Fervor following the Harvey Weinstein fallout continues to go unchecked as more shoes continue to drop in the dark corners of Hollywood's (alleged) rape culture. Now that the atmosphere has been deemed safe for victims to step forward with their horrific stories of abuse at the hands of industry power players, focus has once again shifted onto Hollywood darling Roman Polanski, a self-admitted rapist of a 13-year-old girl, who now stands accused of molesting a 10-year-old model.
According to HuffPo, "Marianne Barnard, a California artist, has accused Roman Polanski of molesting her two years before the acclaimed director fled the United States after pleading guilty to statutory rape."
Speaking with the British newspaper The Sun, Barnard claims that in 1975 her mother introduced her to the famed director in Malibu at age 10 for a photo shoot with her in a fur coat and bikini.
“Then he said, ‘Take off the bikini top,’ which I was comfortable with, as I was only 10 and I often ran around with no top on,” Barnard said. “But then he wanted me to take my bikini bottoms off. I started to feel very uncomfortable. Then at some point I realized my mom had gone. I don’t know where she went and I didn’t really register her leaving, but she was no longer there. Then he molested me.”
Barnard made the accusation public in a tweet on October 13:
Barnard claims to still suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder and claustrophobia from the alleged incident and has now launched a petition urging the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to expel Polanski, whom they awarded a Best Director Oscar in 2002.
The accusations by Barnard bear similarities to the accusations made against him by Samantha Geimer, who was only 13 years old when Polanski drugged and sodomized her. Both allegedly took place during photo shoots. Polanski has yet to answer for his crimes, having fled for Europe prior to his conviction in 1977.
Three other women have accused Polanski of sexual misconduct. Hollywood has not expelled him from its circles and continues to revere the man. Actress Meryl Streep gave Polanski a standing ovation for his Oscar win in 2002 while a multitude of others previously signed a petition asking the Swiss government not to extradite him to the United States.