Dankprofessor’s Weblog

A weblog examining sexual politics in higher education and beyond.

Roman Polanski on Sharon Tate

The sensational Sharon Tate blog reports on a Polanski 1974 Rolling Stone interview, “The Restoration of Roman Polanski” by Tom Burke, July 18, 1974

Polanski’s recollections of SharonTate and his life with her merits the attention of any person who wishes to have an accurate understanding of Roman Polanski.

Later, when he does talk about Sharon this is what he says: “Meeting Sharon?  When I hired her for ‘The Fearless Vampire Killers’, of course.  We got married in 1968.  By the summer of ’69 she was very pregnant and I was very busy, working on a film script in London.  It seemed best she went back to the house we rented in LA and I could stay on and finish the film and get back to LA as soon as I could.  Everyday we would talk on the phone.  When it rang one day, I thought it was her but it was my agent in LA.  He was crying.  My reaction first was, naturally, no reaction, stunned disbelief, I suppose you call it.  Friends came to me quickly, I think we went out for a long walk, they called a doctor who gave me something, a shot and I slept.  Then I took a plane to LA. You must understand, there is much which now I cannot recall, which I have blocked out of recollection.  After the funeral, I stayed on in LA because I had the ludicrous notion that finding the murderer would somehow ease my grief.  I worked very close with the police for a long time, who, I have got to tell you, were quite human and wonderful.  I had no idea cops could be like this.  Sharon’s parents worked with them too.  Yes, I am still in touch with the Tates, naturally.  What a question!  I don’t think this is known: that just before the police found Manson and all of them, I offered a reward, $20,000 for public information leading to the arrest of the killers.  It wasn’t collected, no.  As soon as the police discovered Manson, I get the hell out of LA immediately, I could take no more, there was no more point to staying.  I had begun then to accept Sharon’s death, which I’d never really done before, which is really all that matters to me about it all anymore, that she is gone.  The worst started: I went to Switzerland and tried to ski and become very jet-set, the idea of work was impossible.  Everybody kept saying to me, get to work immediately.  Idiotic.  Only Stanley Kubrick understood, he told me, ‘You cannot and must not work now.’ “

The reporter then writes: “It is clear he wishes to get up, to pace the room, break it up perhaps. but he remains quietly seated and purposefully motionless.”

Roman goes on to say: “See I attempted for awhile there, before starting ‘Macbeth’, to become a hedonist, as the papers said we all were.  Jesus, I hated the press for a long time after it, because, I swear this, although I already knew how the press exaggerates, especially in sensational matters, I could not believe what was being printed about Sharon!  My God, ‘The Sharon Tate Orgies.’  Interviews given by people that Sharon and I never met!  I swear I could not find one word of truth in any story printed about us anywhere, and I would not and could not lie about this fact!  If there had been anything to any of that shit, I would admit it to you now.  My God, it was, is, unbelievable.  The murder was all a horrible mistake, you know.  Manson’s people were after somebody else entirely, who’d been renting the house before us!  What was actually going on there was this: Gibby Folger and Voyteck were staying in the house to keep Sharon company, we’d agreed on this, they were good friends and the place was big and it seemed a good idea since she was eight and half months pregnant.  Gibby was working very hard as a social worker, getting up at dawn everyday to go to work in Watts and studying speed-reading at night.  I was planning a film involving dolphins–‘The Day of the Dolphin’–and Voyteck wanted very much to work in movies and was devoting lots of time to research on dolphins for me.  Jay Sebring was another friend who came up often, but never stayed all night one night at the house.  I was dying to finish work and get there; the last time I talked to Sharon, only hours before her murder, I told her I’d get there the following Monday even if work wasn’t finished.  Things had been so perfect between us: we’d had some nice times in that LA house.  Sharon would cook dinner for friends and after we’d all sit outside and look at the sky, the constellations, and talk about everything.  Just quiet, pleasant evenings.  Sharon and I would make plans, we had a wonderful future extensively mapped …”

The reporter closes this part of the interview adding: “Still he sits perfectly calm, though his eyes are such that it is uncomfortable to meet them.”

November 9, 2009 - Posted by | rape, Roman Polanski, sex, sexual politics, Sharon Tate

5 Comments »

  1. I remember the endless stream of news reports I tell you, hideous to say the least, and I saw the press conference where he fell apart and cried. What the press did to him then was just staggering, blasphemous. And then again a decade later. And now again. Yes, that stillness, “Still he sits perfectly calm, though his eyes are such that it is uncomfortable to meet them.” I noticed that, it’s beyond human. Let’s hope he can prevail one last time.

    Comment by demoy | November 9, 2009 | Reply

    • Polanski has prevailed one last time demoy, thanks to:

      Los Angeles Prosecutor Roger Gunson,

      Polanski’s lawyers in three different countries including Doug and Bart Dalton, Chad Hummel, Herve Temime, Lorenz Erni,

      Samantha Geimer and her good heart,

      Marina Zenovitch et al

      And thanks to the Swiss Justice, thanks to the French President Nicholas Sarkozy, and thanks to all Roman Polanski’s friends world wide celebrities or not, who have supported him through all of this.

      Comment by Sonny | July 14, 2010 | Reply

      • Thanks indeed. Zenovich is no doubt busy to get it all organised on film, she said she wanted to continue her documentation of the case as it happened. Let’s see how that will work out. And thanks to Novalis Lore too – who diligently covered the case in his own style. I read your comment exchanges with him.

        Comment by demoy | July 15, 2010

  2. The newspapers reported at that time,she was in an orgy. Manson was some kind of religious fanatic, who hated women doing the work of satan, by having sex with several men at the same time. It was LBJ’s legacy. Distracted public attention away from the War in Vietnam for as long as he could. Celebrities are sacrificed to make big news. So that the actual big news becomes trifle.

    Comment by Jeddy | August 6, 2010 | Reply

  3. So sad

    Comment by Sherry | March 19, 2011 | Reply


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