But before we proceed, we’ll pay attention to some aspects we’ve been disregarding up to this point, and start with an important side of Ms.Geimer’s personality. Regrettably, she is a big-time, confirmed liar.
After everything we’ve read in the previous chapters, one might think that I am now repeating the obvious: the forged evidence alone reduces her credibility to zero. Still, in the absence of all evidence except forged, with the “victim’s” conflicting statements, with her testimony contradicting the experts’ finding, with, in a word, everything we’ve already seen in the previous chapters, her credibility (however undermined by now), could probably be restored, at least to some extent, if throughout her life she proved herself trustworthy. But an analysis of her later statements only makes things worse.
I already mentioned that she contradicts herself at every step; these contradictions are too outrageous to be written off as faults of memory. I’ll start with the biggest and filthiest one, the earlier to get it over with – it is not pretty.
In a Hattie Kauffman 2003 interview, Samantha Geimer says:
“The last shots were taken in the Jacuzzi, and then he got into the Jacuzzi, and that’s when I started realizing that I may be in trouble. I felt uncomfortable I knew it didn’t feel right, so I told him that I wanted to get out of the Jacuzzi, that the steam was giving me an asthma attack, that I couldn’t breathe, I thought that maybe he should take me home. I just made it up. So he said ok, you know, come out now and I grabbed the towel and went into the house.”
We know from her GJ testimony that she didn’t go directly to the house, but to swim in the pool instead, without bothering to put anything on. But the worst is yet to come.
Geimer: And that’s also when he said, here, take this, this will help you, a little piece of a pill. To relax my asthma attack.
Kauffman: What was the pill?
Geimer: It was a piece of a Quaalude.
But, wait! She testified the Quaalude part happened prior to taking the Jacuzzi shots. She testified that he asked her if it was Quaalude and she said it was. That he asked her if she wanted a piece, not even suggested that she take it, and she took it herself of her own accord.
Now she is saying that he deceived her into taking it, under the guise of a medicine. In other words, that he abused the trust of a helpless, innocent child. More than that: since he wouldn’t have known she faked the attack, of a sick child.
I don’t know what to call it, guys. Dirty trick doesn’t seem to begin to describe it. Ignoble? Infamous? Of course her reasons are obvious, she wants to pose as an innocent victim, and it doesn’t behoove innocent victims to be well acquainted with drugs, however light, and willingly take them; but the slander she invents exposes tremendous human ignominy. The only thing she ever managed to invent on a par with this one was the sodomy bit. We may relax now, all her other lies will seem quite tame comparing with this one.
In her Larry King 2003 interview she says, “It was a very long time ago, and it is hard to remember exactly the way everything happened. But I've had to repeat the story so many times, I know it by heart.” Well, one might say that a real rape victim never forgets details… but it’s psychology. Now, for something more tangible: a liar should have a good memory. She really should have learned it by heart, at least her GJ testimony, not to contradict herself at every step.
From the same 2003 interview: “I guess he must have seen a picture of me and came by to meet me and then asked, you know with the pretense that he was interested in photographing me from the beginning.” Now, why does she say that? It is impossible for her not to know that her sister’s boyfriend asked Polanski to photograph her, she confirms it herself in her 2010 Larry King interview (“He wanted a young American model, a female. He had done, I believe, Natasha Kinski. And he was looking at different, more American, as a contrast.”) so why is she lying? Why, of course to bring in that “pretense” bit. We’ll see that none of her lies are innocent, none of them a mere product of unrestrained imagination and/or faulty memory: they are always calculated to enhance her own image, so what if she does some slander along the way?
In the same interview, she says that on the day of the second photo session, she “tried to take a girlfriend along because I was feeling uncomfortable. But he kind of at the last minute asked her not to go. So actually when I left, my mom didn't realize I was going alone.” But this part is different in their testimonies; more important, this lie is also refuted by both mother’s and daughter’s accounts of their phone conversation from Nicholson’s house. It’s that I-want-to-look-better-and-prevent-unpleasant-questions trick again; it only comes up in 2003, by which time she must have gotten tired of hearing “why did your mother let you?” and finally thought of this excuse to shut everyone up. The minute detail that in this interpretation Polanski looks obviously premeditating won’t hurt either; she has already insinuated the same by her “pretense” lies. It is interesting that she never brings this up on other occasions, though: forgot?
