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Roman Polanski's libel trial begins in France today – Executive Summary

Roman Polanski's libel trial begins in France today – Executive Summary

Polish director Roman Polanski's defamation trial begins in Paris on Tuesday, after he said allegations of alleged sexual assault made against him by actress Charlotte Lewis were nothing more than a “repugnant lie.”

Polanski, 90, is not expected to appear in court, as he is represented by his legal team. Agence France-Presse reported that Charlotte Lewis, a 56-year-old British woman, will attend the session.

The controversial actor has been the target of a series of accusations of abuse and sexual assault throughout his career, with the crimes having a statute of limitations. However, having always denied these issues, none of the accusations prevented him from continuing to work in the Seventh Art.

In May 2010, Lewis claimed that Polanski sexually assaulted her during auditions at the director's home in Paris in 1983, when the actress was 16 years old.

Lewis did not report the incident to the English police, but he reported the violations to the American authorities.

In 2019, in an interview with Paris Match, Polanski said the accusations were an “abhorrent lie” and that there were inconsistencies in Lewis’ account of the abuse.

“Roman Polanski has the right to defend himself publicly, on the same basis as the person he is accusing,” said lawyer Delphine Millet, after Lewis’ case reached the courts.

The English actress’s defense team highlights that “defamation, distortion and defamation; “These are all integral parts of Polanski’s system – as Charlotte Lewis bravely reveals,” she said, giving the example of previous cases in which the director was accused of similar sexual crimes.

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