was arrested in Switzerland on a 31-year-old international warrant as he arrived to attend the Zurich Film Festival, the Swiss authorities said Sunday.
France's culture minister says he's upset and "dumbfounded" by the arrest of director Roman Polanski, a French citizen, by Swiss police.
'[I] strongly regret that a new ordeal is being inflicted on someone who has already experienced so many of them," Culture Minister Frédéric Mitterrand said.The ordeals that Polanski has experienced are indeed many. Polanski escaped Nazi death camps in his native Poland, although his mother died in Auschwitz. Then, after arriving in Hollywood and marrying, Polanski's wife, the actress Sharon Tate who was pregnant at the time, was murdered by Charles Manson's followers. And then, according to Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired, a documentary made by Marina Zenovich, he may have been set up for arrest and prosecution by several key players in the LA District Attorney's office, forcing him into his life in exile in France. Zenovich's film implies that Polanski's arrest and prosecution were far more about a showboating judge, Laurence J. Rittenband, who loved high profile cases, talking to reporters, and generally making a spectacle far more than he loved justice. Then there's the girl, now a woman, Samantha Giemer herself, who was encouraged by her mother to go with Polanski to Jack Nicholson's house (Nicholson was away) and "model" for Polanski for the French Men's Vogue. Sound eerily like the parenting going on with Michael Jackson's "friends"? Yes, but in the mother's defense she did call the police when she found out about the sex. And at the time Geimer said it was definitely not consensual, but it was also not the first time she had sex nor the first time she'd had alcohol. In other words, rape yes, but a "deflowering of innocence" probably not.