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CNN Larry King Live
Interview with Samantha Geimer
Aired October 07, 2010 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
LARRY KING, HOST: Tonight, exclusive, Roman Polanski's accuser breaks her silence. Her first interview since his arrest in Switzerland. And what may be her last comments ever about the rape scandal still making headlines three decades after the case first shocked the world. Samantha Geimer is here, tells us in her own words what really happened when she was 13, and what she wants Polanski to do now, and if she'd ever testify against the man who's been a fugitive from justice for over 30 years. It's next on LARRY KING LIVE.
Good evening. Samantha Geimer is kind enough to join us about a case that's more than 30 years old, but still manages to make news. And she's with us exclusively tonight. Larry Silver is her attorney. He's also aboard.
It caused a sensation rather when it came to light all those years ago. Roman Polanski, the acclaimed director, fresh off a triumph with "Chinatown," had been the tragic deathly scene of Sharon Tate. Murdered by members of the Manson family in 1969. And here is what brought us to today. Watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KING: In March of 1977, Roman Polanski was arrested for raping then 13-year-old Samantha Geimer at the home of Jack Nicholson. The director was also accused of drugging her. In a deal with the state, the director agreed to plead guilty to unlawful sexual intercourse or statutory rape. Other charges were dropped. Polanski spent 42 days in prison as part of a psychiatric evaluation ordered by the court. The day before he was scheduled to be sentenced, Polanski fled the United States for France, where he is protected from extradition. That was back in February of 1978.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I indicated in court that I do not believe he is in the United States.
KING: Since then, the original charges have been reinstated and he's subject to arrest. In other words, Polanski is a fugitive, a wanted man in the United States and other countries.
In 1997, Geimer publicly forgave Polanski, and asked that all charges against him be dropped. They were not. The case took a new and unexpected turn in 2009. Polanski was taken into custody by Swiss authorities on the decades-old rape warrant. He spent 10 months in prison and under house arrest, while the United States and Switzerland negotiated his return to America. He was released after the Swiss refused to hand him over.
Today, Roman Polanski is a free man, as long as he doesn't set foot in this country or the others which still recognize him as a fugitive.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Now we asked Roman Polanski for a comment about all of this. And we're told that Mr. Polanski does not wish to comment at this time. He has an open invitation to appear on this program at any time. We also asked the Los Angeles District Attorney's office for a comment. We're told that they refused to comment on any ongoing case. We welcome to LARRY KING LIVE Samantha Geimer, Roman Polanski's victim. This is her first interview since Polanski was arrested in Switzerland in September of 2009 and her attorney Larry Silver. How did you learn he was detained in Switzerland?
SAMANTHA GEIMER, ROMAN POLANSKI'S VICTIM: I had a friend called me and woke me up. I was traveling. And a good friend of mine who was on East coast time rang my phone and got me out of bed to tell me the news to warn me of what, you know, who knew what was going on to happen, but it was a warning call. So my good friend Don called me.
KING: And you knew what was going to happen.
GEIMER: I thought I knew what was going to happen, but it actually turned out to be far worse than even my imagination.
KING: in what regard?
GEIMER: Well, I -- you know, I called home. I said for the sons don't answer the phone. People are going to be calling. You know, just unplug it.
What I didn't expect was a call from them the next day, saying that we have reporters on the property. They're in the driveway. They're in the backyard. They're parked out front. They won't leave. I didn't expect that. I thought phone calls maybe.
KING: What did you think when you heard that the Swiss had taken him?
GEIMER: I was surprised. I was shocked. I was just terrified. I knew something bad was going to happen. I just didn't know what it was going to be, but I knew it could only be bad for me.
KING: Why do they still, do you think -- you said you forgive him. You said you want it to go away. Why doesn't it just go away?
GEIMER: I guess it doesn't go away because the court case is unresolved. And it also doesn't go away because of his celebrity. And that seems to be a driving force, you know, that's interesting to people or useful to people, his celebrity. KING: Larry, I could put it directly. Why does Samantha need a lawyer?
LARRY SILVER, SAMANTHA GEIMER'S ATTORNEY: Well, at the time, she needed a lawyer because the prosecution was interested in getting a conviction. Defense, obviously, was interested in protecting Polanski. And given the intensity of the public interest at the time, her rights were not being adequately protected.
