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Interview With Samantha Geimer

Aired February 24, 2003 - 21:00   ET


LARRY KING, HOST: Tonight, it was the Hollywood sex crime that shocked America. Director Roman Polanski, whose beautiful wife Sharon Tate had been murdered by the Manson family, accused of raping a 13- year-old girl. He pled guilty to unlawful sex with a minor but fled before being sentenced for his crime and he's been a fugitive from U.S. justice for 25 years.
Now Polanski's victim speaks out in her first live primetime interview. Samantha Geimer is next on LARRY KING LIVE.

Later Samantha Geimer's attorney who has been her lawyer through all of this, Lawrence Silver, will be joining us and we'll be taking your phone calls.

Samantha wrote an op-ed piece in "The L.A. Times" this past weekend urging people to judge the movie "The Pianist" not the man when it comes to awards.

For example, yesterday in London, over the weekend, Roman Polanski and his latest film "The Pianist" won best director and best picture awards at both the British Academy Film Awards and France's Caesar Awards. "The Pianist" has been nominated for seven American Academy Awards including best director and best picture. And we'll talk about why you think he should be judged by that and not by other things. But thanks very much for coming.

SAMANTHA GEIMER: Thanks for having me.

KING: How did you first meet him?

GEIMER: I met him to do a photo shoot. So he had met my mother socially and asked to photograph me, I guess maybe he saw pictures of me or saw me.

KING: Was he a -- we're showing pictures of you young that he took. Was he also a photographer as well as a director?

GEIMER: I guess so.

KING: He wanted to take pictures of you?

GEIMER: He asked to photograph me for a French magazine, a French fashion magazine.

KING: What did you think of that? GEIMER: I thought it was a great opportunity. I wanted to be an actress. I was actively auditioning and did some commercials. It seemed look a really great, you know, boost to get...

KING: Living in L.A.?

GEIMER: Out in the valley.

KING: He knew your mother?

GEIMER: Just met her but didn't know her. Met her socially.

KING: Where he did first see you?

GEIMER: 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.

KING: How old was Roman at the time?

GEIMER: About 40. I'm not sure exactly how old.

KING: Was the picture shoot up set?

GEIMER: There was. We had two shoots.

KING: Shot where?

GEIMER: One was just up the street from my house, an outdoor kind of like, not remote, but wooded or grassy area. And then the second time we went was the more formal shoot, kind of a test shoot, the first time. And he took me to Jack Nicholson's house up in Mulholland Canyon.

KING: Is that where the...

GEIMER: The shoot and everything else was, yes.

KING: .. took place? All in one day?

GEIMER: All in one day.

KING: Did you know who he was?

GEIMER: I knew who he was, but not -- I wasn't really aware of his celebrity. I could tell from all the adults that he was a celebrity. But I don't think -- it kind of was over my head.

KING: Did you know about Sharon Tate? She must have died a few months prior to this, right?

GEIMER: I think it was a few years prior and I probably knew that, but honestly I think a lot of stuff I was unaware of and then, after all this happened, well, now I know all kinds of stuff.

KING: Well you're a beautiful young girl. Did you tell all your friends you were going to be...

GEIMER: I did.

KING: ... in pictures with Roman Polanski, the famous director who also obviously is also a photographer.

GEIMER: Right.

KING: So the first time he took pictures with you in the outdoor setup, nothing happened, untawdry?

GEIMER: He did make me a little uncomfortable. He asked me to change, you know. I kind of turned my back and stuff, but it felt a little funny, but I thought well, that's what models do and...

KING: Had you ever modeled?

GEIMER: No, not really. Just commercials and stuff. It was like a job for me. I was...

KING: You were in junior high school.

GEIMER: Yes, ninth grade.

KING: Ninth grade.


KING: All right, the second shoot was how soon after the first?

GEIMER: I think a couple of weeks.

KING: And that was at Jack Nicholson's house?

GEIMER: And that's where we went up to Jack Nicholson's house.

KING: In your own words, Samantha, what happened?

GEIMER: Well, I 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...

KING: How'd you get there?

GEIMER: ... I was already in the car. We drove up in his car...

KING: He picked you up?

GEIMER: Picked me up at my house, we picked some clothing and stuff...

KING: Your father know him, by the way?

GEIMER: No, my father lived in Pennsylvania. He was -- I didn't, you know -- he wasn't around.

KING: Did you have brothers and sisters?

GEIMER: I have a sister.

KING: A sister. So you go alone in his car. What happened? Anything happen in the drive up?

GEIMER: We were just talking. It is kind of a long drive. I was feeling a little more at ease and he seemed a little more pleasant than the first time. So it didn't take long for me to get comfortable with him.

I wasn't having any, you know, feelings like, you know, something wasn't right. I felt pretty good about it. We were going up there and we were doing the pictures and different outfits and different locations and stuff, and, you know, he was quite nice and seemed like it was going to be fine.

KING: So now we're at March 10, 1977.

GEIMER: Right.

KING: What happened? What time of day was this?

GEIMER: We went up in the early afternoon but ended up staying until after dark.

KING: OK. Did the picture shoot developed? Did you start to take pictures?

