me," she wrote.
In January 2009, Geimer filed a formal request that Los Angeles prosecutors drop the charges against him, according to the New York Daily News. "I have survived, indeed prevailed, against whatever harm Mr. Polanski may have caused me as a child," she said at the time. "I got over it a long time ago." Geimer also said that Polanski had paid his dues and wanted to stop reliving the incident every time his name came up in the papers. "True as they may be, the continued publication of those details causes harm to me, my beloved husband, my three children and my mother," she said.
Geimer looks to be reassessing her position on "the continued publication of those details" with the release of her book. Indeed, as the incident keeps coming up every now and then despite her efforts to bury the past once and for all, Geimer now might be trying to at least steer the course with a new for-the-record account.
Polanski has since expressed regret over the incident and seemingly taken full responsibility. "There was no plot against me. There was no setup. It was all my fault," he said in an article entitled "Roman Polanski: What I've Learned," originally published in Esquire in December 1999 and republished online in September 2009 — though he did not describe the details of the incident for which he took blame. "I think that my wrongdoing was much greater than Bill Clinton's."
"The Girl: A Life in the Shadow of Roman Polanski" will hit store shelves on September 17.
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