A number of Hollywood big shots have signed a petition supporting Academy Award winning director Roman Polanski’s bid to avoid extradition to the U.S. where authorities want him to face the music for a crime he copped a plea to in 1977. Polanski had pled guilty to having sexual intercourse with a minor and, prior to his sentencing, fled the States for Europe.
Perp Polanski – hailed for such movies as Rosemary’s Baby, Chinatown and The Pianist – sits in a Swiss pokey as he tries to hokey out of the American extradition request.
The director was the husband of the late actress Sharon Tate. Tate was brutally murdered in the summer of 1969, by followers of Charles Manson. One of the murderers, Susan Atkins, died in a California prison last week.
Polanski, widely recognized for his directorial brilliance, has been lamming it mostly in France. He holds both French and Polish nationalities.
I caught up with top attorney and zealous advocate for women’s rights Gloria Allread – who unbeknownst to many represented Mackenzie Phillips in her divorce and was on Michael Jackson’s enemies list – to get her take on L’affaire Polanski.
Listen to the Gloria Allred CYInterview:
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Chris Yandek: A good amount of people in the Hollywood community have been in support of Roman Polanski being let go and not facing any charges for what he did to a minor three decades ago. How do you contextualize this whole thing as someone who’s worked on high profile cases with famous people?
Gloria Allred: “I think it’s really outrageous that those that have signed a petition in support of him would be somehow attempting to support a person who is a convicted sexual predator, a person who admitted to and was convicted of having unlawful sexual intercourse with a 13-year-old child. This is a felony. This is a crime against the people of the State of California and that he actually had been charged with five or six felonies; he was fortunate that he only had to plead guilty to one and then before he could be sentenced, he fled.
So he’s been a fugitive for many, many years. He had the opportunity to live a good life, to be successful in his professional life, but to escape and avoid and the justice system – and now his time has run out. He needs to return and to face justice. And those who are supporting him may have different motives.
Some may have economic motives, hoping that they would be able to appear or assist in or gain some economic advantage from future movies or may have already received an economic benefit in some form from past movies. Or they may be naive. Or uniformed. Or misinformed. Or just simply bonding with the rich and famous which he is. There should not be two standards of justice, one for the rich and famous and one for everybody else.”
CY: For the people who say maybe the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office is only doing this for a public relations standpoint. Do you think they would still care about this case if he wasn’t a famous director?
Gloria Allred: “I know Steve Cooley, who is the District Attorney of Los Angeles County, the elected District Attorney. I can say beyond a reasonable doubt – in fact beyond any doubt whatsoever based on my observation of him and his professional judgments in many,many criminal cases – that there is no way he’d be doing this to gain a public relations advantage. He would only be doing this in the interest of justice and I wonder if those who signed a petition in support of Roman Polanski intend to sign other petitions in favor of other sexual predators or is it just a rich and famous sexual predator who may have chosen to support.”
CY: There some reports recently that stated according to a source close to Michael Jackson that you were on his hate list. Were you surprised?
GA: “You mean his enemies list?”
“Was I surprised by that? No. I wasn’t surprised by that because I had spoken out because of my concern that he was dangling a baby, his baby over the side of a fourth floor balcony and that was definitely an act which endangered the baby and I was concerned about the safety and the health and the welfare of that baby as I would be of anyone who did that of any baby who was dangled over the side of a balcony.
In addition, I was concerned about the numerous accusations against Michael Jackson that he had sexually molested young boys. I am not surprised because I spoke out publicly and was not part of his, of the entourage of hanger-oners, those who supported him even in the light of such furious allegations. I’m not surprised that he was disturbed by my speaking out and expressing my concerns.”
CY: Let’s look back at Roman Polanski. We know that he did something to a minor, which was not legal.
GA: “It’s not that he did something to a minor. He admitted.”
CY: Yeah. He admitted.
GA: “He admitted to a factual foundation and he admitted that he committed the crime of sexual intercourse with a minor. And he pled guilty to that.”
CY: And then we look at what happened in recent years with the second trial of Michael Jackson and he was never convicted of anything and Hollywood stepped away from him during that point. He had support but he didn’t have a lot of support during that time, but now Hollywood runs to Roman Polanski’s support. Don’t you see some hypocrisy here?
GA: “Well, there are always those who will bond with the rich and famous. It’s hard for me to make an analogy between the two so I’d rather just deal with Roman Polanski at this moment and to say that Roman Polanski can direct a movie, but he can’t direct the judicial system. He can produce a movie and he can’t produce necessarily the result he wants in the judicial system because that’s beyond his direction and control.
The point is this, he admitted to the crime. In addition, there were photos of the victim drinking champagne, which he provided to her. Quaalude tables were recovered according to grand jury testimony. She alleged he gave her Quaalude, a controlled substance and she’s only 13 years old. Her underpants according to grand jury testimony tested positive for his semen.
He knew her age according to testimony because he asked how old she was before this occurred and she testified that she said no and that she was in fear of him. He was charged with sexual intercourse with a minor and with anal sex, that’s sodomy, and numerous other crimes. He pled guilty to one. He should’ve thanked his lucky stars that’s all he was required to plead guilty to although that was a felony.
And that fact that she alleges, that she’s forgiven him, may not want him to serve anymore time – I mean that’s just a factor but really it’s not the legal factor at this point. He needs to serve his time. I think there is a lot of defense spin going on out there and allegations against a judge who’s deceased and can’t defend himself. I think there are those that are trying to make Roman Polanski the victim. He’s not the victim. There is a victim in the criminal case and that was a 13 year old, then 13 year old and the other victims are the people of the State of California whose law was violated.”
CY: Did you have any chance to read or see any of what Mackenzie Phillips said last week?
GA: “Yes. Of course.”
CY: What are your thoughts on what she said about her on going relationship with her father? What I’d like to know is from a legal standpoint who’s dealt with many of these kinds of cases, might there have been any Stockholm Syndrome with her?
GA: “Well, I don’t really feel I can comment on that because I have represented Mackenzie Phillips.”
CY: Fair enough.
GA: “I represented her in her divorce. So all I can say about Mackenzie Phillips is I wish her the very best in her future.”