On Sunday Roman Polanski stated that “he can remain silent no longer” over his still-unresolved rape case, now 33 years old, and distributed a statement to the media. Actually his old friend Bernard-Henri Lévy sent around the 908-word statement, reports the NYT.
Polanski has been under house arrest at his home in Gstaad, Switzerland, where the authorities have to determine whether or not to extradite the filmmaker to the United States to face sentencing in an L.A. Court, something he has been avoiding for three decades. He was arrested entering Switzerland for a tribute on September 26.
“I can remain silent no longer because the request for my extradition addressed to the Swiss authorities is founded on a lie,” writes Polanski, who blames Marina Zenovich’s HBO documentary Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired for stirring up career-mongering LA prosecutors into acting on his long dormant case. (She’s working on a follow-up, needless to say.)
While I object to people who suggest that Polanski never did anything terribly wrong–he did–I do think that at his advanced age he bears little threat to anyone and has been punished, served time, and should be able to break out of this impasse. Was he a libertine and a reprobate, did he behave criminally and break the law? Yes. I’d like to see him cop to what he did. But this case is old and cold. There must be a way to fix this.
By the way, The Ghost Writer was one of Polanski’s best, sharpest, most personal films in a long while. I want to see him make more films.