March 29, 2023

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Experienced Franco-Polish filmmaker Roman Polanski has been ordered to face trial in France for his alleged defamation of a British actress who accused him of sexual abuse, a source close to the case said Wednesday.

The Paris court order did not specify a trial date for Polanski, 89, who was charged last October. He has faced a series of sexual abuse charges during his career, although he has never made it to France before.

The defamation case was filed by Charlotte Lewis, born in 1967, who starred in Polanski’s 1986 film “Pirates.” In 2010, she had accused him of sexual assault at his Paris apartment in the 1980s in Los Angeles, when she was 16. used to be.

Polanski dismissed Lewis as a “liar” and a “fabulist” in a lengthy interview with Paris Match magazine in 2019, pointing to quotes attributed to her in a 1999 interview with the British tabloid News of the World, in which she longing for him. Lewis claims the quotes were incorrect.

Polanski’s lawyer Herve Temime told AFP last October that filing charges was “automatic” in defamation cases, and welcomed the prospect of a trial as the way to expose the truth.

The director is still wanted in the United States for the legal rape of a 13-year-old girl in 1977 and has also been charged with other sexual assaults which he denies.

In 2019, French photographer Valentine Monnier accused Polanski of raping her in his Swiss chalet in 1975 when she was 18 and working as a model and actress.

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His star has also dimmed in the wake of the MeToo movement that rocked Hollywood, and French stars, including celebrated actress Adele Haenel, left the French cinema’s annual celebration, Les Cesars, in 2020 after Polanski was awarded for his movie “An Officer and a Spy”.