A British woman claims Roman Polanski "forced himself" on her when she was 16 years old
Credit: Jerzy Dabrowski-KPA/ZUMA Press

Four years after he fled the United States in 1978 after pleading guilty to unlawful sex with a minor, Roman Polanski “forced himself” on another woman, then 16, in his Paris apartment, the woman alleged Friday.

Charlotte Lewis of London, who appeared in Polanski’s 1986 film Pirates, made the allegation in a press conference held at her attorney Gloria Allred’s Los Angeles office. Allred described Polanski’s alleged behavior as “sexually predatory conduct.”

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“[Polanski] sexually abused me in the worst possible way when I was just 16,” said Lewis, who remained composed while reading a prepared statement. “He knew [how old I was] when he met me and forced himself upon me in his apartment in Paris. He took advantage of me and I have lived with the effects of his behavior ever since it occurred. I’ve traveled to the U.S. at my own expense to make sure that justice is finally done and that Mr. Polanski gets what he deserves. All I want is justice.”

Lawyers for Polanski said in a statement: “We don’t have any information about statements made at a Gloria Allred press conference today, but we do know that the District Attorney continues to refuse to provide the Swiss government with accurate and complete information relevant to the extradition issue.”

Allred was vague as to what legal remedy her client was seeking, but said Lewis was willing to testify against him. Authorities in L.A. are seeking to extradite Polanski, 76, to the U.S. from Switzerland on decades-old charges he had sex with a 13-year-old girl.

Allred says she and Lewis have already met with an L.A. detective as well as a prosecutor.