Roman Polanski has accused none other than disgraced Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein of being behind a media campaign to tarnish his reputation and lashed out at the press for seizing on rape allegations without evidence.
In an interview with Paris Match magazine published this week, Polanski said Weinstein had tried to brand him a “child rapist” in order to prevent him from winning an Oscar for his 2003 film, ‘The Pianist’.
He claimed Weinstein’s press agent was the first person to call him that, in what he believes was an effort to ensure his own film, ‘Chicago’, was the big winner at the Oscars that year.
Polanski’s comments come in light of new allegations which he has dismissed as “absurd,” complaining that the media are “trying to make me into a monster” again. The film director fled the US in 1978 after admitting statutory rape of a 13-year-old.
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French photographer Valentine Monnier accused Polanski last month of raping her in an “extremely violent” way in 1975, which included beating her into submission.
“Clearly accusing me of rape isn't sensational enough any more, you have to add another layer. I do not hit women,” Polanski told the French magazine. He said he was speaking out in the interest of his wife and children who are “suffering enormously” and being attacked on social media.
“I am used to the lies, my skin has thickened. But for my children and for Emmanuelle (his wife) it's appalling,” he said.
The director accused the media of treating him with “incredible violence” and seizing on “every new false accusation, no matter how absurd.”
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Polanski has been defended by many in the French film industry, particularly in the era of the #MeToo movement, during which accusations of sexual misconduct and rape are instantly amplified by the media before any proof or evidence has been established.
Weinstein, who has been accused of sexual misconduct by multiple women, reached a $25 million settlement agreement with dozens of his accusers in a deal that would not require him to admit wrongdoing, the New York Times reported Wednesday.
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