GEIMER: Excuse me?

KING: Did pictures -- I mean did he have a camera?

GEIMER: Oh, right, we took pictures all day. He took many, many pictures of all different rooms, different outfits, inside, outside. It was like a regular photo shoot.

KING: When, Samantha, when did what happen happen?

GEIMER: Well, at the end of the evening after it got later, and during the...

KING: Did you have dinner?

GEIMER: No, we didn't have dinner but during the course of this I was posing with some champagne glasses and did drink champagne.

KING: At age 13?

GEIMER: Yes, thinking that was a very cool thing to do. So and maybe that's why I was feeling a little more comfortable. So it got late towards the evening and then he went to take some pictures in the hot tub, you know, real pretty looking hot tub outside. So we...

KING: Was any one there but you and him?

GEIMER: Just he and I, and no one else.

KING: No assistant photographer? No lighting person?

GEIMER: There was some kind of housekeeper or somebody who left. So then we were alone.

KING: So there's no lighting person?


KING: Because usually with professional photography...

GEIMER: It was much more casual than that. I didn't know what to expect. It all seemed like it was going fine.

KING: Did you do the hot tub scene?

GEIMER: So we did the hot tub.

KING: You were in a bathing suit?

GEIMER: No, I wasn't. I was in there up to here, but topless but covered up. I was just assuming this was for a European magazine, I know standards there are a little bit different.

KING: You're pretty hip? (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

GEIMER: I thought I was, I guess I wasn't.

KING: You were a virgin?

GEIMER: I just figured I wasn't -- no, I wasn't.

KING: You were not a virgin?

GEIMER: No, I had a boyfriend for quite some months before that.

KING: So you had had sex before?

GEIMER: And embarrassing as it is, I'll tell you, yes, we did it once. So that was about as close as you can get to being a virgin but just one step away.

KING: So what happened?

GEIMER: So that was even still fine and I just -- I didn't think anything -- I assumed if something was showing, it would be cropped out and be appropriate because this was going to be for a magazine and, you know it must be the way things are done. But then he got in the hot tub and that's...

KING: What was he wearing?

GEIMER: We were pretty much done photographing. I guess shorts or something. I don't remember.

KING: What'd you say?

GEIMER: I said -- well that's when I realized that something was wrong. This doesn't feel right anymore. So I told him that I needed to get out of the hot tub and that he needed to take me home because the steam was giving me an asthma attack. I just made it up.

KING: You made it up?


KING: But to get out you would have -- he would have had to seen you topless?

GEIMER: 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.

KING: OK, so you -- what happened?

GEIMER: So I'm feigning my asthma attack, you know, I got out, put a towel on and everything. We walked in the house. And I was going, you know, I really don't feel good, I'm having trouble breathing. I don't remember exactly what I said.

KING: But you said drive me home?

GEIMER: And I was like, yes, I need to go home because I'm not feeling well. And then that progressed to, you know, eventually why don't you come in here an lay down into a very dark room and that's when I really realized, you know, what his intentions were.

KING: Did he forcibly rape you?

GEIMER: 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.

I was just scared and after giving some resistance figured, well, I guess I'll get to go home after this.

KING: So you completed the sexual act.

GEIMER: Right.

KING: It was just straight sex, nothing else?

GEIMER: It was all kinds of...

KING: Did you ask you to do other things?

GEIMER: He did things and I didn't do anything.

KING: So he did but you didn't.

GEIMER: Right.

KING: But then did you get dressed, he did drive you home?

GEIMER: I got dressed, he drove me home.

KING: What was said in the car?

GEIMER: He asked me -- I was crying when he came back to the car. I went to the car. He went in to speak to -- I think Anjelica Huston came home and was quite perturbed...

KING: She was with Jack at the time?

GEIMER: ... to find him there, especially with me.

KING: She saw you?

GEIMER: Real quick because I just straight to the front door, hi, out...

KING: Waited in the car?

GEIMER: And then so I was kind of crying a little bit because I was upset, I was becoming more -- I was intoxicated.

So he asked that, you know, you shouldn't tell your mom. We should keep this secret and we really didn't chat on the way home. We just drove back to my house with not a lot being said.

KING: We will continue this incredible story right after this.


ROMAN POLANSKI, DIRECTOR: Nothing I can tell you except that I'm innocent.



KING: By the way, the still pictures that we have shown you for the benefit of our viewers were taken several days before -- they were not the pictures taken the day of the statutory rape, right?

GEIMER: I think those were the first shoot. Yes, first shoot.

KING: Yes, first shoot, it's got to be experimental shoot. Right. Now you get home. Did you tell your mother?


KING: You just kept it in?

GEIMER: Well, what happened when I got home is he had brought along slides of the first photo shoot, so I just went home and went straight into my room, and mom told me later she was kind of wondering why my hair was damp. And so I went into my room and missed everything else that happened, but what did happen is he showed them slides from the first shoot that showed me topless, and they were -- their jaws dropped and they're shocked and the dog peed over the floor, and I missed all that. So I just went to my room.

KING: That was your mother and who, your sister?

GEIMER: My mother, her boyfriend and my sister who were the ones who were home.

