We are intimately connected with Roman Polanski, though we’ve we’ve only talked with the brilliant director once, and that was some years back when he was first trying to return to the country where he had served prison time for the statutory rape of a young woman a week before her 14th birthday.
There’s no question that it happened,. Polanski admitted it before the late Santa Monica Superior Court Judge Laurence J. Rittenband, a peculiar character much like a smart Donald Trump in that he was obsessed with his own celebrity and deeply outraged anyone who dared criticize him.
Polanski’s able attorneys had negotiated a plea agreement with the judge, the District Attorney’s office, and the parents of the young woman, but the judge backed out after the director had served the agreed-upon time.
The reason he backed out: He was getting criticism from the wives of the members of the exclusive Hillcrest Country Club, where he spent much of the time he wasn’t serving on the bench.
We know this because he told us.
Just as personal ego is no basis for running a country, it’s no basis for running a courtroom either.
And now the only person who seemed to want Polanski to be exposed to the criminal justice system again is the elected Los Angeles County District Attorney.
It’s certainly not the woman at the center of the case, who has explicitly and repeatedly said she wants Polanski to be left alone.
Roman Polanski will make a move next week to return to the U.S. and end his child rape case for good, without serving additional jail time.
Polanski’s famed lawyer, Harland Braun, has asked an L.A. County Superior Court judge to unseal a long-secret transcript of the testimony of the prosecutor in the Polanski case.
Braun believes the secret testimony supports Polanski’s claim that he cut a deal to serve only 48 days behind bars for raping a 13-year-old girl in 1977, and the judge signed off.
Polanski actually spent 42 days in Chino State Prison and was released. But Judge Laurence Rittenband allegedly reneged on the deal and told prosecutors he decided Polanski should spend up to 50 years in prison. That’s when Polanski fled the U.S. for Europe.
Polanski spent another 334 days in custody in Switzerland, while authorities tried to extradite him back to the U.S. A Polish court ruled Polanski has served his time under the plea deal, and now Braun wants the L.A. judge to honor that ruling.
For more on the case and Rittenband’s madness, see Marina Zenovich’s superb documentary, Roman Polanski, Wanted and Desired, in which we happen to be featured, both on- and off-camera.
And by all means, see our extensive posts on the case.