For example, they wanted to take a mental examination because Polanski took the position initially that she had fantasized the entire episode. And she's a witness in a criminal proceeding and not a party. So I filed papers. And we ultimately -- there was no mental examination.
KING: You've been her lawyer all this time?
SILVER: Going on 34 years.
KING: You were 13. How did you find Larry?
GEIMER: I was 13. My father was a criminal defense attorney in Pennsylvania.
KING: Is he still living?
GEIMER: No. He's not. He passed an away about 15 years ago.
KING: So but he knew Larry?
GEIMER: He found us Larry. I don't know how, but he found him for us.
KING: Does she need a lawyer today?
SILVER: Probably more than ever. The recent events in terms of the Swiss attempted extradition, there are a lot of, for example, the papers released private stuff that was not previously released. Her rights as a victim were not honored, in effect, by the district attorney's office. And I appeared before the court below as well as the court of appeals to see that victims' rights were at least honored.
KING: Does the Los Angeles District Attorney's office stay in touch with you?
KING: But they will if he were brought here. Right? Would she have to testify?
SILVER: Well, she'd have to want to testify.
KING: Well, they (INAUDIBLE)? SILVER: And -- she doesn't live in Los Angeles. So I guess there'd be some issue as to whether or not they could subpoena her.
KING: As to whether they could even subpoena her. Where do you live?
GEIMER: I live in Hawaii.
KING: Okay. Are you happy that Switzerland did not extradite him?
GEIMER: Yes. Very relieved.
GEIMER: Well, if just the arrest brought such a ruckus into my life and my, you know, really into backyard in a literal sense, there's people in the backyard, I'm sure his coming back would just be a thousand times worse. So I'm very happy that, you know, I think they did the right thing. I'm happy they didn't extradite him. I don't want to see him go to trial. And I just certainly don't want to show up and be part of that if it happens.
SILVER: You know, from the day that he was arrested in Switzerland for the next two weeks between Samantha and I, we got 500 calls from press, people came to my house. People came to my office with checks. Wanting me--
KING: Wanting what?
SILVER: They want add interview with Samantha. What do you think about Polanski's arrest in Switzerland? And were willing to, you know, checkbook journalism.
KING: Why not take it?
SILVER: Just not for sale.
KING: Why not take it, Samantha?
GEIMER: My experience is when people want you to pay you, they want you to say what they want you to say. They don't want to hear you say the things you keep saying over and over. So--
KING: You think people want you to go to court and try to put him away?
GEIMER: I know certain people want that.
GEIMER: Well, like the District Attorney's office. Or I don't know. Perhaps other people.
KING: You know, it's a different D.A. Now, right?
GEIMER: Yes, it's a different D.A.
KING: We'll go back to that day more than 30 years ago. Lots to talk about with Samantha Geimer and her attorney Larry Silver. Stick around.
KING: We're back with Samantha Geimer and her attorney Larry Silver. All right. You're trying to avoid this. Everybody's bombarding you. So it's obvious. Why are you here?
GEIMER: Oh, I'm here because you asked me and--
KING: But others have asked you.
GEIMER: Well, yes. I don't seek out the publicity, but it's really hard to avoid. Generally, it's easier just to talk to people and give them their answers, and then they lose interest, and it's not -- generally, it's not a big problem except for, you know, when he got arrested.
KING: So you think by coming here, you sort of put a cap on it?
SILVER: It has always happened -- we call it the Larry king pill, that we appear on LARRY KING, the-
KING: All of it goes away?
SILVER: -- all of the interest goes away.
KING: That's happened on other cases, too. I don't know if that's good or bad. Maybe it's good. But it's good to put a cap on. If she were subpoenaed, she would have to testify, wouldn't she?
SILVER: That is correct.
KING: I mean, if the incident happened, she can't sit there and deny it. She has to be truthful, right?
KING: Why are you so forgiving? Why don't you want to see him put away? He raped you.
GEIMER: Well, I don't feel I'm particularly forgiving. I mean, okay, I suppose I'm a pretty forgiving person, but he served her time. I mean, he did everything he was asked to do. And we had a corrupt judge who was being dishonest. He had no reason to trust the system to work for him. And I've been so much more damaged by the court system and the media than by him. It just--
KING: Really? GEIMER: Really. It is like so much more damaged by the court system and by the media than by him. It's easy to forgive him. There's other people I probably don't forgive as much.
