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Polanski Speaks Out, Says He Feels 'Comfort And Hope'

Child-sex convict and famed movie director Roman Polanski spoke out over the weekend about his predicament, issuing his first statement since he was arrested in Switzerland in September as part of the Los Angeles County District Attorney's long-running efforts to bring the fugitive to justice following his run from the law in 1978.

Polanski said via author and friend Bernard Henri Levy's website (in French) that letters of support from friends and fans have kept his spirits high. "I would like every one of them to know how heartening it is," he states, "when one is locked up in a cell, to hear this murmur of human voices and of solidarity in the morning mail."

Polanski was convicted in 1977 of unlawful sexual intercourse with a 13-year-old girl in Los Angeles. After serving 42 days of psychiatric evaluation he was released with the expectation that his time was served. But after a judge in the case indicated there could be more time for Polanski, he took off for France, where he remained until September when he trekked to Switzerland to pick up an award. The D.A. caught wind of the director's plans and notified Swiss authorities, who nabbed him. He was put in a cell but is now detained under house arrest at his Swiss chalet as Los Angeles authorities execute extradition.

"In the darkest moments, each of their notes has been a source of comfort and hope," the director of Chinatown wrote, "and they continue to be so in my current situation.

As we told you last week, an appeals court suggested a way out of the mess for Polanski, stating the director could ask for a trial in absentia (e.g. while he remains a fugitive) and that a judge could rule that he indeed had served his time. Considering that Polanski was alleged to have sodomized a 13-year-old, with the girl saying the sex was against her will, the prospect must be comforting to him indeed.


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