Partner Marie Napoli was recently invited on Crime Stories with Nancy Grace (Sirius XM Channel 132). The topic of the segment centered around new rape allegations against famed Hollywood director Roman Polanski.
Mr. Polanski is an award winning movie director whose films have included Oscar nominated films include Rosemary’s Baby, Chinatown and Tess. In 2003 his film, The Pianist, won Best Picture and Best Director. Mr. Polanski was unable to attend the Oscar festivities since charges are still pending from a 1977 sexual assault case involving a 13-year old girl. As part of a plea bargain Mr. Polanski pleaded guilty to the charge of “Unlawful Sexual Intercourse with a minor”, served 42 days in prison and agreed to probation. Before final sentencing, Mr. Polanski fled the United States. As a French citizen, he has been protected from extradition and has lived primarily in France since then.
Nancy Grace points out on her show that many prominent Hollywood celebrities have come to Mr. Polanski’s defense, saying that he has been punished enough after the brutal murder of his pregnant wife, Sharon Tate, by Charles Manson followers and for having to live in exile. Ms. Grace disagrees saying that Roman Polanski owns and lives in several multi-million dollar mansions in Europe, continues to make movies and does not seem to display any remorse for his actions.
Recently, new rape allegations involving underage girls have surfaced. The woman, now in her 60’s, said that she was raped by Roman Polanski in 1975 when she was 15 years old. She says that she only came forward now as she was too shocked, humiliated and afraid to cause her parents pain at the time. “My mother would have had a heart attack.” Now that her parents have passed away, she said that she was able to come forward. “I held this secret too long.”
This marks the fourth claim made against Polanski and Nancy Grace adds that many have said that “there couldn’t have been only one victim” and that “a leopard does not change their spots.” Marie Napoli does question the timing of the latest alleged victim’s story. She says that it is possible that she came forward only after hearing about the civil settlement, hoping for a possible similar amount. Marie also discusses how many people want their 15 minutes of fame and crave notoriety.
Marie goes on to explain that Roman Polanski has not hid from his sentence for years, rather that he had served the mandated time at California Institution for Men at Chino and had agreed to the prosecution’s plea bargain. That it was only upon hearing from friends that the Judge was going to disregard the plea bargain and sentence Polanski to 50 years in prison did he flee the country. Marie asserts that the judge should not have changed the terms.
At the request of the United States authorities, Mr. Polanski has been arrested overseas previously, once in Zurich, Switzerland in 2009. Despite strong American public opinion against him, and polls in France and Poland favoring his extradition to the United States, Mr. Polanski was declared a “free man” by the Swiss after two months of house arrest.
Mr. Polanski remains the subject of a 2005 Interpol Red Notice at the request of the United States.