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Roman Polanski Arrested in Switzerland on 30 Year Old Warrant

by
September 27, 2009
Source: NY Daily News

Roman Polanski

Filmmaker Roman Polanski has been arrested in Switzerland today on a 1978 US arrest warrant, reports NY Daily News. Polanski was flying to Switzerland to receive an honorary award at the Zurich Film Festival when he was detained late Saturday at the airport, festival organizers said in a statement. Polanski fled the US back in 1978, a year after pleading guilty to the accusations that he had sex with a 13-year-old girl. He has since never returned to the US, but has continued to direct in France. Swiss officials say they arrested him because they have an extradition treaty with the US that dates back to the 1950s that is still in force.

The story behind Polanski's controversial trial and flee to Europe has been known around Hollywood for years. It was most recently brought up again in the critically acclaimed documentary Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired from last year. Polanski is an Oscar winning filmmaker responsible for bringing us classics like Rosemary's Baby, Chinatown, and The Pianist. His last full feature film was Oliver Twist in 2005, although he was in the midst of directing and finishing another new feature called The Ghost, which stars Ewan McGregor and Pierce Brosnan. We actually just ran a short teaser for that a few months back.

The Swiss Directors Association criticized authorities for what it deemed "not only a grotesque farce of justice, but also an immense cultural scandal." During his trial in 1978, Polanski was allowed to plead guilty to one of six charges, unlawful sexual intercourse, and was sent to prison for 42 days of evaluation. Lawyers agreed that would be his sentence, but the judge tried to reneg on the plea bargain. Aware the judge would sentence him to more prison time and require his voluntary deportation, Polanski fled to France. The victim, Samantha Geimer previously joined in Polanski's bid for dismissal, saying she wants the case to be over.

We're not sure what this means for The Ghost, as we don't know if it was already completed or not, but I'm sure we'll be hearing a lot more regarding this arrest and Polanski's situation soon. I don't care to comment on his convictions or his personal choices, but as a filmmaker, this is very unfortunate to hear, especially for someone who currently has a project in the works. We'll keep you updated on all the latest news as it arrives.