KING: Before we go back to that time so we can put it all away, was there a deal made? A plea deal. And did the judge -- was the judge about to break that deal? Larry?
SILVER: Yes, yes.
KING: What was the deal?
SILVER: The -- well, the deal was, and it was done primarily to avoid a trial. I mean, O.J. sort of set the standard. But prior to that, it was the Polanski case. This was not a place for a 13-year- old girl. And I made that point pretty strongly to the district attorney's office and ultimately--
KING: You didn't want her to testify?
SILVER: Wasn't so much being testifying. It was the focus, her anonymity at the time. And we fought to keep that for years, but it was the focus of a 13-year-old girl discussing these rather sorry events in a trial subject to cross-examination. It just wasn't a good thing for her.
KING: So what was the deal?
SILVER: The deal was is that Polanski would plead guilty to unlawful sexual intercourse known at the time as statutory rape. The other charges would be dismissed. It was the only charge that did not involve an automatic deportation and that--
KING: He's a Polish citizen?
SILVER: I think he's a French citizen now.
KING: French citizen.
SILVER: But then what was to happen, the judge said that he was going to sentence him to a psychiatric examination. Both the defendant and the plaintiffs or the prosecution's lawyer in the chambers said, you know, judge, you're not allowed to use that as punishment, but I guess Rittenband (ph) didn't care. And he was supposed to go to Chino for a psychiatric examination. And when he was done with that, it was supposed to be over. And that was it. And then, later--
KING: He was going to get no time, no jail time, nothing?
SILVER: Well, being in Chino for 90 days is not no jail time. It's not a pleasant experience, I'm sure.
KING: So it would have gone away?
SILVER: Yes. And I think when Samantha says that the court system -- I mean, had Rittenband not done what he did, had he not--
KING: The judge, we understand, Rittenband?
SILVER: Yes, I'm sorry, Judge Rittenband is not--
KING: He's dead now, right?
SILVER: I'm told. He had not done what he did, then Polanski would have pled guilty. The case would have been over. And we would have never have met. And, frankly, the interest in Samantha and interest in the case would have gone away, but because Rittenband did what he did, which was highly improper, having communications with a -- one member of the district attorney outside of the presence of other counsel, we're here.
KING: So Polanski--
SILVER: And we're here in large part because this started out as a large sex scandal. It is now both a sex scandal and a scandal involving the judiciary.
KING: So Polanski ran, because he thought he was going to be put away?
GEIMER: Right, he was coming back to -- I mean, he did 42 days. I think Judge Rittenband wanted him to do 90. And he was upset that he only did 42, at which time they just determined that he was mentally sound and not a -- there's word for that.
SILVER: He was a sex offender.
GEIMER: That one. Like so he's not a predator or a pedophile. And they let him out in 42 days. Judge Rittenband wanted him to do 90. And he said well, I'll sentence you to an indeterminate amount of time. And then come back after you do another 48 days and I'll give you time served. So who's going to believe that?
KING: Why didn't he take it? Why, he didn't believe it?
SILVER: Well, in the movie, Polanski wanted, desired apparently, I didn't hear this, but according to the movie, Roger Gunson said to Dalton, Dalton said to him, well, should I trust the judge? And Gunson said, well, you did the last time. Clear implication was he backed away what he said the last time. You want to try it again. And had the judge not done what he promised to do, Polanski could have served 50 years.
KING: More of our exclusive interview with Samantha Geimer and attorney Larry silver. We'll go back to 1978 when we come back.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) GEIMER: It was awful. Everybody knew at school. People came to school with cameras. And things were being said and printed. The worst part was no one believed me. Everybody thought I was making it up.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Let's go back to 1977. We said '78. It's 1977. You're 13 years old?
KING: Your mother had met Polanski socially. How did -- you modeled for him, right?
KING: Why was he looking at a model?
GEIMER: 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, you know, as a contrast.
KING: A model for what?
GEIMER: For a French magazine.
KING: He also did that, too? I mean--
KING: Because he was a movie director.
GEIMER: Right. And I mean, he did photograph Natasha Kinski. And she was in a magazine, so.
KING: So how did you come to get to his -- to Jack Nicholson's house?
GEIMER: Well, that was the -- where the photo shoot was going to be, so--
KING: So did your mother take you there?
