Director Roman Polanski wants to return to the United States from exile in Europe, so he’s finally opening up to reporters about the crime he fled: the rape of a 13-year-old girl in the late 1970s. Except Polanski won’t say he’s sorry.
In fact, the director says he’s just “over” it, and the U.S. should be, too.
In an interview with media at the Zurich Film Festival, Polanksi discussed, for the first time in years, why he hasn’t been able to return to the United States — because he’s fleeing judgment in the 1978 rape of Samantha Geimer, whom Polanski lured to his house with the promise of a photo shoot. The director plied Samantha with drugs and alcohol, then brutally raped and sodomized her. Her mother eventually found out, and Polanksi was arrested, but he fled the country while out on bail awaiting trial, when he heard the judge did not intend to honor his plea bargain and allow him to get away with just “time served.”
Polanski told reporters that he’s been punished enough.
“As far as what I did: It’s over. I pleaded guilty. I went to jail. I came back to the United States to do it, people forget about that, or don’t even know. I then was locked up here (in Zurich) after this festival. So in the sum, I did about 4 or 5 times than what was promised to me,” Polanksi said.
“It’s over,” he added.
Polanski, for the record, has served exactly 334 days in prison, a various times in the U.S. and in Switzerland, and a year under house arrest as Swiss authorities debated extraditing him (they eventually rejected the U.S. request to send him home). That is what Polanski believes is punishment enough for drugging and raping a mere child.
And by the way, you’ll notice in his statement, he doesn’t say he’s sorry, or that he regrets his actions — only that he’s angry he’s had to live in luxury in Europe for the past several decades, rather than being fete’d in Hollywood, among his peers and apologists.
Polanski is, of course, more frustrated than ever. Over the summer, his lawyers petitioned for him to return to California, and for the California judicial system to wipe away any threat that Polanski may be forced to serve time in prison in his home state. The state of California refused, even though authorities were inundated with pleas from Hollywood’s elite.
(While Meryl Street rails against Donald Trump for his sexism, by the way, she is among Polanski’s most strident advocates, even leading a standing ovation for Polanski at an Oscars ceremony in 2003.)