From Yahoo: 39 years after fleeing the US in the face of rape charges, Roman Polanski has at last agreed to return, but with one somewhat unbelievable caveat.
Deadline report that the 83-year old French-Polish director’s legal representation has told the Los Angeles Superior Court that their client will come back to LA and face his charges so long as he is given the guarantee that he will serve no jail time.
The motion filed by attorney Harland Braun declares, “Mr. Polanski asks this Court to acknowledge that he was promised a specific custody portion of his sentence by Judge Rittenband and he has more than fulfilled the custody portion of his sentence under the principle of comity, California law and the admissions by the District Attorney to the Polish Court. With such assurance by this current Court, Mr. Polanski will return to Los Angeles to be sentenced.”
It seems doubtful this audacious demand will go down well in all corners, given Polanski is charged with the rape of a 13-year old girl in 1977.
The initial deal offered by Judge Laurence Rittenband in 1978 decreed that Polanski would serve only 90 days in a psychiatric hospital – again, somewhat audacious under the circumstances. However, after being informed that the Judge had changed his mind and would push for the maximum sentence, Polanski fled the country.
Polanski has been a controversial figure in the four decades since. More than once the US courts have attempted to extradite him to face charges, whilst Polanski’s own legal representation has more than once failed to get the charges dropped out of court.
None of this has stopped Polanski from continuing with his career as a filmmaker, however, and at the 75th Academy Awards in 2003 he was awarded the Best Director Oscar for ‘The Pianist.’