KING: So when do you -- so your mother is upset that you took topless pictures.

GEIMER: Right.

KING: She's mad at you?

GEIMER: No, she didn't say anything, no one said anything to me about that. Because I was just still in my room. I hadn't come out. They were kind of mulling through that, figuring out what to do between themselves, I guess.

KING: When did you decide to tell her?

GEIMER: I didn't tell her. I actually later that night I called my then -- who is now my ex-boyfriend, and...

KING: How old was he?

GEIMER: He was 17, and I was almost 14.

KING: You told him what happened?

GEIMER: I told him what happened and my sister overheard me because she happened to be outside my room, and then told my mom.

KING: Did you tell your boyfriend that it was forced?

GEIMER: Yes, yes.

KING: OK. So your sister tells your mother. So your mother now runs into you, right?

GEIMER: Right. Well, she probably thought about it for a minute, and then -- and then came in and asked me if it was true, and asked me what happened. And then tried to -- everyone was trying to figure out what to do.

KING: So the three of you and the boyfriend -- your mother's boyfriend discussed this.

GEIMER: I sat in my room and I let those guys all...

KING: They discussed it. GEIMER: They were just -- you know, they were hysterical.

KING: Who decided to take action?

GEIMER: After a little bit of discussion and some phone calls...

KING: This is now the same night?

GEIMER: This is, you know, a half hour later, my mom called the police.

KING: And said?

GEIMER: And said, you know, my daughter has been raped. And send the police over.

KING: And they came over.

GEIMER: And then they came to my house.

KING: And they questioned -- you gave them a full thing...

GEIMER: And then, you know, reluctantly because I wasn't really happy about discussing it then or ever since, he (ph) told them what had happened, they questioned me like a victim, and I told them my story and they took me to the hospital.

KING: Examined you?


KING: So they proved that there was sexual...

GEIMER: I think so, yes.

KING: You did tell them -- all you did was say no, that it wasn't a struggle of any type, right? You told them the truth.

GEIMER: Yes, I told them the truth. I don't know, I can't remember exactly what they asked me, and frankly I didn't think they believed me.

KING: Really?

GEIMER: I could be wrong. I don't know who they are, you know, anymore, but I was getting the definite feeling that they didn't believe what I was saying.

KING: Then who filed the charges?

GEIMER: Well, the state, I guess.

KING: So the police had to take it to the state, right?

GEIMER: Right.

KING: When did the charges get filed? How long after you were questioned and went to the hospital did they file the charges?

GEIMER: I don't know. It all happened pretty fast, though.

KING: All hell breaks loose?

GEIMER: I mean, it just seemed like the next morning, everything was just crazy.

KING: And how did you react to all of that?

GEIMER: Oh, it's horrible. I was terrified.

KING: Was your name printed?

GEIMER: No, thanks to my attorney.

KING: Who we'll meet in a couple of minutes.

GEIMER: He convinced the people who did want to print it...

KING: Did your mother get -- your mother got your attorney for you?

GEIMER: Actually, my dad found my attorney, because he knew him from Pennsylvania.

KING: Was he a little ticked, your father?

GEIMER: Yes, yes, he was, you know, upset with -- just upset. He was upset I ever wanted to be an actress to begin with so...

KING: OK. So the whole thing. But your name wasn't printed?


KING: Ever printed?

GEIMER: Not until years later -- I guess not until I said it was all right, I think.

KING: So you were the unknown girl.

GEIMER: Right. Jane Doe.

KING: The pictures weren't printed?

GEIMER: The pictures he took? No, those were confiscated by the police.

KING: There was no "Enquirer" or "Star" then.

GEIMER: No, not back then.

KING: Nobody would have paid 50,000, 100,000 to get those pictures. GEIMER: I guess probably, but they were getting plenty of pictures sneaking around out front of my house and coming to my school and taking pictures of me with long angled lenses.

KING: And he denied it, right?

GEIMER: He denied it.

KING: Some in the media, as we understand it, attacked you, and your mother.

GEIMER: Right.

KING: They thought your mother was a show business kind of mother and was looking...

GEIMER: Well, she was an actress. No one believed us. I don't remember anybody saying anything but that we were lying and we had made it up, and that's all that was said.

KING: So the tendency of most people was to believe Polanski, who denied it.

GEIMER: Right.

KING: When did that mood change?

GEIMER: Years later, maybe 10 years later. Then there was a big gap in the publicity, and then years later, well, now people are a lot more sympathetic about this, I guess.

KING: They were defensive of Polanski at the time of the trial even?


KING: How soon after did he come to trial?

GEIMER: We never went to trial.

KING: Well, there was a preliminary hearing.

GEIMER: There were some hearings and stuff. You know, Larry would be able to answer that, but it all was very close together. It just seemed to all happen so fast.

KING: We'll be right back with some more moments with Samantha and then we'll be joined by her attorney, Lawrence Silver. And we'll be including your phone calls. Don't go away.



JACK NICHOLSON, ACTOR: Where did you get the midget?

POLANKSI: You know what happens to nosy fellows? No? Wanna guess?


KING: That was the famous nose scene from "Chinatown." Roman Polanski hitting Jack Nicholson. Roman Polanski directed that historic film. No question the greatness as a director.

