Roman Polanski Apologizes to Rape Victim In Documentary

Sep 29, 2011, 09:01 by R.E. Christian

In a new documentary, "Roman Polanski: A Film Memoir," the French-born filmmaker apologizes to the woman he sexually assaulted in 1977 when she was 13.

Directed by Laurent Bouzereau, the documentary premiered Tuesday night at Switzerland's Zurich Film Festival.

"She is a double victim: my victim and a victim of the press," The Daily Telegraph reported Polanski, 78, said in the documentary. "Everybody has made mistakes and I have made mistakes, too, things that happened and I am sorry for that."

The Oscar-winning writer-director pleaded guilty in Los Angeles to unlawful sex with a minor decades ago but fled the United States before he could be sentenced and has been living in Europe since.

He was accused of drugging and raping Samantha Geimer, who as an adult in recent years has asked prosecutors to drop the matter so she could move on with her life. She accepted a settlement from Polanski in a civil lawsuit but is not permitted to discuss the terms.

Polanski was picked up on the outstanding warrant at the 2009 edition of the Zurich Film Festival and placed under house arrest in Switzerland for several months. He eventually was released.

Officials have said they will not extradite Polanski to the United States to face the charge; a Los Angeles judge said he will not consider dropping the charge unless Polanski appears in person before him, and Polanski has vowed not to return to the United States unless the charge is dismissed.

Fox News said Polanski received a standing ovation at the festival Tuesday when he was presented with the lifetime achievement award he was scheduled to receive in 2009, but missed because of his arrest.

The filmmaker thanked the audience, joking it was "better late than never."

"It's a strange anniversary for me, two years, day for day," Fox News said he noted. "Certain parts of it I'd rather forget, but I'm happy to be here."

His films include "Rosemary's Baby," "Chinatown," "The Pianist," "The Ghost Writer" and the forthcoming "Carnage."

Source: UPI