Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Roman Polanski

The Jacuzzi

They went outside to the Jacuzzi; she was about to get in when he asked her to take off her underwear. She protested but went along with it — later she would say she was already feeling disoriented. She posed for pictures with Polanski standing above her and shooting her in the water. But the combination of the heat of the Jacuzzi, the Quaalude, and the champagne was beginning to have a dizzying effect on her.

Polanski then decided he would join her; he put away the camera and went to the bedroom and returned naked, and got into the Jacuzzi. He tried to sidle up to her in the Jacuzzi, at one point grabbing her by the waist, but she protested, according to her testimony. She tried to get out, telling the director that she had asthma. He was dismissive, "Yeah, I'll take you home soon." She asked to go home again, and he told her to lie down in the cabana, which contained a sofa and a bed.

She protested yet again. "No, I think I better go home," but she sat on the couch instead.

Later she would explain to the grand jury why she didn't protest more vehemently: She had been afraid.

Polanski prosecutor David Wells
Polanski prosecutor David Wells

"What were you afraid of?" the prosecution asked.

"Him."

Undissuaded, Polanski continued to solicit the young girl. He testified that he tried to "kiss and caress her" in a gentle way. Her recollection is different: She told him, "No," and "keep away."

Polanski told her, "I'll take you home soon," and started to perform oral sex on her.

Throughout the time leading up to the trial and during the trial, there had been radically opposed descriptions of Samantha competing in the press. On the one hand, she was portrayed as an innocent, a starry-eyed 13-year-old girl who had posters of Spiderman on her wall; on the other hand she was painted as a precocious nymphet, sexually initiated and experienced with drugs. She was either a virgin or a whore, depending on the account.

But in her testimony, one quote stands out. It witnesses her true age and inexperience. She described oral sex as "cuddliness," evidently meaning cunnilingus. Apparently, she didn't know the correct pronunciation or spelling of the word.

The grand jury testimony was unsealed and its contents would shock people.

The prosecution asked:

"How long did Mr. Polanski have his mouth on your vagina?"

"A few minutes."

"What happened after that?"

"He started to have intercourse with me.

"He asked, he goes, 'Are you on the pill?'"

"And I went 'No'... he goes, 'Would you like me to go in through your back?' And I went 'No'. I think he said something like right after I said I was not on the pill, right before he said, 'Oh, I won't come inside of you then'. Then he lifted my legs up farther and went in through my anus."

"Do you know what a climax is?"

"Yes."

"Do you know whether he had a climax?"

"Yes."

"And how do you know that?"

"Because I could kind of feel it and it was in my underwear. It was in my underwear and on my butt and stuff."

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