Film director Roman Polanski is under house arrest in his Swiss chalet after being released on bail following his detention for fleeing justice in the US for having sex with a 13-year girl in 1977.
Polanski, who is now 76 years old, holds dual French and Polish citizenship. He was held at the request of the United States when he flew into Switzerland to receive a lifetime achievement prize at a film festival. In the exclusive resort of Gstaad residents and even journalists expressed sympathy for the troubled celebrity. “We still have not come to the end of the story, and as for the media story, I find it’s a bit too much,” said one reporter. The owner of a local bakery said: “Yes, I think they should be left alone now, for his family and everything.” One passer-by said: “I think it’s past, if his victim, as you would call her, has said everything is okay, then it should be. Why are we having to go through the courts and America, and extradition? Surely it’s between people now, she’s a woman now, not a girl. And she’s accepted it so.” Being under house arrest means the Oscar-winning film director will be able to spend time with his family while awaiting a decision on extradition. He is married to French singer and actress Emmanuelle Seigner, with whom he has two children. Polanski admitted having sex with a minor but fled the US on the eve of his sentencing because he believed a judge was about to sentence him to 50 years in jail.