Oscar winning director Roman Polanski’s 1977 rape saga continues to haunt him– now even in his home country of France.
This past week, Polanski was forced to resign as president of the French Oscars, the Cesar Awards, after women’s group’s objected. The head of the Cesars really just makes a welcoming speech. But 62,000 people signed a change.org petition against Polanski after the country’s minister for family, women, and children’s rights also spoke out against his appointment.
The new anger toward Polanski may stem from this weekend’s women’s marches all over the, world, even in Paris. But I’m told the source of this new bad feeling may come from the November suicide of famed British photographer David Hamilton.
Hamilton, who was 83 and lived in Paris most of his life, was famous for his photos of very young girls and women. When Polanski was arrested in 1977, he said the pictures he took of a then 13 year old were meant to emulate Hamilton’s work. The two men were indeed great friends.
This past October, Hamilton was accused by a radio presenter and celebrity named Flavie Flement of raping her when she was 13– some 30 years ago. In November other women joined Flement with similar accusations against Hamilton. The result was a huge scandal in France similar to that of Bill Cosby here. On November 25, Hamilton killed himself.
Unlike Polanski– who has suffered from the one incident in 1977– Hamilton’s life was marked by book bannings and investigations. His photos were considered by some as child pornography, and he was often protested.
Sources in Paris say that Polanski may be blamed by his association with Hamilton, whose own controversies are freshly in the headlines.