From Guest Blogger GottaLaff: "Polanski victim's teen niece shares personal feelings about scandal"

I'm trying something new on the blog: Guest Bloggers!

I thought I'd ask bloggers whose work I admire, if they would be interested in cross-posting some of their work on my blog.
I have a few other people in mind, so hopefully, I can get some other great pieces /bloggers to let me post some of their work.

First up: GottaLaff from The Political Carnival
(originally posted on September 7, 2009):

EXCLUSIVE: Polanski victim's teen niece shares personal feelings about scandal
To my surprise, one of my favorite students (I'll call her Annie) is the niece of Samantha Geimer. Yes, the very same Samantha Geimer who was raped, er, with whom Roman Polanski engaged in unlawful sexual intercourse when Geimer was 13 years old.

Annie approached me with her story voluntarily, and her mother graciously gave me permission to interview her. I had no idea she was related to Samantha Geimer. My mouth literally dropped open.

I was interested in Annie's feelings about her aunt's ordeal and subsequent attention, but only that. The rest of the scandal has been covered and re-covered. But how did Annie take the news? What was it like to realize a family member was the center of a decades-long scandal? How did it affect her, a young teenager? How is she doing?

I can answer that last one: Just fine, thank you. In fact, she's one intelligent, funny, insightful, amazing 15-year-old.

Here is Annie's story, from her point of view (she talked, I took it all down):
I was 13. I Googled my own name one day, I was bored. My name is so close to hers [her aunt's] that it came up. I did an image search and saw my aunt! I saw all these interviews, and Polanski came up, too. I clicked on a CNN piece, a recap of the story.

I got chills. I couldn't believe that happened to someone so close to me. I mean, she's been to my house! So I asked my mom about it. "So , do you know about Aunt Sam?" She said, "Well, what do you know?" She laughed at me Googling myself and then explained everything in detail. "You're gonna find out anyway." She explained who Polanski was, and how they met.

It really disgusts me. What if that happened to me?? He's so famous! If it happened now, it would be like, they'd say I'm trying to get my 15 minutes of fame.

Seeing how people sleep with this person or just go out with that person... wow.

I'd just seen "Rosemary's Baby". I felt, well, really eerie about that.

I felt bad for her, or that it would happen to anybody, being on the news all the time. I can't even put into words, someone so genius and Hollywood, such a great director, could do anything so vile and disgusting.

I'm not very close with my aunt, but she came over from Hawaii to see us, so...

I tried to talk to my dad. I was worried that he'd try to hush me up about it. I wanted to see how he felt about it, but he doesn't like to talk about feelings. I never found out how he felt [Note: Samantha Geimer is his sister-in-law], he just said it was an awful thing to happen. I felt sad; it's something you can't talk about?

Everyone in the world can talk about it except the people related to it.

Mom [who Annie lives with, her parents are divorced] did talk about it. She said not to see Aunt Sam differently, it doesn't make her disgusting or a victim all the time. She's still my aunt, not a 13-year-old victim.

The next time it came up was when Polanski got an HBO special or something, about his life. I was at my dad's. He just got an e-mail of photos from Aunt Sam, from her trip to New York. She went there for the HBO premier and to do a bunch of TV appearances, the Today Show, others.

I asked, "Oh, is this from what happened? Because they're honoring him in a way!" And he said, "Yeah."

A few days later, a teacher asked if I was related. I was 14. They were surprised I shrugged it off. They always are, people who ask me.

I DVR'd a show, E Channel's Top 100 Shocking Moments. That was one of them. I was like, "This is crazy!" I said to Nana, "She's on TV again," and we watched it together. We chuckled about how we knew all the names and everything... not at the situation.

It's crazy how on Nancy Grace, people argue about it, practically spitting in each other's faces. They think they know her.

I'm sympathetic that her name comes up a lot, and now people talk about her publicly, judge her. Were you there? I wasn't! I don't know if I could handle that. You can't go up there and defend her.

Personally, I think Aunt Sam has a screw loose, from all her "extra curricular activities." [Those will not be divulged here, per Annie's request] The only reason she got the house in Hawaii was from the payoff. She needed to get away, raise her family there. [For the record, Annie is very sympathetic.]

Generally, I don't define her by the Polanski thing, but by the way she acts.

Every girl has a "girl sense". Didn't she have that? I'd never get into a hot tub! Her mother... It's such a stage mother thing to do. I wonder how she feels. I'm a 15-year-old girl. I'd never leave my child anywhere, even with a celebrity! You don't know who that person is behind the pictures.

I think she was very naive to stay there. I would have gotten the "girl sense, the creep feeling". Am I the only one who is that intuitive? Sometimes I get that feeling just from a picture!

I used to really care, feel really angry, when they talked about it. How can they say those things? But now, I don't really care as much, because we had a sort of falling out. I care for her, have sympathy for her, but don't really care about how it affects her now.

I think it's really crazy how small the world really is. My friend's grandfather was the first cop on the scene of the Manson murders. Six degrees of.... me.
Thank you Annie, for sharing your feelings so freely and for your unique viewpoint.

You have great instincts and a great head on your shoulders. Let's hope more girls pay attention to their "girl sense" or the "creep feeling". And maybe, hopefully, your words will help others.
(Bio: Laffy has no formal political background, notwithstanding her vast experience bellowing catcalls at what passes for TV news. Her career includes TV writing, producing, acting, voice-acting as well as writing and directing stage productions. GottaLaff's posts tend to go for the lighter--okay, demented--side, suitable for pointing and laughing. Feel free to do one or both. Or just shake your head slowly and walk away.)
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