Roman Polanski

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The Roman Polanski legal drama now comes with director's commentary.

The Polish-born filmmaker, currently under house arrest in Switzerland, released a statement today (in multiple languages) in which he says he can "remain silent no longer" regarding attempts to extradite him back to the United States where he has been a fugitive for the past 33 years.

This request for extradition "is founded on a lie," he writes.

"I can no longer remain silent because the United States continues to demand my extradition more to serve me on a platter to the media of the world than to pronounce a judgment concerning which an agreement was reached 33 years ago," reads the statement. "I have had my share of dramas and joys, as we all have, and I am not going to try to ask you to pity my lot in life. I ask only to be treated fairly like anyone else."

Polanski fled the country in 1978 to avoid sentencing after pleading guilty to engaging in unlawful sex with a 13-year-old girl.

His statement argues similar points as those in the documentary Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired, a film he references in his statement but did not appear in or contribute to. (We imagine he made similar points in the letter he had French President Nicolas Sarkozy deliver to President Barack Obama.)

In short: Polanski claims an agreement had been reached for him to plead guilty to a lesser charge, serve a short sentence and the matter would be resolved.

Clearly, things didn't work out that way.

"It is true: 33 years ago I pleaded guilty, and I served time at the prison for common law crimes at Chino, not in a VIP prison. That period was to have covered the totality of my sentence. By the time I left prison, the judge had changed his mind and claimed that the time served at Chino did not fulfill the entire sentence, and it is this reversal that justified my leaving the United States," reads the statement.

Polanski notes that the deputy district attorney who was responsible for prosecuting the case in 1977 has backed up this version of events, but the case continues, at least in part argues Polanski, because "the new District Attorney, who is handling this case and has requested my extradition, is himself campaigning for election and needs media publicity!"

For these reasons, Polanski writes "I can remain silent no longer."

It's safe to assume he won't be the only one.


Read our complete Roman Polanski coverage right here.

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