From her 1997 interview: “On Feb. 20, 1977, Polanski took me on our first photo shoot in a hillside area just a few blocks from my house. We shot a roll of film; then he asked me to take off my shirt and took topless photos while I changed. I let him do it, but I felt self-conscious. I was thinking, "I shouldn't be doing this," but I was a kid, so I thought if it wasn't okay, he wouldn't tell me to do it. If I'd told my mom, she would never have let me go with him the second time. When he made another appointment a few weeks later, she had no reason to suspect anything. I didn't want to go, but I still thought it would be a good opportunity.” Here she contradicts herself within one paragraph, without stopping to catch her breath. She didn’t want to go, but she didn’t tell her mother about the topless pictures because if she had, mother wouldn’t have let her go. Which is the truth? The truth, apparently, is that in her innocent mind (she pronouncedly refers to herself as a “kid”) the “good opportunity” consideration overweighed all others so heavily that she saw fit to lie to her mother? The mother who, as we remember, conveniently refrained from asking what kind of photos were taken. In her Larry King 2010 interview Samantha changes her mind and says, “I don't know why I didn't tell my mom. I didn't think there'd be a second photo shoot.” So how about her “she would never have let me go with him the second time”? Puzzles, puzzles…
“He picked me up again on March 10 at around 4 p.m. In the car he asked me if I'd ever had sex. I had, once (it was embarrassing to be a virgin among my friends), so I said yes.” She says “once”, to the Jury she said “twice”, Dalton claims to have found out she had more than one sexual partner, and while in 2003 she makes a clumsy joke on being “as close as you can get to being a virgin but just one step away”, in the 2010 Larry King interviews she straightforwardly says, “I had a boyfriend for a long time. And we had become sexually active, yes.”
About champagne, she says, “he kept refilling my glass”. She didn’t say that to the Jury (and three people left the bottle half-full): on the contrary, she said, “I was drinking some of his, too.” Exactly like that Quaalude part: when someone induces you to drink, it sounds more innocent than when you’re doing that of your own accord (remember, in her testimony there’s no single mention of him asking her to drink – only to pose with the glass).
“Then he asks me to pose topless again and says he wants to take pictures in the Jacuzzi. I don't have my bathing suit so I get in in my underwear.” But she testified to be naked in the Jacuzzi? Looks like she wanted to avoid the unpleasant question of why she undressed if she wasn’t forced to: again, wouldn’t look too nice of a victim to first drink, then to undress of her own accord. The facts are continuously twisted to suit a given situation.
“He takes pictures, then he gets in naked and now I'm thinking, "Oh, this is not right." I'm scared and woozy, so I tell him I have asthma and to take me home. I get out, grab a towel, but he doesn't want to take me home yet. That's when he takes out the Quaaludes and asks me if I've ever had one. I lie and say yes. I take one-third” Lie and say yes? So, she lied to the GJ when she said she had had Quaaludes before? No, she wants to look better in the eyes of the public, again; so she lies, again. You will have noticed that this account is right in between the one given in the testimony and that of 2003: here, he doesn’t deceive her into taking it, she takes it herself, but she miraculously sees him produce it, which is, according to the testimony, not true; also the sequence of events is different. The swimming pool part is omitted again, and again he is naked. But in 2003 we hear:
KING: What was he wearing?
GEIMER: I guess shorts or something. I don't remember.
This negates the whole him-getting-into-the-Jacuzzi part, as I indicated above. The man with you either was naked, or he wasn’t; it’s not like you’re not sure whether he was wearing a necktie or cufflinks.
