It’s lengthy and appears accurate. The title: How a girl’s stark words got lost in the Polanski spectacle. The deck headline reads: “Samantha Gailey, at 13, was unequivocal in her testimony against Polanski. But her account was turned into something almost benign.” In one of several illuminating passages, Joe Mozingo explains how the probation officer
ignored the most damaging parts of Samantha’s testimony and focused on the few quotes about her hazy memory. He was clearly impressed by the tragedies Polanski had overcome. “The defendant has not only survived, he has prevailed . . . and has become one of the leading creative forces of the last two decades.”
In a highly unusual passage, he gushed about Hollywood.
“Possibly not since Renaissance Italy has there been such a gathering of creative minds in one locale as there has been in Los Angeles County during the past half century. . . . While enriching the community with their presence, they have brought with them the manners and mores of their native lands which in rare instances have been at variance with those of their adoptive land.”
His conclusion: “It is believed that incalculable emotional damage could result from incarcerating the defendant whose own life has been a seemingly unending series of punishments.”
Star-struck, sounds to me. As were the producers of that highly one-sided documentary, which I watched again recently:
Much like the probation report, the documentary sanitized the core allegations, presenting selected bits of Samantha’s grand jury testimony interspersed with Polanski’s description of what happened.
Indeed. The documentary does a model job of pretending to be dispassionate, while skewing the facts in one direction and one direction only.
Which is what the L.A. Times often does, to the detriment of the facts. (See the post below if you doubt me.) But not in this story, which is a job well done.