Now, when the trial -- there was no trial. He was charged, I want to get this right -- he was charged with felony counts and he was going to plead guilty to at least six felony child charges, unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor being one of them. He got 42 days at Chino State Prison undergoing psychiatric evaluation, right? And there was some sort of plea bargain, right?

GEIMER: There was a plea bargain reached.

KING: And then he was about to be sentenced off that plea bargain, right?

GEIMER: Right.

KING: And what had the prosecution recommended? I mean, there was a plea bargain...

GEIMER: I know that everyone agreed on the plea bargain.

KING: So he would have to do a certain amount of time.

GEIMER: It was going to be time served. He was to be supposed done, time served with the 42 days.

KING: And why did he flee?

GEIMER: Because the judge, the night before the hearing or the day before changed his mind and told everyone I'm getting a lot of pressure, I'm not going to do it, I'm going to put him back in jail and my attorney, when he comes on, he can explain to you the details of that.

It is very interesting but quite a shock to everybody what happened.

KING: We'll get the attorney to explain that.

Were you shocked that he fled?

GEIMER: Not when I understood what had happened. You know, it was like you go from you're not going to go to jail to I think maybe I'll give you, Maybe, 50 years. And I was actually relieved when he left because that kind of ended it for me.

KING: Do you know how he got out of the country, again?

GEIMER: He ran off to the airport or something.

KING: Didn't he have a passport? GEIMER: He must have.

KING: Usually they remove your passport.

GEIMER: I guess they didn't. But he left his car at the airport and he took off and he was scared.

KING: All right. Why did you write the article in "The L.A. Times" saying, Don't judge him on that when you're judging the film?

GEIMER: Since he's been nominated and the film is so popular...

KING: It won in Britain yesterday...

GEIMER: I heard that.

KING: ...and France.

GEIMER: Whenever -- my phone will start to ring when things like this happen. So everybody wanted to ask me, you know, do you think he should be allowed to set of award after what he did? So I'm just answering the questions everybody is asking.

KING: And your answer is?

GEIMER: I don't think that the movie has anything to do with me or what he did to me. A lot of people worked on that movie besides him.

KING: So you're saying to the Academy, if you think it is the best picture. You're not telling them how to vote...

GEIMER: I haven't seen it, so...

KING: If you think it's the best picture, vote for it.

GEIMER: Right.

KING: Don't hold -- and if you think he's the best director, vote for him.

GEIMER: Right.

KING: But you wouldn't want him to get back in the country to get the award? He can't come back, can he?

GEIMER: He can't come back, you know, so no, it will probably be a poor choice.

KING: What comes of your life after this?

GEIMER: The next year was really hard for me.

KING: You break up with your boyfriend?

GEIMER: That happened, actually, just before. But, you know, I went through high school and crazy teenage years.

KING: Now, no one knew it was you, right? Except...

GEIMER: Everybody knew at me because every body at school -- every body knew. I lived in Woodland Hills. Everybody knew.

KING: So the name wasn't printed, though.

GEIMER: But no, but just people knew it was me who knew me.

KING: Did you date? Did you lead a regular life? Could you...

GEIMER: Yes, I got back with the same boyfriend for awhile, got married I was 19, briefly. That's where my oldest son, you know, came from and later I met my husband and now we've been together 15 years.

KING: You live in Hawaii.

GEIMER: Live in Hawaii, have two other sons and, you know, just went on with my life because I don't really ever think about this until it comes up, you know? It is not really something to worry about.

KING: Why have you not seen the movie?

GEIMER: It's not my kind of movie, honestly.

KING: About the Holocaust and....

GEIMER: Yes, I don't go for dramas. I'm more action, adventure, comedy so, you know, it is probably I just wouldn't see. That's just personal taste. That has nothing to do with him.

KING: When Roman Polanski comes on television or something or he's done a film in the preceding years, did you pay any interest?

GEIMER: Not really. I mean, it's just -- he's just a stranger to me. I met him twice, three times, 25 years ago and I just feel, you know, there is no connection, you know, there is this connection that seems to never go away. But on the other hand, his life really has nothing to do with my life.

KING: In retrospect, would you have been upset at the plea bargain to time served? In other words, Roman Polanski goes free after 45 days.

GEIMER: We were -- every one was comfortable with that. That's what we wanted.

KING: Your mother was happy about that?

GEIMER: Yes. I never even asked for him to be put in jail.

KING: Your father was with it?

GEIMER: Well, I don't know about that, although I didn't talk to him about it.

KING: You didn't think he deserved more time in jail?

GEIMER: No and the publicity was so traumatic and so horrible that, I mean, his punishment was secondary to just getting this whole thing to stop. I mean, it was crazy. There was people outside my house and, you know, it was horrible.

KING: 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...

GEIMER: Right. So, I mean, that's his form of punishment in itself. I think everyone finding out about it when you're a celebrity that's a high price to pay in itself.

KING: When you think back, he knew you were 13?

GEIMER: Yes, he did. I was almost 14, but I was 13. I think he knew how old I was.

KING: What do you think happened? Why do you think he did this?