One tricky moment still can’t be avoided. King (2003) asks, “But to get out [of the Jacuzzi] you would have -- he would have had to seen you topless?”
She says, “Oh, right, he photographed me topless. He'd seen me topless. I just was thinking, well this is very European, it must be all right.” Every time this question arises, she gives this same answer. Topless photos on the first day? – I thought they would be cropped. Bare breasts? – I thought it was done in
Europe. But the question is different, and she knows it. The question is: you were half-naked and then stark naked in front of a man and showed no inhibitions about it? She pretends to misunderstand it every time it creeps in, and cleverly sidetracks the conversation. Remarkably consistent, considering she can’t get any other detail straight; and this outstanding feat of memory clearly proves that she knows her behavior was provocative.
Now, the crucial part. King asks, “Did he forcibly rape you?” She says, “You know, I said no. I didn't fight him off. I said like, no, no, I don't want to go in there, no. I don't want to do this, no. And then I didn't know what else to do. We were alone. And I didn't want to -- I didn't know what would happen if I made a scene.” Didn’t know, and didn’t bother to find out; didn’t know what else to do, but never made any attempt at just walking out (earlier in the interview she mentions “being very far from home”, this pathetic excuse she used to the Jury too, never realizing it makes her someone who would trade sex for a ride) but it’s not all. “I was just scared and after giving some resistance figured, well, I guess I'll get to go home after this.” Eh? Resistance? What kind of resistance? Why didn’t you mention it to the Grand Jury? How did he react to your resistance? Bullshit, of course: seven years later the same King would ask, “Did he get rough?” And she will reply, “No, no. He was just persuasive. And I was at a complete loss to resist because I just -- people didn't talk about things like this in
1977.” So much for her resistance bit. He was persuasive, and she was persuaded.
King gives himself away for a moment, though. He says, announcing a commercial break, “We will continue this incredible story right after this.” I applaud his choice of the word.
Now Angelica Huston comes up, and King carefully inquires:
KING: Were you obviously 13?
Geimer quickly understands what he is driving at, and reacts immediately:
She never got a look at me. I kind of left quickly without really saying hello to her. So she never saw me.
But Angelica gave a detailed account of Samantha’s appearance and behavior! This is, again, something the public should never be reminded of, because it negates the innocent victim image.
Now, Polanski takes her home, and “I just went straight into my room, and mom told me later she was kind of wondering why my hair was damp.” Clever. Mother testified she had known about the Jacuzzi shots, but the public doesn’t have to know this. Anything to avoid uncomfortable questions.
She tells King about her medical examination. He asks her “So they proved that there was sexual...” (he can’t find a proper word, and I understand him. Saying “assault” would be stupid, and saying “intercourse” might anger his audience) and she says, “I think so, yes.” She doesn’t know her medical examination came out all negative? Come on.
And finally, to crown her lies, she says: “They found evidence in his room. And after that, he was arrested.” What evidence? The prosecution didn’t have one single bit of evidence. How does she imagine this “evidence” anyway? I wonder what the audience made of this and what unhealthy sexual fantasies she may have engendered with this glib statement.
There’s one more detail that makes me sick. King says: “And his life, of course, would never be -- he would always be -- and he will be if he wins these awards, it's always going to say when he passes on in the first paragraph of the obituary, Roman Polanski who...”
And it is at this moment that she smirks. Triumphantly. Whenever I try to develop any kind of good feelings for her, this smirk ruins it for me. The smirk, and the Quaaludes brutal, filthy lie.
Of course I realize how difficult her position is. She is always consistent in one point: the intercourse wasn’t forcible, and she wasn’t traumatized by it. She has never displayed any ambiguity about this. It is, however, important for her to emphasize that at the same time it wasn’t totally consensual ("I was telling him, 'No', you know, 'Keep away'"), or she would expose herself as a perjurer. Thus, all her lies are always about one and the same thing: her own image as an innocent victim of illegal intercourse, who didn’t resist, and didn’t consent. It is a hard task, and she has to lie a lot.
