California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has weighed in with his opinion on the arrest of director Roman Polanski for the 1977 rape of then 13-year-old Samantha Geimer.
“It doesn’t matter if you are a big-time movie actor or a big-time movie director or producer,” Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said in an interview on CNN. “I think that he is a very respected person, and I am a big admirer of his work.”
Fame doesn’t give anyone the right to avoid justice for their crimes, however, according to Schwarzenegger. “I think he should be treated like everyone else,” the former Hollywood actorÂ said on CNN. “One should look into all of the allegations, not only his allegations but the allegations about his case. Was there something done wrong? You know, was injustice done in the case?” Guess Arnold won’t be signing that celebrityÂ petition demanding Polanksi’s release.Â
Roman Polanski is currently fighting extradition to California to answer for his 1977 sexual assault of Samantha Geimer. Polanski pleaded guilty to “unlawful sex with a minor” for the crime, but fled the country to escape possible jail time in sentencing.
Over 100 Hollywood celebrities, including Woody Allen and Martin Scorsese, have signed an online petition demanding the release of Oscar-winning director Roman Polanksi. Polanski was arrested In Switzerland on a 1978 warrant for sexually assaulting 13-year-old Samantha Geimer.
Hollywood notables such as David Lynch and Pedro Almodovar have also signed the petition asking for the release of Roman Polanski, known for such films as The Pianist and Rosemary’s Baby. Polanski was arrested at the Zurich airportÂ on his way to receive a lifetime achievement award at the Zurich Film Festival. Polanski has stated he will fight his arrest and extradition to the U.S. on the 30-year-old warrant.
“If only in the name of this friendship between our two countries, we demand the immediate release of Roman Polanski,” the petition states. “Film festivals the world over have always permitted works to be shown and for filmmakers to present them freely and safely, even when certain States opposed this,” the petition says. “The arrest of Roman Polanski in a neutral country, where he assumed he could travel without hindrance, undermines this tradition.”
While we can understand why Woody Allen would sign such a petition, considering he had no qualms about marrying his own adopted daughter Soon-Yi Previn, we’re a little shocked how many Hollywood celebs are defending a man who drugged and raped a 13-year-old girl and then ran from the country rather than face punishment for his crimes.
It doesn’t matter how famous you are or how long ago the crime was or even that the victim, Samantha Geimer, has said she doesn’t care anymore. Letting Polanski slide would basically just be telling any would-be child molestor/rapist that if you commit a heinous crime and manage to escape punishment long enough, we’ll just let you get away with it. No matter how you slice it, that’s just wrong.
>> Next Up: Swiss Say Hell No to Releasing Roman Polanski on Bail
Oscar-winning director Roman Polanski will fight extradition to the U.S. on a 1978 arrest warrant for statutory rape of then 13-year-old Samantha Geimer. Polanski was arrested this weekend after traveling to Switzerland to receive a lifetime achievement award at the Zurich Film Festival.
Roman Polanski was arrested on Saturday at the Zurich airport on a warrant stemming from his alleged 1977 rape and sexual assault of Samantha Geimer. Polanski pleaded guilty to “unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor” at the time, but later fled to France. France has a limited extradition treaty with the United States. Switzerland, on the other hand, was all too happy to slap the cuffs on Polanski as soon as he stepped foot in the country.
Polanski’s French lawyer, Herve Temime, released a statement saying the acclaimed director will “immediately petition for his freedom.” Polanski is not the only one who desperately wants his freedom. A coalition of actors, filmmakers and other industry types have put together a petition asking authorities to release Polanski. “We’re calling on every film-maker we can to help fix this terrible situation,” said movie mogul Harvey Weinstein.
Even Polanski’s alleged victim, Samantha Geimer, has asked for charges against him to be dropped. “I don’t carry any feelings of anger towards Polanski,” she told People magazine in 1997. “He did something really gross to me, but it was the media that ruined my life.”
Polanski filed a request in December to the California courts to have the charges dismissed, but a judge ruled the director must come to the U.S. to have his request considered.