Chapter 2. Lies, Damn Lies, and Samantha the Prepubescent

So, how can a book one of whose authors is a lawyer seriously describe consensual sex for pages and pages, and then as seriously call it “rape” throughout the volume?

Easy. Remember that another name for “unlawful sexual intercourse” is “statutory rape”? It’s not universally accepted, and not really an official legal name, but still it exists.

The “statutory” qualification is omitted in the book. To be able to do so without letting any questions appear in the mind of the reader, the authors recur to barefaced lie.

Definition: A barefaced (or bald-faced) lie is one that is obviously a lie to those hearing it.

If my reader knows anything about the case, s/he can’t help remembering one crucial thing: the young Gailey was outstandingly mature, and everyone (including the law officers) described her as looking about 18 years old; the medical investigation report, too, defines her as “adult female”.

Now, from the book, we suddenly learn the opposite.

…And then there was me, a thirteen-year-old kid in jeans and sneakers, barely developed, wearing a bird.
…Looking back on it, I still marvel that he didn’t turn on his heel and walk out the door. Was he really looking for pre-pubescent girls for a photo shoot, or was the photo shoot a good excuse?
…[Jacqueline Bisset] offered me a glass of wine. I said no. Later, she said she was appalled she had offered liquor to a minor – that she hadn’t known my real age. If you look at the photos from the time that seems implausible, but then again, maybe she just assumed Roman wouldn’t be palling around with a thirteen-year-old.
…Didn’t this woman [Anjelica Huston] think it was weird, her friend Roman coming here with a kid?
…I was the kid who was raped.
…while I looked younger than thirteen at the time of the assault

OK then, let’s listen to witnesses:

Adult female” – her medical report.

The witness [Kalliniotes, the housekeeper, who poured Samantha champagne] stated… she thought she was approximately 18 years old” – probation report, pages 12-13

Here is what the woman who was supposed to be surprised at “Roman coming here with a kid” said:

She appeared to be one of those kind of little chicks between – could be between any age up to 25… You know, she did not look like a 13-year-old little scared thing, you know. She seemed quite tall to me… she seemed pretty well developed girl. I would have not thought that she was 13.… I would say anywhere, you know, between 18, around that age, up, late teens she looked to me.” – Anjelica Huston, quoted by probation report, page 13-14

Now the two people who can’t be suspected of any sympathy for Polanski:
“[The arresting officer, sergeant Vanatter] described the victim as looking between 16 and 18 years old” – probation report, page 20

A well-developed young girl who looked older than her years, and regrettably was not unschooled in sexual matters”; “not an inexperienced and unsophisticated young girl” – Judge Rittenband quoted by The Spokesman-Review - Sep 20, 1977

How pre-pubescent does all that sound?

And finally, as Geimer requested, let’s, indeed, have a look at the photos of the “pre-pubescent” “kid”:

That attempt at hiding this obvious fact is so preposterous that it might as well come under “Big Lies”:

Definition. Big Lie: A lie which attempts to trick the victim into believing something major which will likely be contradicted by some information the victim already possesses, or by their common sense. When the lie is of sufficient magnitude it may succeed, due to the victim's reluctance to believe that an untruth on such a grand scale would indeed be concocted.

Did she (or, rather, they – I smell Silver here) really believe that if they said it loud enough it would become the truth? They don’t stop at plain barefaced and big lies, however, but add new approaches to same. For example, misleading.

…Sure, my breasts were so small I could still wear undershirts
…I don’t need to take off my bra, because I am not wearing one. The truth is, I don’t need one.

Definition: A misleading statement is one where there is no outright lie, but still retains the purpose of getting someone to believe in an untruth.

Whether or not a female in the 70s is wearing a bra has nothing to do with her being or not being “pre-pubescent”. This bra statement is, however, repeated a few times, to imprint in us clearly the image of a “kid”.

The following is even better:

When asked why the photographs seemed so amateurish, Polanski explained to friends that they were intentionally blurred, as though taken on the fly. He was inspired, he said, by the British-born photographer David Hamilton, whose dreamy, grainy, often-nude photos of prepubescent girls – ten, eleven years old – were at that time all the rage.

Here the authors kill an amazing number of misleading birds with one foul stone. First, they try to hint that the photos were not all that good because they were only a pretext (presumably, for “raping” her pre-pubescent self and thus ruining his own life), as if Geimer didn’t know that her family persuaded Polanski to take the photos. Next, they suggests that they have some (unquoted) sources of knowing what Polanski said to his friends. And finally, they want everyone to believe that Geimer at that time could have some resemblance to a “ten, eleven”-year-old.

