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The Girl

The Girl

A Life in the Shadow of Roman Polanski

In this memoir that “might be the most important and valuable book of the century so far” (The Guardian), Samantha Geimer reveals for the first time her side of one of the most notorious and complex legal cases in American history.

March 1977, Southern California. Roman Polanski drives a rented Mercedes along Mulholland Drive to Jack Nicholson’s house. Sitting next to him is an aspiring model named Samantha Geimer. She is thirteen years old.

The undisputed facts of what happened in the hours that followed appear in the court record: Roman and Samantha spent hours taking pictures—on a kitchen counter, topless in a Jacuzzi. Wine and Quaaludes were consumed, balance and innocence were lost, and a young girl’s life was altered forever—eternally cast as a background player in her own story.

For months on end, the Polanski case dominated the media both in the United States and abroad. But even with the extensive coverage, there is much about that day—and the girl at the center of it all—that has remained a mystery. The few times Samantha Geimer has spoken publically, it has been largely in reaction to Polanski—his latest film, his arrests, his releases. Virtually the entire narrative of Samantha’s life, and even the details of the rape itself, have all been left untold.

Taking us far beyond the known headlines, this is the story of a girl who was simultaneously wise beyond her years and yet terribly vulnerable and even naive. Says New York Times bestselling author Sheila Weller, “Witty, snarky—but also precise and thoughtfully observant…Samantha Geimer is a reflective guide as she humanely tells of a complex violation that hurt but didn’t defeat her.”
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  • Atria Books | 
  • 272 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781476716848 | 
  • June 2014
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The Lives of Others: Discover the Hidden Lives of Some of Our Favorite Atria AuthorsSocrates boldly proclaimed “the unexamined life is not worth living.” At Atria, we think that the examined life is worth sharing. With that in mind, we present The Lives of Others, a free collection of excerpts from some inspiring memoirs by Atria’s award-winning authors. Selections include: Badluck Way by Bryce AndrewsImpossible Odds by Jessica BuchananThere’s More to Life Than This by...
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About the Author

Samantha Geimer
Photograph by Kathy Stanford

Samantha Geimer

Samantha Geimer is married and has three sons. She divides her time between Hawaii and Nevada.

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