French court clears director Roman Polanski of defamation against Charlotte Lewis

The Paris criminal court has acquitted filmmaker Roman Polanski of defamation against British actress Charlotte Lewis after she accused him of raping her when she was a teenager.

The verdict relates to the charge of defamation and not over the Lewis’ rape accusation against Polanski.

She filed a defamation suit against Polanski in 2019 after the publication of an interview in Paris Match magazine in which he called her claim that he raped her an "odious lie".

Lewis' case

Polanski referenced a quote attributed to Lewis from a 1999 interview with News of the World, in which she allegedly remarked: "I wanted to be his mistress… I probably desired him more than he did me."

Lewis disputed the quote's accuracy in 2010, when she accused the director of rape.

Lewis, 56, told the court in March that she was the victim of a “smear campaign” that "nearly destroyed" her life after she spoke up about what happened to her in Paris in the 1980s when she was 16.

"He raped me," she told the court, adding that it had taken her time to put a name on what had happened.

Polanski's lawyers argued that their client had the right to defend himself and that the prosecutor had not requested a conviction.

Accusations

Polanski, 90, who lives in Paris, did not attend any of the trial and was not in court to hear the verdict.

(with AFP)


Read more on RFI English

Read also:
Filmmaker Roman Polanski on trial in Paris on defamation charges
French parliament to investigate sexual abuse in cinema
People under investigation for sex crimes barred from French 'Oscars' ceremony