Roman Polanski has issued a statement thanking his supporters. He released the statement online, on the website of his friend, supporter, and initiator of the Free Polanski petition, Bernard-Henri Levy. I can only imagine that Polanski wrote this statement from the comfort of his Swiss chalet, where he is imprisoned in luxury with his family. In the statement, Polanski writes that the notes of support that he’s received have been “a source of comfort and hope” and that he is “overwhelmed”. Dude. Is it just me, or does it seem like Polanski is rubbing our faces in the fact that he’s very close to freedom?
The film director Roman Polanski said he was overwhelmed by messages of support as he battles extradition to the US to face a decades-old sex case involving a 13-year-old girl.
“In the darkest moments, each of their notes has been a source of comfort and hope, and they continue to be so in my current situation,” wrote Polanski in a letter released online.
The 76-year-old Oscar winner made his first public statement since his arrest in September in a letter to the French philospher Bernard-Henri Levy, who has been been one of his strongest supporters.
The director of Rosemary’s Baby and The Pianist is living under house arrest at his chalet in the Swiss Alpine resort of Gstaad after being released on bail on Dec 4. Swiss authorities have said a decision on his extradition to the US is expected in January.
“I have been overwhelmed by the number of messages of support and sympathy I have received in Winterthur prison, and that I continue to receive here, in my chalet in Gstaad, where I am spending the holidays with my wife and my children,” Polanski wrote. “These messages have come from my neighbours, from people all over Switzerland, and from beyond Switzerland – from across the world.”
US authorities want Polanski to face justice after he fled California in 1978 just before he was to be sentenced for having unlawful sex with a 13-year-old girl. Polanski had pleaded guilty to the charge as part of an agreement.
In his message posted on the website of Levy’s magazine Le Regle du Jeu, Polanski did not address his legal problems directly.
But he thanked his supporters. “I would like every one of them to know how heartening it is, when one is locked up in a cell, to hear this murmur of human voices and of solidarity in the morning mail,” he wrote.
[From The Telegraph]
The Guardian’s reporting of this open letter is slightly more interesting. They note that many of the people who signed the petition are now facing strong criticism of their own. They also note that Bernard-Henri Levy is one of the few “celebrities” who isn’t backing away from his association with Polanski. Levy told a French publication over the weekend: “”I have not moved one iota. This arrest was a disgrace. This detention was, and still is, a disgrace. This climate of popular justice and lynching … is still a disgrace.” Er… what? Polanski got to spend Christmas in his luxurious Swiss chalet, surrounded by friends and family. What is “disgraceful” about the way he’s being treated? I mean, it is disgraceful, but not the way Levy means it.