GEIMER: I just think he used to like really young girls and...

KING: You weren't the first?

GEIMER: I don't -- you know, I don't know. No one else has ever spoken up and said anything. So I have to assume that it's just me. But I think he was just using really bad judgment and, you know, just went further than he should go. I'm sure....

KING: If you sister hadn't overheard the conversation with your boyfriend, would we have ever heard the story?

GEIMER: No, I never would have told my mom.

KING: So it was just happened that if she didn't listen, her -- the mere fate of her listening changed lives that night drastically.

GEIMER: She just happened to hear.

KING: That judge still living?

GEIMER: No, he's not.

KING: We're going take a break and when we come back we'll be joined by the attorney for Samantha Geimer, Lawrence Silver, and we'll be including your phone calls.

You're watching LARRY KING LIVE. We'll be right back.


DOUGLAS DALTON, POLANSKI ATTORNEY: He did call me this morning at my home and he told me he would not be here. I asked him to call me again because I wanted to discuss this with him further and a chance to persuade him to return. He said he would call me again.

QUESTION: Is there a warrant out for his arrest?

DALTON: There's a bench warrant that was issued by the judge.

QUESTION: What does that mean?

QUESTION: Is out of the country?

DALTON: I can't discuss that.

QUESTION: You indicated you thought he might be.

DALTON: I indicated in court that I do not believe he is in the United States.



KING: We'll be going to calls shortly. We are talking with Samantha Geimer, the victim in the 1977 Roman Polanski statutory rape case who wrote the (UNINTELLIGIBLE) piece in the "L.A. Times" yesterday saying, if you're going to vote, vote on the film on its merits and if -- he's the best director vote him best director, don't take into consideration what he did personally years ago to her.

We're now joined by Lawrence Silver, the attorney for Samantha Geimer.

Explain this to me, Larry, you were her attorney then.


KING: Were you part of the plea bargaining?

SILVER: Larry, today you see Samantha and she's fine, robust, healthy woman. But at age 13, and this was before O.J., there was just the intense publicity. This was -- this courthouse, with cross examination about these sort of delicate events was not the place for a recovering young girl.

KING: So, she never appeared in court?

SILVER: No. Well before the grand jury but never in court. And, you know, the Santa Monica courthouse has five entrances and most news channel had one camera crew at each entrance to try to get a picture.

KING: It would have been a circus?

SILVER: It was a circus. It was a circus.

My job, I thought, was to try to keep her out of the courtroom, try to keep her to getting back to her life.

KING: You did that?

SILVER: And -- yes, I think we did.

KING: Were you shocked what the judge did?

What did the judge do, tell us?

SILVER: Well, what the judge did was frankly outrageous. 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. Samantha would be -- her name would not be exposed at the time. And she would be allowed to recover.

And the plea was proposed to the judge, the judge approved it. And then frankly the day before he called us in the chambers and said he was getting a great deal of pressure and a great deal -- he was concerned about criticism of him in the press. And he was going to sentence Polanski rather than to time served, which is what we agreed to, to 50 years. That's a long -- big difference. And...

KING: Told you that.

SILVER: Yes, told us that. And he Told us other things. He directed Mr. Dalton, Polanski's lawyer, to say certain things during court. He directed the prosecutor, Mr. Guncin (ph), to say certain things the next day. Directed me to do things. This is unheard of.

KING: Inviting him to flee?

SILVER: I don't know about that.


SILVER: Well, I don't know about inviting him to flee. But he also said that he might consider reducing it if Polanski would self- deport himself. This a state court judge, he has no jurisdiction over immigration, naturalization matters. So this change of position by the judge excused Polanski. And there was an agreement. An agreement that was a good agreement. It addressed all of the interests of the parties and frankly I still think it ought to be enforce.

KING: What happens if he comes back now?

SILVER: Well, my view is that the district attorney ought to honor the agreements. Sure Samantha is different today, but there was a public interest at time in protecting her. I think the -- I think that the agreement ought to be enforced. I think that in terms of fleeing, I think frankly, we all understand why that happened.

KING: Let's take the other side though. You do this to a 13- year-old girl, you deserve more than 45 days.

SILVER: There is no question that Mr. Polanski could have been charged and was charged with more serious matters. But, frankly there was -- you have to balance, it seems to me, the interests of any further harm. And it was 25 years ago. Probably the most celebrated case before O.J..

KING: Could authorities announce now we'll abide by it, come home?

SILVER: I would hope that they would.

KING: And where does it stand now?

Does his lawyer have to file that motion?

SILVER: Well as far I understand, there's been -- Mr. Polanski has not indicated any interest in coming back and there is no activity.

KING: Was he sentenced in absentia?


KING: Never sentenced?


KING: Therefore guilty plea is where now?

SILVER: He has pleaded guilty to one misdemeanor count. This is the unlawful sexual intercourse. There is a plea agreement that was approved by all the parties including the judge.

KING: So, where does it stand in the courts now?

SILVER: Well, it is waiting his return.

KING: What do you want to happen, Samantha?

GEIMER: I would like to see him be able to resolve it, his legal problems.

KING: You would like to see him come back to the United States?

