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Flashback: Polanski and the Ourisman Chevrolet Girl

Susan Gailey at the height of her TV commercial fame. (D.C. Public Library)

Last year, the Reliable Source uncovered the poignant story of D.C.'s "Ourisman Chevrolet Girl" Susan Gailey -- the 1970s and '80s star of the popular local TV commercials who for years lived with an unhappy family secret: Her daughter was the teenage victim at the center of Roman Polanski's sensational 1977 statutory rape case. Polanski was arrested in Switzerland this weekend on those old charges. Read here about Gailey's decision to go public with her story last year.

Also see: Going Back to The Scene of an Auteur's Crime (story about last year's Polanski documentary, "Wanted and Desired.")

By The Reliable Source  |  September 27, 2009; 4:10 PM ET
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Reading about brought back memories of TV here in the DC area back in the 70s and 80s.
Are those commercials on youtube or somewhere else?

Posted by: edlharris | September 27, 2009 9:54 PM | Report abuse

It has been over thirty years, but when living in Los Angeles, I believe that I remember the Mother may have been having an "thing" with Polanski at the time the incident happened at Jack Nicholson's house.

There were stories circulating that Samantha Geimer and here mother, Susan Gailey, wern't all that "innocent" and there was a tremendous amount of information that was uncovered, but never reported.

I believe that there is more to the story that we'll probably never hear or has been long forgotten.

If this was as "tragic" as it is being made out today, Polanski would have been placed in LA County lock-up and never would have emerged form an LA County Jail, courtesy of it's residents.

Posted by: Computer_Forensics_Expert_Computer_Expert_Witness | September 27, 2009 9:54 PM | Report abuse

Susan was a great actress/singer - "We've got service, selection and credit while you wait - come into Ourisman and drive one home today!" and I remember her from Starsky & Hutch. I wonder if David Soul/Paul Michael Glaser in touch with her and supportive when this happened.

I hope Susan has gotten over her guilt; society wasn't as aware of pedophiles back then. Roman admitted guilt and while he was probably messed up from his family history, there's nothing a 13-year-old could do to deserve his perverted behavior. Glad to hear Samantha is doing so well now.

Posted by: Voter4Integrity | September 27, 2009 10:16 PM | Report abuse

The Smoking Gun posted the grand jury testimony from the Polanski case a few years go. Boy, if even half of the girl's testimony is accurate, then Polanski should be thrown into jail for several years. He drugged the girl and then forced her to have sex. He deliberately waited until he was alone with her and then forced drugs and alcohol on her. If anybody thought that this was some kind of Lolita affair, you're wrong. It was rape, pure and simple, and it would have been rape even if she hadn't been a minor at the time.

Posted by: WashingtonDame | September 27, 2009 10:24 PM | Report abuse

How about Anne Appallebaum's husband working for Polanski's case to be dismissed . Anne's reporting seems like the most reliable source since Bobbie Woodward talked with Bill Casey's ghost .

Posted by: borntoraisehogs | September 27, 2009 11:23 PM | Report abuse

WashingtonDame is absolutely correct. I read the testimony on The Smoking Gun, too. Don't let anybody confuse the issue: he drugged and (anal) raped a young girl, plus he is a fugitive of justice. He deserves a long sentence.

Posted by: aeb_stl | September 27, 2009 11:37 PM | Report abuse

Here's the Smoking Gun link:

Posted by: edlharris | September 28, 2009 7:34 AM | Report abuse

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