AceShowbiz - Protesters shut down a premiere screening of Roman Polanski's new film "J'accuse" or "An Officer and a Spy" following a new rape allegation against the director.
Actress Valentine Monnier has accused the 86-year-old filmmaker of sexually assaulting her in 1975, when she was 18, in a Le Parisien article, published on Friday, November 8, just days ahead of the movie's premiere in Paris, France on Tuesday, November 12.
Although the official premiere on the Champs-Elysees, which Polanski attended, passed off without incident, around 40 activists blocked the entrance to another premiere screening elsewhere in the French capital. According to France Info radio, the protesters were dressed all in black and used red smoke-generating canisters. They also displayed placards bearing Monnier's name as well as those of other women who have accused the director of rape.
Polanski was arrested in 1977 and charged with drugging and raping 13-year-old Samantha Geimer. He pleaded guilty to the lesser offence of unlawful sex with a minor and served 42 days behind bars, but fled the U.S. after learning the judge was planning to renege on the plea deal and hand him a much longer sentence.
He has subsequently been accused of sexual assault or rape by several other women, including British actress Charlotte Lewis, who claims he raped her in 1983, when she was 16. Polanski denies all allegations of rape.
Protester Chloe Madesta told France Info her group were furious that the director was being feted for his film, which is about the Dreyfus Affair, a famous French miscarriage of justice in which a soldier, who like Polanski was Jewish, was wrongly convicted of treason in 1895.
"We call all cinemas not to project this film, to stop projecting the work of a rapist," she said.
"An Officer and a Spy" opened in the country on Wednesday, November 13. U.S. distributors rejected the chance to screen the movie.