SILVER: Come back or not, but just not be a fugitive, and you know, resolve his legal problems as they should have been.

KING: Do you agree Samantha's article, judge the picture as the picture?

SILVER: Well, I think so. Frankly, the phone was quiet for years. When something happens to Polanski, her and my phone rings. It seems if you want to allow this victim to live her life and frankly not appear on LARRY KING LIVE or other places, that if we could get the matter resolved, people would pay attention to other things and not pay attention to this matter.

KING: Let's include some phone calls. Bakersfield, California, the attorney is Lawrence Silver, and he's been her attorney all along and Samantha Geimer.


CALLER: Yes, I would like to know why the U.S. never extradited this guy. I don't understand. I don't understand this.

KING: Well, Lawrence tried to explain.

They never extradited him why?

SILVER: There is no agreement by France to extradite in matters of unlawful sexual intercourse.

KING: So, it would have to be murder or something, right?

SILVER: It wasn't.

KING: They're pointing out, this -- both parties here, Samantha and her attorney wanted him to only have time served, because they didn't want her to face the horror of having to go to court and that kind of thing. So that was your wish.

Montreal, hello.

CALLER: Hi, Samantha. I was wondering whatever happened to the pictures that Roman took of you and if you've ever seen them, and if not, if you're curious to ever see them?

GEIMER: Yes, I've seen them. And we have them. You saw some of them earlier at the beginning...

KING: Those were pictures taken not that night. Where the pictures he took that day.

GEIMER: He keeps them.

KING: You keep them?

SILVER: Yes, I have them.

KING: Have you been offered money for these pictures?

SILVER: They're not for sale.

KING: OK. Is that your conclusion too?


KING: I know Lawrence, he's a lawyer.

New York City, hello.

CALLER: Hello, good evening. Larry, I just wanted to say, love your show. KING: Thank you.

CALLER: Samantha, I want to say it is very noble and generous of you to say that the film should be judged on its own merits. I've seen the film and I think it is a great picture. The cinematography and editing is amazing.

But my question for you is, how have you resolved your feelings about what happened for yourself and how do you feel about Roman Polanski as a man and what he did to you 25 years ago?

GEIMER: Well, I got over it a long time ago. I mean, it's been a long time. And I wasn't prepared to carry a lot of bad feelings with me and further damage my life and continue, you know, the -- just the trauma of all of it. And today, I mean, I don't know him. He's a stranger to me. I'm not going to tell you he's a nice guy or he's not but...

KING: He wouldn't recognize you.

GEIMER: Well, he probably would now.

KING: He's probably watching.

SILVER: But, I have no hard feelings, no sympathy, I don't know him. You know, I'm okay so...

KING: Didn't you as an attorney on the other side here want some sort of pound of flesh in a sense?

SILVER: If I had to give up her pound of flesh to get his pound of flesh that wouldn't have been a very good trade, I don't think.

KING: Toronto, hello.

CALLER: Yes. I was wondering what -- how a mother rationalizes sending a daughter off in a car with someone that may or may not like to have sex with young girls? She herself is an actress. He's a director. It looked like maybe there was an agenda there.

How do you feel about that?

GEIMER: That's just totally untrue. We trusted him. We had no reason not to. He was a celebrity. No one had any idea that anything like this would happen and there is no reason we would have thought that.

SILVER: I think also, Samantha's mom thought that a girlfriend was going to go with them.

GEIMER: That's true.

SILVER: And until later that evening, she really didn't know.

KING: She thought a girlfriend went with her.

SILVER: That's correct.

KING: How did he stop the girlfriend from going?

GEIMER: He said, No, I don't think that's a good idea outside by the car after my mom went inside.

KING: So, the girlfriend left.

GEIMER: The girlfriend left. My mom didn't realize I was alone.

KING: Modesto, California, hello.

CALLER: Good evening, Larry. During the plea bargaining time had Roman Polanski ever expressed remorse for what he had done to Samantha and is he still arrestable or is the statute of limitations expired?

KING: Lawrence.

SILVER: He expressed remorse at hearing in which he pleaded guilty to the one count of unlawful sexual intercourse. And statute of limitations on anything else is long gone.

KING: We'll be back with our -- more moments with Samantha Geimer, her attorney Lawrence Silver and your phone calls. Don't go away.


KING: Lawrence Silver, there is something I don't understand. If the community sort of liked Roman Polanski at the time, if the mother was held in low regard, as was the daughter, why did -- where was the judge getting the political pressure from to hang Polanski?

SILVER: Well, I think one of the things that happened the day before the sentencing when the whole thing blew up, frankly, was we were asked to come to chambers and as we were sitting down, the judge took a phone call from -- and he identified it was -- the secretary identified it was Bill Farr (ph) from "The L.A. Times."

And there were his conversation with Farr (ph) said, no, no, I'm going to to do what I told you to do, you're going to make your deadline. I'm going to tell them right now. And I think that there was some elements, if you will, that made the judge believe that having him serve time, that time served was not adequate.

