Roman Polanski has addressed his decades-old rape accusation in a new interview, claiming that he has finished his sentence.
The Oscar-winning film-maker appeared at the Zurich film festival to promote his new thriller. Based on a True Story. It was the same city that saw his extradition proceedings initiated back in 2009. In 1977, Polanski was arrested for drugging and sexually assaulting 13-year-old Samantha Geimer. After spending 42 days in jail, he then fled the country after hearing the judge was planning to sentence him for longer.
“As you know Samantha Geimer has been asking for over 30 years for this thing to end,” Polanski said to the Hollywood Reporter. “But, I’m sorry the judges who dealt with it the last 40 years were corrupted, one covering for the other. So I don’t [sic] maybe one of them will [eventually] stop doing it.”
Polanski remains a fugitive and in August, a judge in California pushed for the case to go forward despite Geimer appearing in court to urge them not to charge him further.
“As far as what I did: it’s over,” Polanski said. “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 four or five times than what was promised to me.”
Since the initial case, Polanski has been hit with two further claims. In 2010, British actor Charlotte Lewis said the actor “forced himself” on her when she was 16 and earlier this year, a woman identified only as Robin, claimed she was “sexually vicitimized” by the director when she was also 16.
His new film, starring Eva Green and Polanski’s wife Emmanuelle Seigner, received poor reviews when a work-in-progress print screened at Cannes. The Guardian’s Peter Bradshaw called it “flat”. Polanski, whose credits include Chinatown and Rosemary’s Baby, has said that it is “unfortunate” that his work is now being viewed with knowledge of the scandal surrounding his case.
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