Roman Polanski civil trial set for August 2025 in child rape case

A trial date has been set in a civil case alleging that Roman Polanski raped a child in the 1970s.

The trial is scheduled to take place on Aug. 4, 2025, following a lawsuit that accused Polanski of giving a child alcohol and raping her at his Benedict Canyon home. The complaint was filed last June in Los Angeles County Superior Court.

The filmmaker wasn’t named in the case until July; the plaintiff remains anonymous as Jane Doe.

The plaintiff and her attorney, Gloria Allred, discussed the case Tuesday during a news conference in Los Angeles.

“Our client … has demonstrated enormous courage in filing her lawsuit against a famous director,” Allred said at the news conference. “Although the defendant has appeared to return to business as usual in his life, our client has not been able to return to business as usual. … But we look forward to our fight for justice and accountability for Jane Doe.”

The plaintiff added that it took her a long time to decide to sue Polanski and that her goal is to “obtain justice and accountability.”

Asked by reporters how old the plaintiff was during the alleged assault, Allred would only say that the plaintiff was “under 18.”

Polanski, who previously pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting a minor in a separate case in 1977 before fleeing the United States, has denied the allegations and attempted to get the case dismissed.

“He strenuously denies the allegations and the proper place to try this case is in the courts,” Polanski’s attorney Alexander Rufus-Isaacs told The Times.

According to the complaint, Polanski invited the defendant to dinner after meeting her at a party in 1973. They dined at a restaurant on La Cienega Boulevard where Polanski ordered the plaintiff tequila despite knowing she was a minor, the lawsuit alleges.

After drinking the tequila, the plaintiff allegedly became dizzy and sick and told Polanski she wasn’t feeling well. Polanski then drove the plaintiff back to his house and brought her into his bedroom where she passed out on his bed, the suit says.

When the plaintiff woke up, Polanski was lying next to her and “told her that he wanted to have sex with her,” the complaint alleges. Polanski proceeded to remove the plaintiff’s clothes and rape her after she told him, “No,” and “Please don’t do this,” the lawsuit continues.

The plaintiff is seeking a jury trial and unspecified damages.

Polanski, 90, pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting Samantha Geimer (née Gailey), then 13, in 1977 when he was 43, following allegations that he drugged and assaulted her at the home of actor Jack Nicholson. While on probation and before a verdict was delivered, the director fled to France.

Last year, Geimer posed for a photograph with Polanski and sat down with his wife, actress Emmanuelle Seigner, for an interview that was published in the French magazine Le Point.

“Let me be very clear: What happened with Polanski was never a big problem for me,” she said in a translated version of the interview obtained earlier by The Times. “I didn’t even know it was illegal, that someone could be arrested for it. I was fine, I’m still fine. The fact that we’ve made this [a big deal] weighs on me terribly. To have to constantly repeat that it wasn’t a big deal, it’s a terrible burden.”

In the nearly five decades since Polanski fled to Europe following his conviction, he has made 15 films and earned Oscar nominations — he won best director for “The Pianist” in 2003.

Until #MeToo shifted the paradigm in Hollywood and elsewhere, the director of “Rosemary’s Baby” and “Chinatown” had the support of many of his peers who largely hewed to the idea that audiences can separate art from the artist. In 2014, when the U.S. government attempted to extradite Polanski, a raft of Hollywood luminaries signed a petition in his defense.

Four years later, however, Hollywood was in the throes of a reckoning over sexual misconduct by powerful men. In 2018, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, citing the criminal case against Polanski, expelled him (along with Bill Cosby and Harvey Weinstein) from the organization that hands out the Oscars.

Polanski sued in Los Angeles County Superior Court in 2019 to be reinstated as a member; he lost in 2020.

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