There was -- there was a reason, I think, in terms of Polanski could have been held up to 90 days. He only served for the psychiatric examination 42 or 43 days. But I think the judge wanted Polanski, for whatever reason, to be deported. He didn't want him in the United States. Unfortunately, he didn't have the power to do that. He was a state court judge. And so I think what he was going to do is to sentence him to 50 years, and then sometime later reduce the sentence if he agreed to voluntarily deport himself and never return to the United States.

KING: That was not the wide held public opinion at the time.

SILVER: No. The wide held public opinion was that something was wrong with Samantha and that something was wrong with her mother.

KING: So the judge had no pressures in that regard.

SILVER: Well, I don't think so. For some reason he perceived that he was...

KING: What was his name?

SILVER: Judge Rittenband (ph).

KING: La Grange, Georgia. Hello.

CALLER: Hello.


CALLER: Samantha, I think what you've been through, you've grown to be a very nice lady with a soft heart.

GEIMER: Thank you.

CALLER: If he came back now and you're grown, would you testify against him?

GEIMER: I would hope I wouldn't have to. I'm not quite sure how that works.

KING: There is nothing he can be charged with.

SILVER: Right. All the charges -- the only thing is the guilty plea to the unlawful sexual intercourse. There wouldn't be a trial.

KING: So if he came back tonight in Los Angeles, what would happen to him? He's at the airport. Would somebody grab him?

SILVER: I would think so.

KING: And for what? Bring him into the plea agreement? Or the judge never -- the judge is dead and the judge never sentenced him. So he is a non-sentenced person.

SILVER: He is a non-sentenced person. There is a warrant out for his arrest for being a fugitive. And he is subject to being arrested and receiving the sentence that he would have or should have gotten 25 years ago.

KING: So the judge entered that somewhere into the record?

SILVER: No, no, no, no. The case -- when the judge dies, the case has been assigned to a new judge. Right now it is sitting, I believe, with the presiding criminal court judge waiting to be reassigned.

KING: What did the judge say when Polanski fled?

SILVER: I wasn't there. But the judge in an astounding thing held a press conference. I never heard of a judge holding a press conference. And he said he was glad that Polanski left. It was the result he wanted. He wanted him out of the country.

KING: San Diego, hello.

CALLER: Hi, Larry.


CALLER: I just wanted to ask a quick question of Samantha. Why didn't your mother go along when you went to Jack Nicholson's house with Roman Polanski as the responsible parent, since you were a minor? And also, does she have any regrets at this point in time feeling that she may have been able to prevent this whole incident from taking place?

KING: Good question. Your mother lives with you now?

GEIMER: My mother is -- I mean, she gets the worst rap. Everybody wants to lay it all on her. And Polanski said he didn't want her to go. He thought it would make me uncomfortable.

KING: But she could have said, I insist on it.

GEIMER: There didn't seem to be any reason for her to go. I mean, he was just taking pictures, and nobody had any idea anything like this would ever happen. And I mean, she's never gotten over it. She feels terrible.

KING: San Francisco, hello.

CALLER: Hi, Larry.


CALLER: I wanted to ask the attorney about Anjelica Huston's testimony, and if she testified against Roman Polanski, and if so how significant that was?

SILVER: Anjelica Huston was not called as a witness, as far as I know.

KING: And there was no testimony, right? Or there could have been grand jury testimony.

SILVER: I don't believe she was called before the grand jury.

KING: There was a grand jury indictment, right?

SILVER: I believe so, yes.

KING: Because your client testified -- or you testified.

GEIMER: Right.

KING: What was that like for you?

GEIMER: That was also very scary. I didn't want to do that. I didn't want to talk to anybody or tell anyone.

KING: You were reluctant.

GEIMER: I mean, I just felt forced to continually tell this story. I was just so angry about it. It was like wasn't what happened bad enough, now we've got to go through it every single day of my life.

KING: Tampa, Florida, hello.

CALLER: Yes, Larry, my question for Samantha and her lawyer is, do you feel enough is being done when it comes to laws protecting children from predators? And also, have you been approached by victims' rights groups in order to maybe perhaps stand out and change some of these laws such as extradition?

KING: Samantha.

GEIMER: No, I haven't been approached by anybody in any ways like that.

KING: What do you think about the laws?

GEIMER: I think they're much stronger now. I mean, I don't know for sure, but it seems to me people pay a lot more attention to this kind of thing, and it certainly -- everyone is much more aware that this happens.

KING: Date rape was not a term then.

GEIMER: This was unheard of, unspoken about. This was -- no one ever talked about things like this.

KING: What about extradition laws?

SILVER: Well, that requires a treaty between France and the United States.

KING: Do you think the United States should press for a treaty that allows you to bring back someone who is, let's say, charged with a sexual crime?

SILVER: Well, they have such a treaty with other countries. I've been told that France is not particularly interested in engaging in a treaty with the United States on these and some other crimes. A lot of countries, for example, will not extradite to the United States because we have capital punishment. Others will not -- or they'll extradite only if capital punishment is waived. I think that recently happened.

KING: Would you -- should there be extradition? Should Roman Polanski have been extradited, if you could have waived the wand?

SILVER: Well, since I have a somewhat of an understanding, being in that room, when three experienced lawyers who know what a plea bargain is about, and we thought we could trust the judge, turns it around -- I mean, I must tell you that what happened that day, both to Polanski and to some extent the American judicial system, I really think it was a shameful day. And I'm not that upset nor surprised that he left.

