Roman Polanski Wins Magazine Libel Suit

Roman Polanski Wins Magazine Libel Suit
Roman Polanski and Sharon Tate
John Kelly/Camera Press/Retna

updated 07/22/2005 at 09:00 AM EDT

originally published 07/22/2005 09:00AM

Oscar-winning director Roman Polanski has won his libel suit against Vanity Fair magazine over an article that accused him of propositioning a woman while on the way to the funeral of his murdered wife, Sharon Tate.

In London's High Court on Friday, Polanski, 71, was awarded 50,000 pounds (equal to about $87,000) in damages.

Polanski – whose films include Rosemary's Baby, Chinatown and The Pianist, for which he was named Best Director – sued Vanity Fair publisher Condé Nast over a 2002 article that accused him of propositioning a woman while en route to the funeral of Tate, who was killed by followers of Charles Manson during the summer of 1969.

The article alleged that Polanski put his hand on the woman's thigh and promised her: "I will make another Sharon Tate out of you."

After the court's decision Friday, Polanski told reporters: "It goes without saying that, while the whole episode is a sad one, I am obviously pleased with the jury's verdict today. Three years of my life have been interrupted. Three years within which I have had no choice but to relive the horrible events of August 1969, the murders of my wife, my unborn child and my friends."

He added: "Many untruths have been published about me, most of which I have ignored, but the allegations printed in the July 2002 edition of Vanity Fair could not go unchallenged."

During its defense in the case, Condé Nast, accepted that the incident did not happen before Tate's funeral, but rather about two weeks later. It maintained that the article was substantially true.

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