The Girl: A Life Lived in the Shadow of Roman Polanski
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Date: September 2013
Duration: 6 hours 26 minutes
March 1977, Southern California. Roman Polanski drives a rented Mercedes along Mulholland Drive to Jack Nicholson’s house. Sitting next to him is an aspiring model named Samantha Geimer. She is thirteen years old.
The undisputed facts of what happened in the hours that followed appear in the court record: Roman and Samantha spent hours taking pictures—on a kitchen counter, topless in a Jacuzzi, sitting naked next to the photographer. Wine and Quaaludes were consumed, balance and innocence were lost, and a young girl’s life was altered forever—eternally cast as a background player in her own story.
For months on end, the Polanski case--a courtroom drama so implausible that it almost boggles the mind--dominated the media both in the United States and abroad. But even with the extensive coverage, there is much about that day—and the girl at the center of it all—that has remained a mystery. Who is Samantha Geimer? What happened to her after that day? Why did her mother allow her to go with Polanski unaccompanied? Polanski became the infamous fugitive as a result of this case, yet Samantha too has been on the run for almost her whole life—hiding out, laying low, saying little. The few times Samantha Geimer has spoken publically, it has been largely in reaction to Polanski—his latest film, his arrests, his releases. Virtually the entire narrative of Samantha’s life, and even the details of the rape itself, have all been left untold.
Taking us far beyond the known headlines, this is the story of a girl who was simultaneously wise beyond her years and yet terribly vulnerable and even naive. The book shows us that Samantha, as much as Polanski, has been a fugitive since the events of that day. By telling her story in full for the first time, she reclaims her identity as a flesh and blood person whose life was irrevocably altered by her involvement in one of the most notorious and complex stories of all time.