GEIMER: No, she wanted to go along, but he said that he thought maybe she shouldn't, because I might feel uncomfortable, or not be natural, I think.
KING: Was he the photographer?
KING: Who was there when you got there?
GEIMER: I think the housekeeper, but I don't remember. I know she was there, but I don't really remember meeting her.
KING: Without getting too graphic, what happened?
GEIMER: Well, we took pictures. And, you know, drank some champagne and--
KING: You're 13 and he's serving you champagne?
KING: Had you had champagne before?
GEIMER: But it was 1977. I think I might have on New Year's. So there was pictures. And time passed. And everything seemed fine, but then as the evening got to the very end, things suddenly took a turn in a bad direction. And I realized that to my surprise he seemed to be interested in, you know, more than I thought. I was quite shocked.
KING: Did you protest?
GEIMER: You know, a little. Just--
KING: Not a lot?
GEIMER: Not a lot. I was scared. I had been drinking. I was alone so I, you know?
SILVER: She made up a--
GEIMER: I didn't know how to handle it.
SILVER: She made up a fake asthma illness.
GEIMER: Yes. My -- I said I had asthma. I don't know why. To get out of the hot tub.
KING: I think we have pictures he took of you. They've been seen. Right?
GEIMER: I don't know.
KING: I think we do.
GEIMER: I think so.
KING: Here are some of the photos that Polanski took of you.
GEIMER: Those my mom took.
KING: Oh, this your mother -- this.
KING: What was going through your mind when he was taking pictures of you? Did you want to be a model?
GEIMER: It all seemed very professional. It was very professional. I felt like I wasn't doing a great job and not taking direction very well. I was like a little over my head. He was, you know, he was just giving direction. And I remember just thinking I don't know if I'm pulling this off or not. And it was all very professional. Until all of a sudden, it wasn't.
KING: Now, you did two shoots, right?
KING: Was this occurring on the second one?
GEIMER: This was the second one.
KING: So the first one went fine?
GEIMER: The first one went fine.
KING: Nothing happened?
GEIMER: Well, the first one went fine. And for some reason, I let him photograph me topless. And then I didn't tell my mom. And I don't know why. I don't know why I let him do it. I don't know why I didn't tell my mom. I didn't think there'd be a second photo shoot. I was really surprised.
KING: Was there champagne the first time?
GEIMER: That was just like a test.
KING: So how much time interval between?
GEIMER: I think a few weeks.
KING: So you went back innocently because?
GEIMER: Because I wanted to be a movie star. That was my big break. I thought, you know, this is an important job for me.
KING: You wanted to be in movies?
GEIMER: Yes, I did.
KING: And this was a famous director?
GEIMER: Right. So this was my, you know, this was an opportunity, a big one. And I knew it.
KING: So it was the second time--
KING: --that he got--
KING: Did he get rough?
GEIMER: 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. You didn't get advice on, you know, don't let adults do this. It was like cancer. You didn't mention it. So I was just completely unprepared.
KING: She's 13, Larry. If she doesn't protest, is it still rape?
SILVER: Oh, sure. It's rape because she's under 16. Also, he provided her with an illegal narcotic. He provided her with alcohol. All of these things in California, deprived somebody of the ability to say no. So it's considered a variety of additional things. Yes, it's rape. It's rape by force. It's rape by use of drugs.
KING: More after this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROMAN POLANSKI: I like young women. Let's put it this way. I think most of men do, actually.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, but the question, sir, on how young, doesn't it?
POLANSKI: Well, yes. Well, if you come to a concrete case for which I have been behind the bars, that's what you want to talk about. But what exactly would you like me to tell you?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: We're back with Samantha Geimer and Larry Silver. Why Jack Nicholson's house?
GEIMER: I don't know. They were friends. He wasn't home. It was a pretty spot up on Mulholland.
KING: Now Angelica Houston, who was dating Nicholson at the time, she comes home, right?
KING: And you're there with Roman.
GEIMER: Yes. KING: Were you in the bedroom?
KING: What did she see?
GEIMER: Nothing. But I think she was disturbed that he was there with a girl in the bedroom. I don't think she was pleased to find him there when she came home.
KING: Were you obviously 13?
GEIMER: She never got a look at me. I kind of left quickly without really saying hello to her. So she never saw me.