KING: We'll be back with our remaining moments with Samantha Geimer and her attorney, Lawrence Silver. Don't go away.


KING: We'll get in a few more calls. To Prince George, British Columbia, hello.

CALLER: Hi, Larry.

I was just wondering, if Samantha had a daughter and it happened to her, what option would she take?

KING: She has a daughter.

GEIMER: No, I have three sons.

KING: Oh, three son. I'm sorry.

GEIMER: And, I mean, if the exact same thing happened?

KING: Yes.

GEIMER: I might consider not calling the police after everything the press and the police and the judge put me through.

KING: New Portland, Oregon, hello.

CALLER: Yes, hello.

Hi, Sam. I have two questions for you. One is how has this changed the direction of your life? I mean, this happened to you as a very young girl. So what did this create in your life and on to the present as a mother?

And the second question is have you received any remuneration for all this chaos that has created in your life?

GEIMER: Well, it changed the direction of my life because I wanted to be an actress and I just felt that was impossible after this occurred.

This would overshadow anything I ever did as far as, you know, the entertainment industry. Plus I got a distaste for the industry, getting a quick lesson on what a tough business it is.

And what was the second question? I'm sorry. KING: Getting money.

GEIMER: We -- there was a civil suit but that's confidential and I'm not allowed to talk about it.

KING: Oh, it was settled? So there was a settlement, right Lawrence?

SILVER: There was a settlement. This was long after the flight.

KING: To West Palm Beach, Florida, hello.

CALLER: Hello. My question is what were the results of Roman Polanski's psychiatric examination?

KING: Good question. Lawrence?

SILVER: As far as I understand that the psychiatric examination was consistent with a plea of probation -- or probation and no for the psychiatric supervision.

KING: Meaning he was...

SILVER: He was OK.

KING: Deemed OK?

SILVER: In terms of psychiatric issues, yes.

KING: You told me during the break the judge wanted to have Samantha psychiatricly examined?

SILVER: Yes, there was...

KING: For what reason?

SILVER: Well, there was a motion to have her examined by a psychiatrist and the judge was about to order it until I intervened to determine whether or not this was a fantasy to determine whether or not she was psychiatricly well balanced. And my view was, Come on, judge, this is a victim to a crime. You shouldn't be ordering that she undergo psychiatric examination. And I don't think you can do that.

And ultimately the judge decided not to do that. He was also going to release her name to the press and...

KING: Really?

SILVER: I -- yes, "The L.A. Times" wouldn't publish it, most newspapers wouldn't publish her name. But the judge was about to and then I...

KING: For what reason?

SILVER: I don't know what the reason was. But he was about to do that and I reminded him of the law that -- had Samantha been charged with a crime, as a juvenile, the court -- the law would not allow the disclosure of her name. She's a victim, your honor. Certainly you're not going to treat a victim worse than you would somebody charged with a crime.

And I remember his eyes while I made that argument and he sort of shook his head and said, I'm not going to release the name.

KING: Maybe it's because of the years, but neither of you feel particularly angry at Roman Polanski.

GEIMER: No. Not anymore. Not even then. I mean, it just...


GEIMER: Well, yes, I was angry because he was the cause of the publicity and the publicity was the worst thing that ever happened to me.

KING: But not angry that he had sex with you.

GEIMER: The publicity was so terrible, that -- and so immediate that it just overshadowed everything that happened that night.

KING: What's your mother's feelings?

GEIMER: She's, you know -- he feels horrible and guilty and is traumatized and will probably never get over it, you know, ever.

KING: And you feel you understand the mother, right, Lawrence?

SILVER: I think so. I think so. She made a choice at the time. Roman Polanski was a highly respected actor as well as director. He was well regarded in this community, just lost his wife to a murder. There was no really reason at the time -- at least that she was aware of, to suspect he might engage in inappropriate behavior.

KING: What does your husband do, Samatha?

GEIMER: He's an operations manager at State. We both work at the same place.

KING: You both work together. And you children -- one boy -- we have a grown boy, right?

GEIMER: I have a 20-year-old, a 14-year-old and a 10-year-old.

KING: And every one -- they're happy?

GEIMER: Yes, we're doing great. My kids are fine.

KING: Your mother lives right with you?

GEIMER: We all live in Hawaii and we all are very happy there and every thing has gone OK.

KING: And your father passed on?

GEIMER: He passed on almost 10 years ago, I think.

KING: You think Roman is ever going to come back, Lawrence?

SILVER: I don't know. It would be nice to end it all and to give Samantha sort of peace of mind. And it won't happen until, I think, Polanski's criminal matters are resolved. It would be in Samantha's best interests, I think, if it would happen that way.

KING: Thank you, both, very much.

GEIMER: Thank you for having us.

KING: Samantha Geimer, Lawrence Silver. We'll be back in a couple of minutes to tell you about tomorrow night's show.

Don't go away.


KING: Laci Peterson is still missing and her brother, Brent, will join the panel tomorrow night on LARRY KING LIVE.


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