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The Surprise Guest at the Roman Polanski Documentary Premiere: The Woman in Question

Samantha GeimerPhoto: Getty Images

Big names like Dustin Hoffman and Sidney Lumet came out for Tuesday’s premiere of the new HBO documentary Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired, which details the questionable judicial dealings that led to the director’s now 30-year exile in France. But the surprise guest of the night was Samantha Geimer, the woman with whom Polanski had “unlawful sexual intercourse” at Jack Nicholson’s house when she was 13. (He pleaded guilty and fled the country before his final sentencing.) Geimer had flown in from Hawaii, “a beautiful spot where no one is aware or even cares”; she’s now happily married with three children and working as a “personal assistant, accountant, and bookkeeper” for a real-estate developer. Both her husband and her mother, who had taken her to the party where the incident took place, had gotten gussied up with her for the premiere. After all, Geimer’s Polanski association usually means having to give uncomfortable interviews about her past — “Nothing as fabulous as this,” she says. “We thought this would be really fun. We don’t get many chances to come to New York, so I was really happy to come and see the city and do all this fabulous stuff. Got to be back to work on Friday or the boss will fire me.”

Geimer, who bought a new dress and shoes at Saks just for the occasion, says that participating in the documentary was a strategic move. “Generally for me, it’s just easier that if people want to talk to me, I talk to them,” she says. “That way they don’t sit out in front of my house and wait for me.” Plus, she approves of the movie — “I didn’t think somebody could make it that interesting” — and hopes it will quell some of the curiosity about what happened that night. “I’m glad [director Marina Zenovich] put the truth of the way it happened out there, because I don’t want to have to tell people,” she says. “It’s nice that she went ahead and did it, so people can know the truth and I can just go, ‘It’s a great movie!’”

Coming to the premiere, likewise, was a way to try to get the press off her back. “I figure if I keep talking to people, maybe they’ll get tired of me,” she says. “That’s one of my theories, that no one will want to talk to me anymore! Hasn’t worked yet.” The New York trip will be the final extent of her foray into fanciness, though. When Polanski sees the movie for the first time at Cannes, she says, “I’ll be at my office working and with my kids, who, you know, treat me like a mom.” Just as well, she says, “I never have [talked to him] since then. Ever.” Has she even watched one of his movies since then? “No. Not really,” she says. “Not for any reason except I haven’t. They’re not really my thing. I’m more of a comedy-action girl. We’re going to see Iron Man this week.” —Jada Yuan

See Michel Gondry, Emmy Rossum, Dustin Hoffman, and more at our complete coverage of HBO’s premiere of Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired.

The Surprise Guest at the Roman Polanski Documentary Premiere: The Woman in Question