Roman Polanski Rape Victim Releases Startling Cover Photo for Upcoming Tell-All Book

Bryan Enk
Movie Talk
The Girl: A Life in the Shadow of Roman Polanski
The Girl: A Life in the Shadow of Roman Polanski

Samantha Geimer, the woman who at the age of 13 was drugged and raped by filmmaker Roman Polanski, is preparing to tell her story in an upcoming book ... and with it comes a powerful (and sure to be controversial) cover photo.

The artwork for the rather ominously-titled "The Girl: A Life in the Shadow of Roman Polanski" is a photograph of the author at the age of 13, which was apparently taken by Polanski himself just a few weeks before the notorious incident took place. Geimer, then known by her maiden name of Samantha Gailey, channels both whimsy and melancholy in the pic, creating an extremely dark tone when you consider that she has no idea that her life is going to change forever in only a matter of days.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the photograph was taken on Feb. 20, 1977, at the author's Woodland Hills home during a photo session in which Polanski coaxed his young subject to pose topless. Three weeks later, Polanski drugged and raped her at a photo shoot at the Mulholland Drive home of the director's "Chinatown" star, Jack Nicholson.

The photo was one of several that surfaced during Samantha Geimer's civil suit against Polanski in 1988, which resulted in the filmmaker agreeing to pay her $500,000 plus interest as well as to hand over all the photos he took of her.

Geimer says she's using the photo as the cover art for the book as a way to reclaim her story, as most of the media coverage over the years regarding the incident has put Polanski front and center. Indeed, when Geimer, who is now 50 years old, announced the book last year, she said, "I am more than a 'Sex Victim Girl' [and] I offer my story now without rage, but with purpose — to share a tale that will reclaim my identity."

Samantha Geimer has spoken of the incident before, including with both Larry King and the Los Angeles Times in 2003. However, spokespersons for Atria, the book's publisher, say that the book "will give readers insight into many dimensions of the story that have never been previously revealed."

"The Girl: A Life in the Shadow of Roman Polanski" will hit store shelves on September 17.