The Polish/French film director Roman Polanski’s tragic marriage to the actress Sharon Tate is featured in Quentin Tarantino’s new film Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood. (Warning: There will be some spoilers in this article, although we won’t give away the ending.)
In Tarantino’s movie, Polanski and Tate are shown as a carefree, in love couple enjoying the heyday of 1969 Hollywood before the real-life Mansion Family murders of Tate and others at the home sent it all crashing down. Roman Polanski wasn’t at home when the Manson Family struck. Sharon Tate was pregnant when she was murdered in real life.
Today, Polanski is living in exile from the United States in France, and he’s still making movies. He’s remarried.
Here’s what you need to know:
Polanski, Who Is Still Living in Exile Due to a Rape Case, Has a New Movie Coming Out
Polanski was expelled from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in May 2018. He is a fugitive from United States justice and lives in Europe after being accused of raping a 13-year-old girl 40 years ago. He has described his fascination with young girls in writing.
The director was arrested and pleaded guilty in 1977 to raping then-13-year-old Samantha Gailey (also called Samantha Geimer). He’s faced other sexual abuse allegations, as many as five. According to Vox, they include a woman who accuses Polanski of sexually assaulting her at age 10. Geimer has since said she’s forgiven Polanski, who settled with her after a lawsuit.
According to the Huffington Post, Polanski fled the U.S. to avoid being sentenced and has lived in France since 1978. He sued the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences over his expulsion calling the Me Too movement “total hypocrisy” and “collective hysteria.”
According to People Magazine, he’s returning to a film festival in August 2019 for the first time since that expulsion. He’s screening his new film J’Accuse at the 2019 Venice International Film Festival, People reported.
People reports that the movie is also called An Officer and a Spy, and it’s set in 19th century France. It features the story of a French Jewish army captain “who was falsely accused of spying for the Germans in 1894. He was convicted and imprisoned, and later exonerated in 1906,” according to People.
Polanski won the Best Director Oscar in 2003 for the movie, The Pianist.
In 2017, a judge in Los Angeles issued an order that rejected Polanski’s efforts to resolve the rape case in a way that would allow him to avoid jail time. According to USA Today, he is limited to traveling in France, Switzerland, and Poland, countries that refuse to extradite him. The newspaper notes that he did spend a year on house arrest in Switzerland.
Polanski was accused having sex with the 13-year-old girl “after giving her champagne and a sedative, which is statutory rape,” USA Today reported.
Polanski Remarried & His Current Wife Was Critical of Tarantino’s Movie
Roman Polanski was born in 1933 in Paris, France but was raised in Poland. His mother perished in the Auschwitz concentration camp, according to Biography.com.
When Tate was murdered, Polanski was coasting on stardom from the film Rosemary’s Baby. He would go on to direct the classic film Chinatown. He’s made a series of other movies from exile, including Frantic, Bitter Moon, and the Ninth Gate.
Roman Polanski is married to Emmanuelle Seigner. She criticized Quentin Tarantino’s decision to feature her husband in Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood. She noted that Polanski was not consulted, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Polanski has been married to Seigner since 1989. Before Tate, to whom he was married for a year, he was married to first wife Barbara Kwiatkowska-Lass, a Polish actress, for three years.
“I am just saying that it doesn’t bother them [in Hollywood] to make a film about Roman and his tragic story, and make money with it… while at the same time they have made him a pariah. And all without consulting him of course,” Seigner said, according to THR. “How can you take advantage of someone’s tragic life while trampling on them?”
In 2017, Polanski said, “As far as what I did: It’s over. I pleaded guilty. I went to jail. I came back to the United States to do it, people forget about that, or don’t even know. I then was locked up here [in Zurich] after this festival. So in the sum, I did about four or five times more than what was promised to me.”