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Polanski blames Weinstein for trying to brand him a ‘child rapist’

PARIS : French-Polish film director Roman Polanski has spoken out for the first time since another woman accused him of rape, declaring that the media are "trying to make me into a monster".

In a twist, the 86-year-old blamed Harvey Weinstein for his woes, in an interview with Paris Match magazine published on Wednesday, claiming the disgraced producer tried to brand him a "child rapist" to stop him winning an Oscar in 2003 for The Pianist.

Polanski - a fugitive from US justice since 1978 after he admitted the 1977 statutory rape of a 13-year-old girl - dismissed the latest rape allegation against him as "absurd".

He "absolutely denied" beating and raping French photographer Valentine Monnier at his Swiss chalet in 1975.

"Obviously I have no memory of it because it is false. Clearly accusing me of rape isn't sensational enough any more, you have to add another layer. I do not hit women," he added.

Monnier, who was an 18-year-old model-actress then, went public as Polanski's new film, An Officer And A Spy, was released in France last month.

Polanski also accused Weinstein of starting a whispering campaign against him to sabotage his chances of an Oscar. Weinstein was pushing his own film Chicago, which won six Oscars.

"It was him who dug up my case with Samantha Geimer from 26 years before which no one was interested in any more," Polanski said. "His press agent was the first person to call me a 'child rapist'."

He has also accused the media of treating him with "incredible violence". - AFP

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