Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Chasing down the rabbit

A lot about Roman Polanski in the news lately. Recently arrested in Switzerland after 30-something years on the lam from U.S. jurisdiction on a statutory rape charge. Jumped bail. Not returned to U.S. by Switzerland yet, but the fix was in or else why would they have bothered to arrest him after all these years of roaming free in Europe? He was born in France, is a French citizen, France doesn't do the extradition thing with the U.S. (the perfecters of the guillotine sniff at our barbaric criminal penalties.)

Hollywood seems to think the law should leave him alone. The far right media is tearing him up. Foxboy Sean Hannity has REALLY been indignant, acting as if he knows the score. Says Polanski raped and sodomized a little girl after "pumping her full of drugs." Seems to be getting out of hand. Veteran newswoman Cokie Roberts says he should be killed. Polanski, not Hannity.

Anyone interested in a little Clarity here?

In 1977, Roman Polanski was a famous movie director. He became prominent with the success of his 1968 hit "Rosemary's Baby". His greatest film achievement (my opinon, of course) was Chinatown, starring Jack Nicholson and Faye Dunaway. He is still a famous movie director and has an impressive body of work over his lifetime, though not in the U.S. anymore, of course. His most recent big picture that I liked was "The Pianist" (2002) which earned its star Adrien Brody an Oscar for Best Actor. Roman Polanski won an Oscar for Best Director, but, as you might imagine, didn't show to pick it up.

August of 1969 found Polanski married to the beautiful "Valley of the Dolls" actress Sharon Tate. They had a rented home in a remote area of Beverly hills, off Beverly Glen. While Polanski was across the pond working on a film, his 9-months pregnant wife Sharon was living in the house with Polanski's Polish friend, Voytek Frykowski and Frykowski's girlfriend, coffee heiress Abigail Folger. Polanski had planned to fly home in time for the birth of the baby. Also visiting at the home the night of August 9 was famed hair salon guy Jay Sebring, a former boyfriend of Sharon's who, oddly, was condoned by Polanski as a frequent visitor. Or so the story goes.

Then the Charles Manson death fiends from hell descended on the house and killed everyone that night. The rest is history. (Coincidentally to this post, Susan Atkins, one of the Manson fiends that night who actually did the stabbing of Sharon Tate Polanski and her unborn baby, died a few days ago [September 25] in prison of brain cancer. This wouldn't have happened had Susan been imprisoned in Scotland.)

In 1977, Roman Polanski met a young (aspiring) model at actor Jack Nicholson's house, for a photo shoot, while Nicholson was away. Nicholson and Polanski were friends. During the course of the evening, he took pictures, gave her champagne and a quaalude. He became aware that she was only 13 years old but didn't stop. Her mother was aware she was there with the great director. Not sure if taking a quaalude is the same as "pumping her full of drugs", but he sure did give her one. And even if he didn't know her correct age, he knew she wasn't 18.

I'm not saying she participated, or cooperated. She didn't want it to happen. Doesn't matter. California law said she wasn't qualified from an age standpoint to give informed consent. Statutory rape. Often those things are worked out without going to prison. Money. Probation. Not this time.

Read the details of what happened yourself, if you want to know the truth instead of listening to the hysterical American press and broadcast media. You can read the girl's play by play (or blow by blow, if you wish) account in her testimony here in the grand jury transcript.

My opinion? He needs to spend some time in jail, if only for the running away part. The girl, now 30-some years older, couldn't care less. Again, doesn't matter. The victim in the eyes of the law is "The People of California," not the girl. The girl doesn't have to "press charges." Same like in any crime.

Most of the Hollywood establishment have their sensibilities pretty offended, that one of their own, of such artistic bent (who has probably suffered much already from being forced to live in France all these years) should be called to account like a common criminal.

Oh. He IS a common criminal.


  1. I couldn't care less what movies he's made (I'm not fond of any of his movies to date, but, if I thought he was the Mozart of filmmaking, I don't think I'd feel differently).

    He is a criminal and no one should be above the law. The fact that some are allowed to be doesn't excuse it.

    Does that mean I agree with you AGAIN? I'm starting to get worried.

  2. Too much agreeing lately. Scary. :)



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