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  • Linkfx
    That's unfortunate to hear...the whole thing was bungled by law enforcement so long ago...give him a fine and be done with it.
  • He had sex with a 13 year girl, isn't that legal in America? R Kelly did a song about it I think.
  • I think Polanski comes into the 'has talent' arm of peadophile, like Michael Jackson who was good at imitating street kids from the Bronx in a moowalk fashion, Roman could make films so I think that's an immediate 'get out of jail' card, to really get put in prison you have to kill someone, but you can actually get away with this sometimes too.
  • Itri
    If you look at his personal life I'm shocked so many people have absolutely NO sympathy for the man. And even if you didn't, the victim said HERSELF she wanted the case dropped and over. That's reason enough for it to be over forever. This is ridiculous and the man should just be able to live out the rest of his life now.
  • Al
    The line in China Town "We are all, at one time or another, capable of doing terrible things" is particularly creepy considering what Polanski did (or who he did) 3 years later.
  • redskull
    Roman you are, Roman you be Roman in your history Roman in your victory Roman in your destiny Are you free, are you really free? Are you really, really, really, really, really free? Is it you or is it me? Or is it simply history? Are you free, are you really free? Are you really, really, really, really, really free? Is it you or is it me? Or is it simply jealousy? Sharon walks alone as your wife Sharon gives her life for a knife Sharon floating high up above Sighing, crying, dying below Oh, oh Roman, oh Roman Roman P. Life of money, life of sex Life of money, life of hex Little girls drinking and eating of cake Little girls gorge you, your greatest mistake
  • Xerxex
    The 13 year old issue should be let up on but never forgotten. but I do have some sympathy I mean his wife Sharon Tate and their unborn child we're mudrered by the Manson Family.
  • beavis
    hey #6......spam much? hey #1, 2, 4, 7.....glad you're willing to come up with reasons grown adults are allowed to be having sex with kids - you people don't get it. it's in the past because he RAN from taking responsibility. and children do NOT have the legal right to decide to have sex with adults. if an adult has consentual sex with a child - IT'S STILL A CRIME......and a reprehensible one at that. it sounds like everyone here supporting polanski has a few underage skeletons in their closet. there are too many rich people in the entertainment industry getting away with shit like this. i say prosecute him to the full extent of the law. HE HAD SEX WITH A CHILD. he should be ashamed of what he did.......and none of you should be throwing out the "sympathy" card for this pedophile.
  • terces7
    Go fuck yourself beavis, : )
  • Peter
    But he entertains me with movies, so it's ok he drugs up and rapes children. Never forget the bottom line. My access to entertaining movies is more important than the well being of children who'll get over it anyway. I mean they're going to have sex someday so what does it matter when? And now they'll have a really cool story about being introduced to the world of sex and drugs by some famous director. That's more than most people get.
  • pipo
    This whole Switzerland (aren't they supposed to be neutral?) story sounds more like a conspiracy to me. I wonder if they really wanted to give him a "honorary" award at all. Traitors!
  • He should be treated no different from anyone who has sex with a minor. It was a crime then and it's a crime now. He should have been properly punished then and should be properly punished now. I don't care if he makes amazing films, dont give a crap. A crime is a crime and he should be treated the same as everyone else. It's like, if some plumber that nobody knows, had sex with a minor in the 70's, ran away; then he was extradited like this year, everyone would agree that he ought to still be punished. Nobody would care about what things in his personal life may have made him do the crime, he would still be punished. Oh, and Polanski pleaded guilty while Michael Jackson was cleared of ALL accounts.
  • Dirty Dutchman
    Maybe his publicist thought this was a good idea to generate publicity about him... beats making a sex tape in your 70's.
  • Dirty Dutchman
    Just in case #8 Beavis would read my last comment and misunderstand... it's sarcasm.
  • Spider
    I knew this was bound to catch up to him. I am also skeptical about the honorary award in Switzerland. Well, this will have a huge media circus for many weeks to come!! Shame that the flick will be affected, if it hadn't been completed. I'll stay tuned!!!
  • N
    Even though it's not exusable in anyway, having sex with a minor is wrong, but just thinking of what that man went through after his wife was so brutally murdered makes you really pity the man.
  • danny
    he should be not treated no different like anyone else. Victor Salva should be also locked up he molested a 12 year old boy and he videotaped it. the film industry is full of sickos the justice system needs to come down hard on these people.
  • xerxex
    beavis asshole much? I said we should never forget what he did, I won't. He had sex with a 13 year old child, but come on! The Manson family murdered his wife and unborn child, that probably fucked him up for life, never forget but cut him some slack!
  • rudeguy
    shouldn't have banged a kid!
  • Marcus
    Samantha Geimer (the victim): "Every time this case is brought to the attention of the Court, great focus is made of me, my family, my mother and others. That attention is not pleasant to experience and is not worth maintaining over some irrelevant legal nicety, the continuation of the case." http://www.cnn.com/2009/CRIME/01/12/polanski.case/index.html Stop making it sound like she's doing it because she's on Polanski's side.