I can easily imagine Silver try to come up with something that would counter the effect of the photos, should they leak (no need to worry too much: most of them can be rarely seen except here, or in the two Zenovich films) and shatter the “looked younger than thirteen” feeble lie. It’s not an easy tasks, and all they all together manage is:

Before we learned there wouldn’t be a trial, my mother was very worried: I had grown and looked a lot older in the course of the year, and she felt that while I looked younger than thirteen at the time of the assault I really could now be mistaken for a teenager who was at least sixteen or seventeen.

What “year” is she talking about? They learned there would be no trial barely four months after the events. See what they do? Saying “I grew a lot older in four months” could make even the most gullible person have some doubts. So the authors have to lie big, hoping nobody would call their bluff - because it’s all bullshit, of course, starting with the “assault” part and ending with the attempt itself to make people believe the photos they can see of her as a ripe young lady were made later: you can see in Zenovich films that they come from that very March ’77. Unfortunately, in another part of the book she mentions that in summer of that year (that is, before she “had grown and looked a lot older”) “I cut my hair short and gained some weight”. In the photos Zenovich produces she has the same haircut and the same proportions as in Polanski’s photo – and doesn’t look a day older or younger. Too many cooks indeed.

No, dear friends. She did look, as everyone said and we can plainly see in the pictures, at least 18. And that is why there never was any “child molesting” count, hard as the media try to make you believe there was.

And now the interesting part.

In the first chapters of the book, she keeps emphasizing the fact that she had a pet bird. As if, you know, it’s something only a little (pre-pubescent) girl can have. (I personally never knew keeping pets was incompatible with maturity. I hear voices: She had a pet BIRD, and he says the sex was consensual!!)
She also mentions she used to have a rat, and here’s where we have new discrepancies:

That January of 1976 (…) as I stuffed my pet rat, Odin, into my carry-on. (I was quite a good smuggler at thirteen.)   

Hmm. If she was born, as she insists, on March 31, 1963, there’s no way she could be 13 in January of 76. You may remember that gives her birthday as Sept 1, 1962. You may also remember that in school year 77/78 she was a student of the 9th grade. And that she only provided a copy of her birth certificate to the Grand Jury – without a word in the memoir either about this fact, or about what happened to the original.

This rat story solidifies my conviction that in March ‘77 she was at least 14 and a half. That would explain her maturity (precocious even in that case) and her extreme interest in sex, which she so vividly describes in the chapters we’ll look into later.

But the rat story doesn’t stop here! By the time of the “events” the rat is replaced by a bird. Samantha comes out of her room to meet Polanski, she writes, carrying the bird on her head.

In “Roman Polanski: Odd Man Out” by Marina Zenovich, mother Gailey tells this story with all the drama effects, and of course, she, too, emphasizes this “proof” of her daughter’s pre-pubescence. Only in her version, it’s a rat, not a bird. And here are the pictures she shows:

And… what now? No, it is not a picture taken on that very day (no pictures were taken, and it clearly is not a bird). It’s a picture taken before. How long before? Well, we know Samantha had the rat a year and a half before that day, and she didn’t say it was newborn at that time. Pet rats age quickly. So, the young lady in the photo above is Geimer at least a few months before the events; maybe as long before as a year; maybe a year and a half.

“Looked younger than thirteen”? “Prepubescent”? Really, guys, these people take you for complete fools!

Another facet of this “little child” thing is alleged innocence. We know that Geimer was not a virgin (by her confession in an interview, she had been sexually active “for a long time”). For people who would still insist that it only means she had been raped in those cases, too (though I have never seen any holy wrath directed towards those others who had “raped” her), here’s a quote from the book:

An evening of making out on the porch on April 1 led to a gift – a cross on a chain – the next day, which led to drinking, getting stoned, and wonderful sex – a first – that night. There is something so earnest and yet sexy about getting a cross as a present.

Just in case you missed something: the April 1 is the April 1 of that same ’77, only three weeks after the “child rape”. Somehow she stopped being pre-pubescent in these three weeks (just like she miraculously wasn’t months before, with her boyfriend and others, mentioned by Dalton); you can learn from the book that her sex life at the time was abundant and multifarious.

So, barefaced lies, big lies, misleading… all to justify the word “rape”? No, not only that. Also to give her behavior on that day a very special interpretation. To make it appear something different than it was. To make you believe that she, in her innocence, was too confused to behave otherwise. And that by no means! by no means! was it a set-up orchestrated by mother.

Very well then, let’s proceed.

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