May 14, 2010— -- A British actress who starred in a Roman Polanski film charged today that the director "sexually abused" her when she was 16 years old in his Paris apartment.
The incident allegedly happened in 1982, four years after Polanski fled the United States to because he feared a California judge was going to send him to prison on charges he raped a 13-year-old girl.
"Mr. Polanski sexually abused me in the worst possible way when I was just 16, four years after he fled the U.S. to avoid sentencing for his crime," Charlotte Lewis, now 44, told reporters.
Lewis did not provide any details of the alleged encounter, including whether she was given drugs or raped. She did say there were "similarities" to the 1977 case, in which Polanski gave 13-year-old Samantha Geimer champagne and Quaaludes before raping and sodomizing her.
"Mr. Polanski knew I was just 16 when he met me and forced himself on me … in his apartment in Paris," she said.
Lewis did not report the incident to French authorities at the time, and said she came forward now only to provide additional information that a judge might consider if Polanski is extradited back to the United States.
"He victimized another child while a fugitive from justice… The sentencing judge needs this information to make an informed decision," said Lewis' American lawyer Gloria Allred. "The judge may consider predatory claims… [which] could certainly have an impact on Polanski's sentencing."
Allred said Lewis had no plans at this time to sue Polanski and only came forward now that it appeared Polanski may soon return to the U.S. for sentencing