Roman Polanski in 1993 agreed to pay his sexual assault victim $500,000 to settle a damage claim she filed against the fugitive film director, according to court papers released Friday.
Polanski still owed the money — plus another $100,000 in interest — three years after the settlement, according to the documents. It’s not clear if Polanski ever completed paying the claim, which was filed 12 years after the crime. The court papers document efforts by the victim’s lawyers to garnish residuals and other payments owed to Polanski by the Screen Actors Guild, movie studios and other Hollywood businesses. The papers, 747 pages in all, are mostly legal arguments and opinions filed during the five years the lawsuit made its way through the California court system. The suit was complicated by the fact that Polanski refused to return to the United States to defend himself. Ultimately, an appeals court ruled that he did not have to be present to fight the suit. Polanski pleaded guilty in August 1977 to having unlawful sex with Samantha Geimer, then 13, five months earlier. Other charges were dropped by prosecutors in exchange for his guilty plea. He fled the country before he was sentenced after learning that the Los Angeles judge might not go along with the short jail term he expected to get from plea agreement.
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Polanski remained free, mostly living in France, until September, when he was arrested in Switzerland on a 32-year-old arrest warrant. Polanski’s lawyers are fighting his extradition to the United States. Geimer’s lawsuit sought money for damages suffered when Polanski had sex with her. She said Polanski plied her with alcohol and quaaludes during a photo shoot at the Hollywood Hills home of actor Jack Nicholson. When Polanski was nominated for a best director Academy Award in 2003 for his movie “The Pianist,” Geimer appeared on CNN’s Larry King Live to encourage Oscar voters to cast their ballots based on the merit of his work — not his assault on her. Polanski won the Oscar.