Samantha Gailey and the sexual assault charges
On 10 March 1977, following a private photo shoot at Jack Nicholson's home in Mulholland Drive, Los Angeles, 43-year-old Roman Polanski engaged in sexual activity with Samantha Gailey, a 13-year-old model, after allegedly plying her with champagne and half a Quaalude. Polanski was arrested and six charges were brought against him, including rape by use of drugs and furnishing a controlled substance to the minor. Polanski eventually pleaded guilty to the charge of unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor, but fled to France in February 1978, hours before he was due to be formally sentenced. Since then Polanski has mostly lived in France and avoided visiting countries likely to extradite him to the United States.
His victim, now aged 48 and known by her married name, Samantha Geimer, has always maintained that the sexual intercourse was non-consensual. She is releasing a book later this year about her experiences (see inset). The cover features a photograph of the author taken by Polanski himself, just weeks before the events at Mulholland Drive.