  • blaze
    #18 its fucked up that The Manson family murdered his wife and unborn child but he still shouldn't never drug and have unlawful sex with a 13 year old, does not matter how fucked up his life is. we know he lost a love one but no way he should do harm on others cause his life is fucked up cause of the The Manson family. most or some pedophile say the same thing were they have a fucked up life thats why they abuse young children. heres something just imagine it was your child who got sexual abuse by a man who had his wife killed by the manson family. then he drugged your child and abuse your child then he run to france cause he did not want to be arrested. are you going to still say "cut him some slack! cause his wife got killed by the mason family?".
  • xerxex
    yeah its castration worthy, no one should get off as easy as he did, no one. Roman should face punishment for his sick actions. the masons murder bit the bastard in the ass, then who know how fucked up that made him, but once a ephebophile always an ephebophile. and a 30 year old warrant his a little stupid, but since he never really faced charges its okay that he's getting arrested. My previous comments are all but useless. I can't figure out why I defended him maybe his films speak for him China Town and The Pianist are two of my favorite films, but there is no excuse.
  • Sabes
    I don't understand why people say cut him some slack. You wouldn't think that if it was your sibling, or child that got raped. I know he went through some truly terrible things in his life, but that's no excuse. He shouldn't have done what he did. He needs to be punished like everyone else.
  • shadow
    The man was given a sentence and her served it, the victim doesn't want any more from him, and he's not going to be doing anything more with young girls. All this achieves is wasting tax dollars and putting an old man in prison.
  • dj
    @ shadow he did not served anything
  • blaze
    #22 i agree 30 year old warrant his a little stupid but you know how the justice system is they are slow at everything. i used stand why you defended him cause he produce good movies but still he did the wrong
  • Brian Barajas
    if i have sex (rape) with a 13 year old girl and she doesnt want to press charges, now or in the future, does that mean its cool? guess so with alot of you people...... i agree with #3 100%
  • EJP
    Samantha's mother drove her to the house (and knew exactly what was going to happen) in attempt to further her (mother's) movie career. Also, Samantha had had sex before and used drugs before. While that still doesn't make it right for Roman to do what he did, it's not like he snatched some innocent little girl off the playground.
  • DoomCanoe
    well... the Manson family had to murder someone. i mean tough shit it was his family but fucking a little girl kind of evens it out.
  • Xerxex
    DoomCanoe "The Manson Family Had To Murder Someone" wow. r
  • The dude sodomized a 13 year old girl. I mean, what worse crime is there besides murder? Just cause he ran away for 30 years doesn't mean the punishment should be any less. And his job (director of award winning movies or bricklayer) has nothing to do with it. I love his friends sticking up for him. "This is appalling. You are putting away a genius!" lol. Oh, I must have been absent for the "all geniuses can rape young girls" announcement. You break the law, you gotta pay for it. It seems like that's finally going to happen.
  • Xerxex
    Pure and simple is the matter of maybe 12 hours I've gone from "cut him slack" to "castration" now I've come up with a resonable conclusion, the man exiled himself like a coward, fled away from his crime, and karma is indeed a bitch 30 years ago a warrant for his arrest came along and 30 years later he may get the proper punishment. Accroding to laws: Rape by giving a drug or intoxicant to a person that renders them unable to give consent punishemnts include Unlimited Fine, 0-15 years in prison, no life sentence. and Statutory rape can lead to an Unlimited Fine, 0-15 years, no life sentence. He should get perhaps what? worst part in all this right now: Polish foreign minister Rados?aw Sikorski announced he might request clemency for Polanski from U.S. president Barack Obama. French foreign minister Bernard Kouchner said he had asked his Swiss counterpart to ensure that Polanski's rights are fully respected and that a "favourable solution" would be rapidly found
  • Chris H
    Guy finally got nabbed. No slack for pedophiles. I don't care if it takes a hundred years to catch a child sex offender, the action results in severe punishment. There shouldn't be an expiration date on justice.
  • Bob H
    He committed a crime. He ran away to stay out of jail. It caught up with him in the end. The victim who is (of course) an adult now wants the case to disappear, not because she forgives Polanski or doesn't care because it's in the past. The victim wants the case to disappear because she's tired of the news focusing on her life. Guess what, even if the victim doesn't want to press charges, the DA can still prosecute. I sympathize with Polanski because of what happened with the Manson's. I enjoy his films, but that doesn't mean he shouldn't have to deal with the consequences of his actions.
  • Tom B.
    Oooh, his wife and child was murdered, let's cut him some slack! Let him rape a 13 year old! (But please oh please don't let it be my child!) Oooh, he's talented, and the Swiss people probably tricked him! The U.S. Government is evil! Let's let him off! (But please oh please dear U.S. Government stop other people from committing crimes against me!) Oooh, the girl he raped says to let it go! So it's okay now! (But please oh please don't stop pursuing the bastards if he raped me or my child!) Hypocrites.