KING: Polanski's wife had been killed. How long before this?
GEIMER: I don't know, I mean.
KING: Do you know, Larry, how long?
SILVER: About four or five years I believe.
GEIMER: That's all?
KING: I knew Sharon Tate. I interviewed. She was a hell of a girl. He drove you home, right?
KING: Anything said?
GEIMER: He suggested that I should not tell my mom. And he asked me if I was all right. And I was crying. And I'm like, yes, I'm all right. So he showed some concern. Asked if I was okay. I shook it off. I was like, good, we're going home. And so -- and then I was glad to be going home.
KING: Honestly, was this your first experience?
KING: You'd had sex before that?
GEIMER: I had a boyfriend for a long time. And we had became sexually active, yes.
KING: Before age 13?
GEIMER: Very -- well, I was almost 14. But within weeks but yes.
KING: So therefore, was there a lot of pain involved or no?
GEIMER: No, no. It was nothing like that.
KING: It was intercourse?
GEIMER: It was just sex.
KING: It was rape because you were 13?
GEIMER: And it was scary and it was dark. And I didn't know how to stop him. So--
KING: Who did you tell? How did anyone get to notice?
GEIMER: I called my friend, an ex-boyfriend, but a close friend. And I told him what happened. And I don't know why. I think, you know, still under the effects of the drugs and the drinking. I just think I need to say it out loud. And my sister overheard me outside from--
KING: How old was she?
GEIMER: She's -- she would have been 20, 19, 20. And she heard what I said and immediately went and told my mom.
KING: And your mom did what?
GEIMER: My mom freaked out. A lot of -- I was -- I was kind of just -- I stayed in my room. And there was a lot of stress and freaking out going on. And eventually within a half hour, she decided to call the police. There was a lot of -- what do we do? And then, that seems to be the only option.
KING: So the police questioned you?
KING: And then arrest him?
GEIMER: Right. They questioned me and there's hospitals and going to the district attorney's office and --
KING: They examine you?
GEIMER: Yeah, like at the hospital, the way they usually do I guess. They found evidence in his room. And after that, he was arrested.
KING: when did you come into the case, Larry?
SILVER: As Samantha said, her father was a criminal defense lawyer in Pennsylvania and I practiced law in Pennsylvania. And so he called me and retained me just for the purpose of trying to stop this mental examination. And after that was stopped, then there was other issues. And finally it was just constant representation.
KING: At the time, were you prepared to go to the wall? Were you prepared to testify? Were you prepared to take action against him?
GEIMER: No. I wished that nobody had ever called the police, because it was just -- it was just so horrible. And it was like, gosh, this one bad thing happens to me and now like adult after adult is just putting me through it like it never stopped. I was horrible to everybody, including --
SILVER: Including her lawyer.
GEIMER: Including my beloved attorney of 34 years. I was so angry and just so tired. I just -- how can -- how can it be right to put me through all this examination and --
KING: Was it weird that a lot of people blamed you?
GEIMER: Yeah, it was.
KING: How did that happen? How do you blame a 13-year-old?
GEIMER: I guess in the '70s, it was kind of a different media spin on it.
KING: Wasn't there anger at your mother?
GEIMER: Oh, right. It was all about how mom and I had set him up and we're going to blackmail him, and we just had this scheme and -- it was just incredible to be blamed for all that. And it was like, God, I didn't even do anything. Wrong place, wrong time, and now my whole family, my life, everything's just falling to pieces.
KING: Did you hate him?
GEIMER: No. Not even -- not even when he denied it. They were like he's going to go to prison. So I'm like, no wonder he's denying it.
KING: Did you in a way like him?
GEIMER: No. He wasn't -- he wasn't -- I mean, I don't know now him now. But he wasn't likable or very nice, you know. He was -- he was all right, but I didn't really like it him.
KING: We'll be back with more after this.
KING: We hope we're putting all of this away tonight with Samantha Geimer and Larry Silver. On the day before his sentencing, Polanski fled the country. Let's watch what his lawyer said to the media.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He did call me this morning at my home and he told me he would not be here. I -- I asked him to call me again because I wanted to discuss this with him further and attempt to persuade him to return. He said he would call me again.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is there more on the arrest?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There's a bench warrant that was issued by the judge.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What does that mean?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Is he out of the country?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I can't discuss that.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I indicated in court that I do not believe he is in the United States.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Larry, were you surprised he left the country?
