The View's Whoopi Goldberg yesterday offered the most outrageous and despicable defense of child rapist and Hollywood director Roman Polanski yet: "It wasn't rape-rape." That's right. Goldberg tried to claim that Polanksi drugging and having sex with a thirteen year old girl, who repeatedly uttered 'no' to the predator, does not qualify as 'actual' rape.
Polanksi apologists have tried since he was arrested in Switzerland Sunday to excuse his actions on the grounds that he was traumatized by his horrible experiences as a Jew in Nazi-occupied Poland or that he has endured enough punishment since his conviction in 1978. But Goldberg's defense is so far the most insensitive, oafish attempt for an excuse yet.
I know it wasn't rape-rape... All I'm trying to get you to understand, is when we're talking about what someone did, and what they were charged with, we have to say what it actually was not what we think it was...
Initially he was charged with rape, and then he pled guilty to having sex with a minor, okay. And then he went to jail, and when they let him out, he said "you know what, this guy's going to give me a hundred years in jail, I'm not staying." And that's why he left...
What we were talking about was what he did, and that's what I wanted to clear up, and that's all I wanted to clear up. 'Cause I don't like it when we're passionate about something and we don't have all the facts...
We're a different kind of society. We see things differently. The world sees 13 year olds and 14 year olds in the rest of Europe... not everybody agrees with the way we see things...
Yes, Whoopi, let's talk about what actually happened, rather than "what we think it was". And who better to recount it than the victim herself. These are excepts from the grand jury testimony of Samantha Gailey. I warn you, her account is extremely graphic and disturbing, but it is important that we see just how horrible this event was if we are to understand the absurdity and utter crassness of Goldberg's comments.
Q: Did you take a quaalude?
A: I took part of it.
Q: Where did you get this part?
A: [Polanski] gave it to me.
Q: After he kissed you did he say anything?
Q: Did you say anything?
A: No, besides I was just going, "No. Come on, let's go home."
Q: What was said after you indicated that you wanted to go home when you were sitting on the couch?
A: He said "I'll take you home soon."
Q: Then what happened?
A: Then he went down and he started performing cuddliness.
Q: What does that mean?
A: It means he went down on me or he placed his mouth on my vagina.
Q: What happened after that?
A: He started to have intercourse with me.
Q: What do you mean by intercourse?
A: He placed his penis in my vagina.
Q: What did you say, if anything, before he did that?
A: I was mostly just on and off saying, "No, stop." But I wasn't fighting really because I, you know, there was no one else there and I had no place to go.
Q: What did he say, if anything?
A: He didn't answer me when I said, "No."
A: I think he said something like right after I said I was not on the pill, right before he said, "Oh, I won't come inside of you then." And I just went--and he goes--and then he put me--wait. Then he lifted my legs up farther and he went in through my anus.
Q: When you say he went in your anus, what do you mean by that?
A: He put his penis in my butt.
Q: Did he say anything at that time?
Q: Did you resist at that time?
A: A little bit, but not really because--(pause.)
Q: Because what?
A: Because I was afraid of him.
Q: Do you know what a climax is?
Q: Do you know whether he had a climax?
Q: And how do you know that?
A: Because I could kind of feel it and it was in my underwear. It was in my underwear. It was on my butt and stuff.
Q: When you say that, you believe that he climaxed in your anus?
Is that a clear enough account of the facts, Whoopi? Does that satisfy your desire to know what "it actually was"? It was most definitely "rape-rape". It was a disgusting man drugging a young girl, and then forcing her to have sex with him even while she repeatedly said "no" and "stop". I've sat through enough college sexual assault information sessions to know that that is rape in every sense of the word.
Polanski was convicted of unlawful sex with a minor, but only because he struck a plea bargain in exchange for the dismissal of charges of rape, sodomy, molestation, and giving drugs to a minor. So if you want to know "what it actually was," it does little good to examine his conviction.
And yes, Polanski "left," as Goldberg so mildly phrased his fleeing from justice, when he realized that he could spend a long time in prison. Maybe Whoopi's right, that "not everyone agrees with the way we see things" in this country. That would certainly explain why so many are jumping to defend this convicted sexual predator and condemn those who seek his incarceration.
That others, say the French, may not agree with harsh punishment for Polanski does not change the fact that in the United States, we punish such atrocities perpetrated against children. Maybe Whoopi would be more at home in a country that does not, and that considers the drugging and forcible sexual penetration of a 13 year old girl something other than "rape-rape."