Roman Polanski Speaks Out

by Melissa Silverstein on May 3, 2010

in Politics

For the first time since he was arrested on his way to a film festival to be awarded a lifetime achievement award nine months ago, Roman Polanski has spoken out from his chalet in Gstaad where he is under house arrest.

In the last couple of weeks the US courts have denied his request to be sentenced in abstentia, and since that decision it is looking more like he will be extradited from Switzerland to the US to face the music.

So he’s pissed and has decided to speak out.

Here are some of the highlights of his statement.  Read full statement on here (h/t

I have had my share of dramas and joys, as we all have, and I am not going to try to ask you to pity my lot in life. I ask only to be treated fairly like anyone else.

It is true: 33 years ago I pleaded guilty, and I served time at the prison for common law crimes at Chino, not in a VIP prison. That period was to have covered the totality of my sentence. By the time I left prison, the judge had changed his mind and claimed that the time served at Chino did not fulfil the entire sentence, and it is this reversal that justified my leaving the United States.

I can no longer remain silent because the United States continues to demand my extradition more to serve me on a platter to the media of the world than to pronounce a judgment concerning which an agreement was reached 33 years ago.

Treated fairly like anyone else?

Is it fair treatment to be on house arrest in a Swiss chalet with the ability to finish editing your film (which by the way has been released and did relatively well.)

Is it fair treatment to use your friends in the media to create a whole counter campaign to show that you have been mistreated?

I don’t know all the ins and outs of the case and whether the judge changed his mind inappropriately.  He might have.  The point to me is that he took justice into his own hands and fled and has stayed away for over three decades because he knew he had to face the music.

Nobody should be able to flee from justice.  That’s called fair treatment.  If he wants this resolved he should just come back and go to court.  He might not receive another minute in jail (who knows), but he needs to come to the US.

As he said himself, he pleaded GUILTY.  That means you should be sentenced in a court just like all the other rapists.

Roman Polanski Statement (Alt Film Guide)

Polanski says extradition case based on a lie (Reuters)


{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Ele May 3, 2010 at 9:29 AM

Whenever I hear people defending Roman Polanski, I can’t help but think about the lack of information surrounding the case. In Europe, where I live, the general public for the most part sides with Mr. Polanski. Including France’s Minister of Culture, and a laundry list of artists and intellectuals.

I wonder: do they have all the facts about the case? Have they read the grand jury minutes of the sexual assault case, which were unsealed six years ago? The full transcript of his victim’s heartbreaking testimony is available here:

I wholeheartedly agree with Melissa: Mr. Polanski should be sentenced in court like all other rapists.

Deaf Indian Muslim Anarchist May 3, 2010 at 9:48 AM

who cares what a child rapist have to say? I’ve got no time, attention or respect for this piece of shit scumbag.

Rhea May 3, 2010 at 11:40 AM

He committed a terrible crime, and he’s lived the high life. He should be imprisoned.

DecentDiscourse May 3, 2010 at 12:39 PM

I too was astounded to read his comments. Would love to, HYPOTHETICALLY, get his take on a situation identical to his involving his own family. Obviously, that takes it to an extreme, but it seems that’s the point one must get to in order for people to open their eyes. Would Mr. Polanski petition on behalf of a rapist involving his own family? You know, now that I think about it, he probably would. It’s quite frustrating to read people’s comments about “enough already” and “it was 31 years ago.” Heck, maybe we should just forget that Holocaust thing too, while we’re at it. At the very least, if he walks on this, every child rapist will have hope that if they can just be gone long enough, they too can walk.

Marilyn Ferdinand May 3, 2010 at 12:50 PM

As I understand it, Polanski and his lawyers were trying to strike a deal with the judge for a time-served sentence. However, it is not up to the judge to make deals; that’s the DA’s responsibility, and there was no offer coming from them. I assume that when Polanski realized he couldn’t game the system by trying to charm a star-struck judge, he fled.

sally May 3, 2010 at 4:17 PM

Let me translate:
Roman would like to make clear that he feels like he’s being shanked up the ass without his consent by being forced to go to court. How unfair is that? Totally uncool in his mind. I mean, he doesn’t want to go and besides, they are being just mean. And a lot of cool people think he’s all that and doesn’t deserve to be forced to do something he doesn’t want to do. How awful people are to be so unjust and unfair and uncivilized to make him bend over and take it in court? Without his consent, because he doesn’t agree he should do it: therefore he shouldn’t have to. How totally sad. It’s like a rape or something. And everyone knows, you don’t rape totally pious family men who are “big men” in their profession like him. US courts suck. The End.

Ilse May 4, 2010 at 12:43 AM

@ Ele: I live in France as well and I have noticed that the French “elite” believes mor in aesthetics than in ethics. As soon as someone has proven he or she is worth something, be it in music, cinema, literature,… he or she is forgiven all flaws and the case is not looked into further.

Even though I like watching “Canal +”, I was really surprised to see its opinion turn from outrage to acceptance after having received a nice diverse group of the French cultural elite, using the only argument of “yes but he made good movies and what’s in the past is in the past”.
I had hoped better for one of the only channels who claims to be opposed to the “general thought”.

France is not ready to address rape culture and to redefine the outlines of sexual morality. Homosexuality (especially for lesbians) is still highly frowned upon but child molesting is still accepted if you make beautiful movies.

Julie Kerr May 4, 2010 at 12:47 AM

I really, really, really hope that this guy gets prison time.

The whole world is watching including rape victims and rapists. I hope this case can be an example to the world of what should happen when a person commits rape.

I really hope the US courts do the right thing.

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