SILVER: Yes. I was surprised that by the day before and what Judge Rittenband said in chambers. But I was -- I was surprised that morning in court. I learned about it in the courtroom just like everybody else.
KING: Were you surprised, Samantha?
GEIMER: I don't think people were really keeping me up to date on a day-to-day basis on what was happening. But I wasn't -- I guess I was surprised. I was mostly relieved.
KING: Mike Wallace, my dear friend, interviewed Roman Polanski on "60 Minutes" about why he fled the country. Here's what he said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MIKE WALLACE, "60 MINUTES": You ran away, Roman. You ran away.
POLANSKI: Well, I, as you say, ran away because I think that I was very unfortunate to have a judge who misused justice.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: You know, there are still people to this day, Samantha, who have a strong amount of dislike for Roman Polanski in America.
GEIMER: Yes, I know.
KING: Because he took advantage of it -- you, a 13-year-old. So there are many whom might be surprised at your attitude. He changed your whole life, didn't he? Life was never the same.
GEIMER: He didn't mean to change my whole life.
KING: He raped you. GEIMER: Yeah. And in effect, my whole life changed after that. But I think people don't like him because they don't like him, and I'm just an excuse not to like him.
KING: Do you watch his movies?
GEIMER: No, not really. I'm not big on drama. So nothing personal. I just haven't seen them.
KING: What do you think of him, Larry?
SILVER: Well, I do think "Chinatown" is one of the finest films ever done. But, you know, it's problematic in terms of some of the things that have happened. I mean, I think that some of his comments have been untoward and -- in the media. But nevertheless, I still think that -- and I said it here before -- that when he left the United States, I think it was a sad day for American justice.
I can understand why he did it. Rittenband announced the day before that he wasn't going to live up to the deal. But it would have been better had the judge been more appropriate.
KING: What do you think would have happened if he stayed?
SILVER: Had he stayed? Well, the judge said to us that he'd been receiving a lot of hostile comments from the press about his plan, which he apparently had shared with them. And so he wanted to give the appearance of being very tough. And then suggested that Dalton and Roger Gunson (ph) come in when there would be no notice to anybody, and he would then sentence him to the remainder of the 90 days.
I don't think that that would have happened. And I think Polanski didn't believe it would happen either.
KING: So you think he would have gotten more time?
SILVER: I don't think that the hearing would ever have happened.
KING: And all this time, would you -- did you go back to school?
GEIMER: Yeah. You know, I was only in ninth grade so I went to school, got married, had kids, got a life.
KING: Still married?
GEIMER: Still married.
KING: What does your husband do?
GEIMER: My husband's operations manager. We work for a gentleman who has a lot of property. So we both work for him.
KING: How does your husband feel about all this?
GEIMER: He really wishes he could do something to ease it somehow. So it's frustrating for him. He sees me and my mother and --
KING: How long are you married now?
GEIMER: Twenty one years.
KING: By the way, we'll be right back with more of this. "PARKER SPITZER" airs every night at 8:00 Eastern on CNN right before this show. Here's a little of what Kathleen and Eliot have been talking about this week. Watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think the left and the media are making a huge mistake strategically. And I think Christine O'Donnell is the greatest decoy in American politics. While they're firing all their artillery at her, Sharron Angle is now beating Harry Reid not in one, but two polls this week. Nikki Haley is going to be the governor of South Carolina. Susanna Martinez is now up in New Mexico by eight.
These Mama Grizzlies, these women candidates who are attractive and tough and smart and able are going to win from coast to coast. And Christine O'Donnell may surprise some people and win, too.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: We'll be back with Samantha Geimer and her attorney. We'll talk about Hollywood's support of Polanski next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Once we knew her name, we knew where her school was. We knew where her house was. The French competition go after this girl. They were hunting this girl.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: she could have made lot of money, couldn't she, Larry?
SILVER: Could have.
KING: Did they offer you to write a book?
GEIMER: Everybody says that. I don't know why. Everybody says --
KING: Don't know why?
GEIMER: Everybody says that to me. So it's the first thing usually -- somebody will go, oh, that's you. You should write a book. You could make a lot money.
KING: Never thought about it?