And she is not alone. There’s another liar by her side to help her, her attorney Silver.
Do you remember the panties? I hope so, the enormity of that forgery isn’t something easy to forget. Now, let’s listen to Silver’s version.
A lawyer, he is careful enough to say “I think, having the results,” so he can’t be accused of straight lies; and still it is lies, all around. First, I don’t think he didn’t hear about the experts’ findings. Next, it has been stated countless times, and by him too, that it was Geimer’s side that insisted on there being no trial! I quote Brenneman: “Lawrence Silver, Geimer’s attorney, reads a three-page letter urging the court to accept the plea because the publicity resulting from trial would create “a stigma which would attach itself to her for a lifetime.” No, I’d better quote Silver himself, from Larry King 2003 interview: We had agreed to a plea bargain. It wasn't what the prosecution wanted, it certainly wasn't what Polanski wanted, but it was what we wanted. We were the victim and this is the way in which Samantha would not be in trial. Brenneman again: “Silver had made it clear to the District Attorney’s office that his client would not cooperate with the prosecution;” also “the victim’s parents had forced the plea agreement by serving notice that their daughter would refuse to testify”. Nobody ever said anything to the contrary – except Silver, who, in the nice tradition of Silver-Geimer team, is not averse to contradicting himself whenever lies seem convenient.
In 2010, King asks him a sly question. King apparently knows his business, and the question is right on the mark.
KING: You didn't want her to testify?
SILVER: Wasn't so much being testifying. It was the focus, her anonymity at the time.
Bullshit. What “anonymity” is he ever talking about, with the European press shouting her name from the rooftops, with herself constantly complaining of how traumatized she was by the media (not by Polanski, let me remind you once again) who came to school and people “taking pictures in our window”! Anonymity my ass. But he keeps playing this card (like he did in his “three-page letter”), because he obviously can’t state the real reason.
I do not blame him for this. One doesn’t expect a lawyer to say, “We know that our client’s allegations won’t stand questioning, and don’t want her to be exposed as a liar and a perjurer”. I do blame him, however, for twisting the facts and distorting the truth.
In the same 2010 interview, he perpetuates the lies that are already in wide circulation. “He provided her with an illegal narcotic,” he says. “He provided her with alcohol.” I am not sure Quaaludes, a prescription drug widely used at that time, can be called “illegal narcotic”, equating them with heroin or crack without any qualification; but what I am sure of is that using these “he provided her” lies is foul play. Neither alcohol or Quaaludes belonged to Polanski, and there’s big difference between “she took them of her own accord in his presence” and “he provided her”. But the worst is yet to come. Out of the blue, Silver blurts out: “It's rape by force.”
WTF? I realize I’m beginning to sound like Polanski at his worst (for lack of more serious shortcomings, his enemies love to censure his using obscenities), but seriously, WTF? What force? What should we do now – remind him of her medical examination, of her testimony where no “force” was ever mentioned, of her countless instances of insisting that he never hurt her, wasn’t “mean or forceful”? Or of her saying right here, in this very interview, “it was just sex”? What game are you playing, man? It is all the more puzzling since this antic comes right after King asking,
KING: If she doesn't protest, is it still rape?
Both Geimer and Silver swallow this “doesn’t protest” – after all, she just dismissed King’s question whether Polanski “got rough”, saying “No, no, he was just persuasive” - and Silver starts with a comparatively innocent “Oh, sure. It's rape because she's under
16,” apparently going to finally explain to the audience the difference between “statutory rape”, an unfortunate name for unlawful intercourse, which took place, and “forcible rape”, which never did… but then he conjures this “provided her” bit, and triumphantly crowns his speech with “rape by force”, a trick a lawyer just can’t do. There’s only one hope left – I took this from CNN transcripts page, maybe they omitted a “not” somewhere in this sentence? What’s a particle anyway? It would be better than to believe a lawyer may discard any idea of law when it doesn’t suit his purpose.
Though, of course, we’ve already seen the same.
And again, in 2009/10.