Polanski Denies Rumors On Party
Tuesday, August 19th, 1969
LOS ANGELES, Aug. 19 – Roman Polanski, the film director, denied today reports that his hillside home had been the scene of a wild drug party on the night of Aug. 8, when his wife, Sharon Tate, the actress, and four other persons were murdered.
There had been marijuana parties at his home, but on the night of the murders there was no party at all, Mr. Polanski said.
His hands jammed deep into the pockets of his double-breasted gray suit, the short, slight director, his shoulder-length hair touseled, almost broke into open sobbing three times as he defended “the memory of one person, a person who loved me.”
“Sharon did not use drugs,” Mr. Polanski said. “She did not touch alcohol, and she did not smoke cigarettes.”
He said that his wife had been completely preoccupied with the baby she expected to have within a month, and had spent part of her last day ministering to a lost kitten that had wandered into the Polanski home from nearby Hollywood Hills.
Mr. Polanski’s lawyer said that the director was mystified by the murder of his wife and their friends.
The 26-year-old Miss Tate, who made her bid for movie stardom in the “Valley of the Dolls,” a movie about sex and drugs, was found slashed to death on the morning of Aug. 9.
A nylon rope looped around her neck was thrown over a beam in the huge living room of the two-bedroom house in Benedict Canyon. The other end of the rope was looped around the neck of a 35-year old Hollywood male hair stylist, Jay Sebring, who had been shot and stabbed.
The bodies of two family friends, Abigail Folger, 26, and Voyteck Frykowski, 37, were lying on the lawn. Miss Folger, a member of the Folger coffee family, had been slashed to death with a knife, Mr. Frykowski had been shot.
Mr. Polanski did not see the scene of the murder until two days after the bodies had been removed. He was in London on the night of the murders.
There was a touch of bitterness in Mr. Polanski’s voice when he discussed his relationship with Mr. Frykowski, whom he had known in their native Poland.
“He was a very nice human being who wanted success but had little talent,” said Mr. Polanski.
After the two men left Poland, they met in Paris where Mr. Polanski was building his reputation as a moviemaker.
“There was a little I could do for him except give him money and encouragement,” Mr. Polanski said.
Mr. Frykowski later came to New York where he lived until he met Miss Folger last year about the same time that Mr. Polanski and Miss Tate were married in London.
About four months ago, the Polanskis left Los Angeles. He went to London to write a movie script, and she went to Rome to finish a movie.
Mr. Frykowski was asked to stay in the Polanski home while the Polanskis were gone. Miss Folger moved into the Polanski home with Mr. Frykowski.
Mr. Polanski said he knew nothing about Mr. Frykowski’s connection with the “people who came to my house.”
There have been reports that Mr. Frykowski met with narcotics peddlers and suppliers at the Polanski home. Two pounds of European refined hashish and some pills were found in Mr. Sebring’s car outside the Polanski home by policemen investigating the murders.
“Jay Sebring was our close friend,” said Mr. Polanski.
“He would drop by sometimes without calling and we would drink a beer,” Mr. Polanski said. “Sebring and Frykowski smoked pot [marijuana] sometimes. I saw them do it. I was never at a Hollywood party that somebody didn’t smoke pot.”
By Martin Waldron