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Roman Polanski Acquitted of Defamation by French Court

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A French court docket acquitted filmmaker Roman Polanski on Tuesday of defaming a British actor whom he accused of mendacity after she alleged that he sexually assaulted her as a teen.

The case stems from a 2019 interview with Paris Match journal the place Polanski accused Charlotte Lewis of “a heinous lie” for alleging that he raped her within the Eighties when she was 16.

The Paris court docket’s ruling didn’t handle the reality of the rape allegation however targeted solely on whether or not the 90-year-old Polanski’s feedback within the interview constituted defamation towards Lewis. Polanski denied the costs.

Lewis stated she felt let down by the decision and would enchantment.

“I feel sad,” she stated. “For us, it’s not over.”

Polanski was not in court docket. His lawyer Delphine Meillet phoned him from the courtroom to announce the information, saying: “We won, Roman.”

Talking afterward to reporters, she stated the court docket acknowledged his proper to problem individuals who make accusations towards him. She famous that the decision got here on the opening day of the Cannes Movie Competition, calling it “a symbolic day.”

“The question that the court answered was whether you could defend yourself publicly when you are accused publicly. The answer is yes. You can challenge accusations, you can cast doubt on accusations,” the lawyer stated. “It’s a victory for the rights of the defense.”

Polanski, recognized for classics corresponding to Rosemary’s Child, Chinatown and The Pianist, had additionally instructed to Paris Match that Lewis was a poor liar and should have falsely accused him out of “frustration.”

Lewis first made public her accusations towards Polanski in 2010, alleging that “he sexually abused me in the worst possible way when I was just 16 years old,” referring to a 1983 incident in Paris throughout a casting session for his movie Pirates.

When her defamation go well with was heard in Paris in March, Lewis testified that she didn’t file go well with for rape towards Polanski in 2010 as a result of an excessive amount of time had handed for her allegations to be heard, the court docket famous Tuesday in a abstract of its ruling.

The filmmaker has confronted a number of different accusations of sexual assault that allegedly occurred over a number of a long time, together with a notable case from 1977 the place he was charged with the rape of a 13-year-old in the USA. He pleaded responsible to illegal sexual activity with a minor however fled to Europe in 1978 earlier than sentencing may happen.

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