GEIMER: I think about it because people say it all the time. It's difficult for my family. So I'm all good --
KING: The in Hollywood community has pretty much generally supported him, right?
GEIMER: Some people have. I mean, I think they should. He has friends. They're allowed to support him.
KING: Has Jack Nicholson spoken on it?
GEIMER: I don't think so. I don't know, but I don't think so.
KING: Larry, do you have an opinion on that?
SILVER: Well, I think that there's a lot of support for Polanski because it is clear that the judicial system was corrupt in terms of dealing with him, and that there really was no way out. The suggestion that he could have appealed I just don't think it would have happened.
KING: But that overrides what he did?
SILVER: Clearly not. I mean, what Polanski did on the night of March 10th is -- was criminal and should have been dealt with seriously. But to some extent, not because he was a celebrity and got special treatment, but because his celebrity attracted so much attention, that was going to harm Samantha. I would rather protect her than harm him.
GEIMER: I take offense, though. I think our justice system is more important than any one criminal or any one crime. So I take offense that the justice system can be so easily used for somebody's own purpose.
KING: Did you sue him civilly?
KING: Did you get a settlement?
GEIMER: There was a settlement.
KING: What can you tell us?
GEIMER: Very cautious. There are some things we're not supposed to talk about.
SILVER: First of all, the lawsuit occurred many years after the event occurred, and was triggered by Polanski publication of a book called "Roman By Polanski," which Samantha thought was an attempt to exploit the events for money. And there was a civil suit. There was a settlement of the civil suit. Mr. Polanski breached the settlement.
KING: How? Didn't pay?
SILVER: That's usually how a defendant breaches a settlement.
KING: How were you able to get -- have a case?
KING: How could you have a civil case?
SILVER: Well, we served him with papers and he --
KING: In France?
SILVER: Yes. And -- which isn't particularly hard. He was permitted by the courts to appear and defend in the action, though I tried to stop that.
KING: Did he ever pay the settlement?
SILVER: He never voluntarily paid, no.
KING: You had to litigate? You had to attach something?
KING: You hesitant to tell us?
SILVER: No, no, no. It was -- after he breached the agreement, there was provision by which I could go into court for what was known as a stipulated judgment. We got a judgment and attempted to execute. But Polanski never complied with anything in the agreement, frankly.
KING: Are you bitter about that?
GEIMER: Not really. I mean -
KING: You are amazing.
GEIMER: Well, you know --
SILVER: Bad Karma.
GEIMER: Put the shoe on the other foot and things look different.
KING: I guess it would be different.
GEIMER: I mean, you know, I'm just -- what would be the point of being bitter? That's not going to help me.
KING: You have an amazing outlook. We'll be back with more after this.
KING: He is currently still a fugitive, is Roman Polanski. We're with Samantha Geimer and Larry Silver. He's supposed to be starting a new film, I think Kate Winslet and Jodi Foster are in it. Does it bother you that he's -- continues to be a successful, money- making director?
GEIMER: Doesn't bother me at all. I hope he continues to be successful. I hope he -- you know, wish nothing but the best for him and his family. We've all been through a lot. I'd like to see him just be sentenced to time served, and that we could both stop being used to continue this matter.
KING: Could they sentence him to time served now and excuse him and bring him back, Larry?
SILVER: That was attempted. And as far as I understood years ago was agreed to by the then-district attorney and the judge. But the current district attorney has a different view.
KING: And the current district attorney wants him extradited?
SILVER: Yes, and --
KING: And tried?
SILVER: I'm not entirely sure what they want to do. But they certainly want to sentence him to more time than the 90 days -- the remainder of the 90 days.
KING: Could there possibly be a trial?
SILVER: Under some circumstances. If Polanski claims that the sentence wasn't -- that was agreed to wasn't performed, then he's permitted to withdraw his guilty plea and demand trial. It's pretty unlikely he would do that.
KING: Each week, we're, by the way, calling on friends of CNN Heroes to tell us more about our top ten finalists, honorees selected by a blue ribbon panel. Here's an NBA star with one of their incredible stories. Watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DIKEMBE MUTOMBO, FMR. NBA BASKETBALL PLAYER: Hello, I'm Dikembe Mutombo. As 2007 CNN Hero's blue ribbon panelist, I have recognized the extraordinary work of everyday people who are changing the world. As the founder of the Dikembe Mutombo foundation, which works to improve the health, education and quality of life in my homeland of the Democratic Republic of Congo, I see just how much the world needs heroes. Now I'm thrilled to help CNN introduce one of this year's top ten honorees.
