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Roman Polanski v. U.S. Government: Who is the ultimate fighter?

As for many artists, Roman Polanski included, a troubled past is a must. This comes in handy for their art as it all translates into masterpieces. Some of Polanski’s masterpieces include such famous films as Rosemary’s Baby and The Pianist.

This director, writer, producer and actor was on his way to Switzerland to accept an honorary award at the Zurich Film Festival when he was intercepted and forced to deal with a crime he committed back in 1977. This, brought to you by the U.S. Government.

Polanski’s life has been less than easy. Born in Paris in 1933, Polanski moved with his parents to Poland right in time for the Nazis to come barreling through. He escaped the concentration camps but his parents spent time in numerous camps. His father survived and his mother lost her life in Auschwitz.

At 21, Polanski began to exercise his acting skills and even directed his first feature-length film, Knife in the Water, in 1962. His career began to blossom and soon he earned an Academy Award nomination for Best Foreign Film.

On Aug. 9, 1969, terror struck thanks to a little man named Charles Manson.

The Manson Family broke into Polanski’s rented home in the Hollywood Hills and brutally murdered his wife, Sharon Tate, their unborn baby and many more people. Polanski was at his home in England at the time of the brutality.

In 1974, Polanski directed Chinatown, a film focusing on the land and water rights disputed in Los Angeles at the tale end of the 1930s. That year it won Best Original Screenplay at the Academy Awards. It was also nominated for: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor (Jack Nicholson), Best Actress (Faye Dunaway), Best Film Editing, Best Art Direction, Best Costume Design, Best Cinematography, Best Sound Mixing and Best Music Score.

Three years later, things got a little out-of-hand…again. This time it was Polanski’s own fault. And this is the thing that he’s still dealing with: his alleged sexual conduct with a minor.

Now, at the time of this situation, Polanski would have been just shy of 45 years old. Samantha Gailey Geimer, the girl who alleges the criminal relationship, was 13 at the time.

Geimer testified that Polanski offered her a photo shoot for the French edition of Vogue. While at the second shoot for the editorial, in the Los Angeles home of Jack Nicholas, Geimer states that Polanski inhibited her with champagne and Quaaludes and sexually took advantage of her.

His official charge is “engaging in unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor,” which mandated a psychiatric evaluation, which he completed. He then fled to France where he held citizenship and avoided extradition from the U.S. government. Basically, Polanski hasn’t wanted to deal with the situation. Geimer isn’t pushing for it either but the California government has wanted to prosecute him since it happened.

So, the U.S. sent out an international warrant in 2005 and finally someone decided to act on it. The Swiss got him this weekend and are holding him there. The Swiss Justice Ministry said in a statement that Polanski is in “provisional detention” as they wait on the pending extradition from the U.S. arrest warrant.

The fight is far from over. Polanski could fight the extradition and can definitely fight the lawsuit. Regardless, more news will follow on this story.

Does it matter that this is a crime from 30 years ago? Apparently not. I guess sometimes that the law likes to remind you that when you fight it, it will win.

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