Roster of Statements


The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

SNAP Press Statement

For immediate release: Friday, October 30, 2009

Gore Vidal calls rape victim a "hooker;" SNAP responds

Statement by Barbara Dorris, SNAP Outreach Director, 314 862 7688 home

Calling a 13 year old victim of a convicted rapist a "hooker" is beyond the pale.

The Atlantic calls Vidal a "provocateur." But in this case, he's just a mean-spirited buffoon.

People should express their outrage by refusing to buy any of his books. I'm sure Vidal is wealthy and a boycott wouldn't really affect him. But we can hope that it will cause anyone else with such callous views to keep his mouth shut and avoid rubbing salt into the already deep wounds of child sex abuse and rape victims.

We of course feel terribly sorry for Polanski's victim. Statistically speaking, since child abuse is so prevalent, it's very likely that one or more of Vidal’s relatives has been abused or raped. We feel terribly sorry for him or her too.

Let's remember this the next time someone asks, "Why don't kids report child sex abuse?" or "Why don't women come forward after they're raped?" One answer is because of the viciousness of people like Gore Vidal.

(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the nation’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. We’ve been around since 1988 and have more than 9,000 members across the country. Despite the word “priest” in our title, we have members who were molested by religious figures of all denominations, including nuns, rabbis, bishops, and Protestant ministers. Our website is

Contact David Clohessy (314-566-9790 cell, 314-645-5915 home), Peter Isely (414-429-7259) Barbara Blaine (312-399-4747), Barbara Dorris (314-862-7688 home, 314 503 0003)

Gore Vidal: Thirteen-year-old Roman Polanski rape victim was a 'hooker'

Author Gore Vidal says he refuses to feel any sympathy for Roman Polanski’s rape victim, whom he dubs a “hooker.”

In an interview with The Atlantic, the controversial 83-year-old author of such books as “Myra Breckinridge” and “1876” says of the director’s sex scandal, “I really don’t give a [expletive]. Look am I going to sit and weep every time a young hooker feels as though she’s being taken advantage of?”

The young woman to whom he is referring is Samantha Geimer, who was a 13-year-old aspiring model in 1977 when she was drugged and raped by Polanski.

Vidal went on to say that the media pushed an inaccurate image of Geimer, painting her as an innocent victim as opposed to what he believes to be her true identity.

Click here to read the interview in The Atlantic.

“I was in the middle of all that,” he says of the scandal. “Back then, we all were. Everybody knew everybody else. There was a totally different story at the time that doesn’t resemble anything that we’re now being told.”

Worse, Vidal claims that it is the media’s vehement “anti-Semitic and anti-fag thing” that led to the persecution of Polanski, who is Jewish and was born in Poland.

SLIDESHOW: Anatomy of the Roman Polanski Sex Scandal

“The media can’t get anything straight … The idea that this girl was in her communion dress, a little angel all in white, being raped by this awful Jew, ‘Polacko’ – that’s what people were calling him – well, the story is totally different now from what it was then … Anti-Semitism got poor Polanski.”

Polanski, now 76, was arrested in Switzerland last month and is pending extradition. He has been living in France since he fled the U.S. in 1978, a year after pleading guilty to unlawful sexual intercourse with an underage girl.

The director of such classic films as "Chinatown" and "Rosemary's Baby" has asked a U.S. appeals court in California to overturn a judges' refusal to throw out his case. He claims misconduct by the now-deceased judge who had arranged a plea bargain and then reneged on it.

Just three days ago, Geimer, now 46, asked the court to drop all charges against the director, claiming that the unwanted publicity has harmed her health, work and family.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests