At first glance, the picture on the cover of Samantha Geimer's memoir, The Girl -- about being raped at 13 by filmmaker Roman Polanski -- is just a close-up portrait of Geimer as a child. But as with most things in life, there's more to this photo than meets the eye. According to the Hollywood Reporter, the haunting shot was taken by Polanski himself on Feb. 20, 1977 -- less than three weeks before he drugged and raped her at Jack Nicholson's home on Mulholland Drive in L.A.
Per THR, Polanski took the picture during his first shoot with Geimer at her Woodland Hills home -- "a session in which the director coaxed the young girl to pose topless for him." The photos from that shoot surfaced during Geimer's civil suit against Polanski, when her lawyer demanded that the Pianist Oscar winner turn over any film and negatives he had of her.
Using the photo as her book cover, the Hollywood Reporter notes, is part of Geimer's attempt to "reclaim her story." Last year, in an announcement about the memoir, she said she wanted to show people that she was someone with an identity beyond just "rape victim."
"I am more than 'Sex Victim Girl,' a tag the media pinned on me," she said in a statement released through Atria. "My friends in junior high, scolded by their parents to stay away from that girl, also labeled me. I offer my story now without rage, but with purpose -- to share a tale that in its detail will reclaim my identity. I have been dogged by tired thinking and easy tags nearly my entire life. I am not a stick figure. I know what it is like to be a woman and a victim in the realest possible way."
Polanski, for his part, fled the U.S. in 1978 to avoid sentencing. He has never returned.