  • Corran Horn
    Regarding The Ghost: According to IMDb, the film's been in post-production since May, so I imagine it's close to being finished if it isn't already.
  • Masteryoda007
    I say we should get a laplander to bite his nuts off just like Frank Drebin from Police Squad suggested.
  • Masteryoda007
    I cannot believe the amount of sympathy for this beast on this site. Are you paedo supporting Frenchies trying to invade?
  • I think to really be shocking you have to rape babies. It's babies or nothing these days, 13 year olds are just asking for it and no-one is even interested.
  • subcelsious5g
    what a weasel , this guy should get 30 years for evading capture. ya i liked the ninth gate but a 13 year old....com'on. how can actors even have worked with this guy.
  • THERBLIG
    OK THIS IS GETTING OUT OF HAND!!!! aLL THE CRAZY COMMENTS ARE JUST AS BAD IF NOT WORSE THAN THE FACT THAT HE DID IT, YOU GUYS HAVE A LOT OF BUILT UP AGGRESSION. THE FACT THAT YOU CAN THINK UP TORTURE SO QUICKLY IS CRAZYYeah what he did is messed up, so let him do his time than and be done with it!! Firstshowing needs to pull further commenting on this subject. This is not what this site is about!
  • Chris H.
    THERBLIG, people verbally expressing ways to punish a child sex offender is as bad or WORSE than having sex with a child? Think before you write.
  • Doesn't matter who he is or what has happened to him in his life. He committed a crime and admitted to it, he should have to pay for breaking the law. Nobody should be above the law.
  • Adrian
    I can't believe people actually have the gall to defend this Peadophile. Im sorry but i've watched enough of Chris Hansen's 'To catch a predator' to know that what this guy did was wrong....even if the victim is over it now. It still doesnt take away from the fact that he drugged, had sex with and sodomised a 13yr old. How anyone can defend this guy is beyond me....seriously!
  • Kyle
    Can't do the time...Don't do the crime... May he rot in prison; artist or not...There's no get out of jail free cards in America... We should forgive him because he skipped the country for 30 years? That's bull shit...
  • JusThinkin'
    America the Beautiful. Where justice really means "Just-Us", the rich white privileged class. America the Beautiful. Where a rich white pervert can drug, rape, and sodomize a 13-year old minor, flee the country, and then have people outraged, not because of the egregiousness of the crime, but because the criminal was finally CAUGHT! Making excuses for this monster! "Oh, Roman Polanski was a genius". Yeah, he was a genius alright! He has managed to mesmerize a certain crowd with some so-called "artistic" movies for God's sake, and now they're acting like HE was the victim and he's acting like he's SURPRISED he finally got caught, like he did nothing wrong. People around the world are sympathizing with him, portraying this country as a monster. And the fact that our President and our Secretary of State are getting caught up in this mess is ludicrous. Yeah, he's a genius alright. "Oh, his wife and unborn child were viciously murdered by the Manson gang therefore the crime that he committed should be overlooked". Really now? If Joe the Plumber would have had to face the music so should Roman Polanski. Yes, I can feel sorry for what he must have endured after his wife's murder, but that should not be used to excuse or justify what he did. Bottom line, when that man was here in America, he had the chance to show some cajones and stand up like a man and defend himself if he felt he was being treated unfairly. He had the money, the best legal team he could buy, and the Hollywood crowd to swear up and down that he was perfect and could do no wrong. But what did he do? He chose to be a cowardly weazel and run away and hide. Had he done the right thing 30 YEARS AGO this foolishness wouldn't even be going on today! But before he left he bought the real victim's silence with a pile of money. What I can't understand is why the same people who were hollering for Michael Jackson's head because they thought he had willingly "paid off" the extortionistic parents of his alleged victims not hollering just as loud or louder about this girl's mother allowing her daughter's silence to be bought? Why is no one asking what kind of a mother would accept money from a man who ADMITTED UNDER OATH that he gave her daughter drugs & liquer, lured her into a hot tub and then raped and sodomized her? Where is your outrage at THAT you pack of hypocrites? Oh yeah I forgot. This is America and that is "Just-Us".
  • aaron
    You know if he would have just been a man and done his time back in 1978, he probably would have gotten no more than a slap on the wrist and maybe have done 6 months to a year if even that in prison because crimes against children back then weren't frowned upon as big as they are today. Now by prolonging this thing for over 30 years, he has really screwed the pooch and probably will get a lot more time, but it's well deserved.
  • lol
    man, this world is truly fucked up - afterall, there are people out there who defend that bastard.
  • DiR3ct
    well not that I condone it but he never went to trial did he so he hasn't been proven guilty of the crime, having said that I think he needs to answer for it even though he arrest is BS since the Swiss wouldn't have touched him if it wasn't for the US pushing the Swiss on their banking industry.
  • Marcus
    #49 What? Not only did he go to trial, he pleaded guilty!
  • If creative talent justifies a Get Out of Jail Free card, what level of misdeed should other directors' talent let them get away with? Directors' Get Out of Jail Free Card survey
  • Bullet in a head - that's what one of such heroes got in my country by young girl's father...

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