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Roman Polanski arrested on rape charges -

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Roman Polanski arrested on rape charges

Broadcast: 28/09/2009

Reporter: Anne Maria Nicholson

He reached the heights of film fame, lost his wife in a grisly murder, and became a fugitive from
American justice. But the past has caught up with Roman Polanski and he has been arrested in
Switzerland on 30-year-old sex charges.

Transcript

TONY JONES, PRESENTER: He reached the heights of film fame, he lost his wife in a grisly murder and
became a fugitive from American justice. But the past has caught up with Roman Polanski and he's
been arrested in Switzerland on 30-year-old sex charges. The 76-year-old director, who fled to
Europe to escape trial, is tonight fighting in custody, fighting extradition to the United States.
Anna Maria Nicholson reports.

ANNE MARIA NICHOLSON, REPORTER: Organisers of the Zurich Film Festival laid out the red carpet, but
their star guest was a no-show. Instead, Roman Polanski was arrested at the airport after a tip off
from the US authorities. Film-goers who turned out to honour the French director were enraged.

FAN: I'm ashamed to be Swiss because I don't understand how they can bother this gentleman after 30
years.

FAN II: For me a shock and I'm ashamed to be Swiss.

ANNE MARIA NICHOLSON: But there was little such sentiment across the Atlantic.

VOX POP: He was a grown adult having sex with a 13-year-old child.

VOX POP II: Justice needs to be served no matter what and how long it took, you know, it was a
rape.

ANNE MARIA NICHOLSON: Roman Polanski's turbulent life resembles some of his violent movies like
Rosemary's Baby and Chinatown. His pregnant wife, actress Sharon Tate, was murdered by members of
the Charles Manson cult in 1969.

Eight years later, he was arrested for allegedly drugging and raping 13-year-old Samantha Geimer,
who he'd been photographing for a magazine.

Under a plea bargain, he admitted to a lesser charge of sex with a minor, but fled before he was
sentenced.

ROMAN POLANSKI, DIRECTOR (ARCHIVE FOOTAGE, March 24, 1994): I had a hard time to persuade myself
that it was wrong, because I don't think anybody was hurt.

INTERVIEWER: You don't?

ROMAN POLANSKI: At that time, I said. Later on, I realised, you know, just, you know, I was too
close to the forest to see the trees.

ANNE MARIA NICHOLSON: Now in her 40s, Samantha Geimer has called for the charges to be dropped.

SAMANTHA GEIMER: You know, I knew it was just as bad for him as it was for me. You know, if he
could, I'm sure he'd go back and he wouldn't do it again.

ANNE MARIA NICHOLSON: Polanski is expected to fight extradition, aiming to evade the long reach of
American justice once more.

Anne Maria Nicholson, Lateline.