LOS ANGELES – In his first public statement in months, filmmaker Roman Polanski said Sunday that his possible extradition to the United States over a 33-year-old sex-crime case is authorities’ attempt “to serve me on a platter to the media of the world.”
Polanski, who has been held in Switzerland since September, published the statement in an online magazine run by French philosopher Bernard-Henri Levy, one of his longtime supporters.
In it, Polanski argues that the case against him is unjust, citing discrepancies in court procedure and the fact that the victim in the case has requested that proceedings against Polanski be dropped.
“I can remain silent no longer because the California court has dismissed the victim’s numerous requests that proceedings against me be dropped, once and for all, to spare her from further harassment every time this affair is raised once more,” Polanski wrote.
He also takes aim at Los Angeles County District Attorney Steve Cooley, who last year revived attempts to sentence Polanski in the case, which stemmed from his arrest in 1977 after having sex with a 13-year-old girl.
Polanski said Cooley, who is running for California attorney general, is “campaigning for election and needs media publicity!”
The Oscar-winning director was arrested in 1977 and charged with various offenses, including rape. He pleaded guilty to having unlawful sex with a minor and spent 42 days in a California state prison during a psychiatric evaluation, but he fled the country before final sentencing.