HARMON PARKER, CNN HERO: What strikes me about this place is the beauty and the feeling of being insignificant. The beauty of this place also becomes dangerous because of these mountains when it rains. I've worked all over Kenya. Every community has the same story of people drowning, crocodiles and Hippos and loved ones lost.
Look at this. Here come some kids helping.
The very first bridge I built, I saw how it could change lives and transform communities. So I carried on and I love what I do.
My name is Harmon Parker, and I build bridges to transform people's lives. The community has to initiate the project. They have to participate and make some sort of financial contribution. It's hard. And it takes a lot of determination.
Get it, get it! Shika, shika, shika.
The bridge is a beautiful metaphor for many things. I feel privileged to do what I'm doing.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: To meet all top ten CNN Heroes and vote for the one who inspires you the most, just go to CNN.com/Heroes. All ten will be honored on Thanksgiving night, when Anderson Cooper hosts "CNN Heroes, an All Star Tribute," right here on CNN. Back with our remaining moments with our guests after this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PHILIP VANNATTER, LOS ANGELES POLICE INSPECTOR: He didn't perceive having intercourse with a 13-year-old girl as against the law.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The fact of Polanski leaving the country seems to have eclipsed what actually happened to the system of justice.
GEIMER: The judge is enjoying the publicity. He didn't care about what happened to me, and he didn't care about what happened to Polanski.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Why are people still so fascinated with this, do you think?
GEIMER: I don't know. It's just his celebrity and the sex makes people interested. Whereas I can, you know, scream all day about injustice and our justice system and how the rule of law -- and that just doesn't seem to sell. No one cares.
KING: People are shocked that you're doing the screaming.
GEIMER: It's odd that I end up being the person left here trying to make the noise about what happened.
KING: How about a critic, Larry, who says this sends a wrong message. Forget Roman Polanski. You are, in essence, forgiving a child rapist.
SILVER: I think that at the time certainly that would have been appropriate. But after years of -- after years pass, I'm actually quite an admirer of Samantha for being able to say, if I continue with this hate or dislike, it just adds to the controversy. And what she would like to do is end it. And it can't be ended until the criminal case is ended, and it appears now never going to happen.
KING: Why does this district attorney want it to continue?
SILVER: You have to ask him.
KING: What does he tell you?
SILVER: This is not a conversation that I have with the district attorney. In fact, I'm -- our views had parted ways. We thought that the Victim's Bill of Rights, which people adopted in California, would have given Samantha certain rights to move to dismiss. Polanski's motion to dismiss was denied on the ground that he was a fugitive. So we moved to dismiss, but the court wouldn't hear it.
KING: Do you think he'll ever come back?
GEIMER: I doubt it. I don't think it matters. I think what matters is that justice gets done, and somebody does the right thing, which is the unpopular thing, and gives him time served. And I don't think forgiving him does any disservice to any victim. If people want to protect children, then right now there are children being trafficked on -- online, in classified ads. They should do something about things happening now.
Going after Roman Polanski doesn't protect anybody. It distracts from more important things.
KING: Are there ever moments -- you were a pretty mature 13- year-old -- where you blamed yourself?
GEIMER: I never blamed myself. But I didn't feel like I made the smartest choices that day. Looking back it would have been wise to do things differently. But I was only 13, so --
KING: Do you think he'll ever come back?
GEIMER: I don't think so. I don't think he wants to. He said he doesn't want to. But I'd like to see justice be done. And he can come or go as he pleases.
KING: Did he ever try to call you, talk to you?
GEIMER: I never talked to him. He actually wrote a note and apologized to myself and my mother, and specifically said, it's not my mother's fault; it was his fault. And just wished that I enjoy my family as he enjoys his. And he's sorry for everything we've both been through all these long years.
KING: Thank you both. Thank you both very much.
GEIMER: Thank you for having us.
KING: Samantha Geimer, her attorney, Larry Silver. John Lennon would be 70 years old on Saturday, had he lived. Ringo Starr, Paul McCartney, Yoko Ono, and Olivia Harrison all will be here tomorrow night. Right now, it's "AC 360" time. Here's Anderson Cooper.