Polanski set to attend Zurich film fest

Sept. 15, 2011 at 12:53 PM
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COLOGNE, Germany, Sept. 15 (UPI) -- Filmmaker Roman Polanski is to attend Switzerland's Zurich Film Festival for the first time since his sensational arrest at the 2009 edition of the event.

The Hollywood Reporter said Polanski will be on hand to accept a lifetime achievement award he was scheduled to receive two years ago. He was arrested on an outstanding 1977 sexual assault charge before the honor could be presented.

The French-born writer-director pleaded guilty in Los Angeles to unlawful sex with a minor decades ago but fled the United States before he could be sentenced and has been living in Europe since.

He was accused of drugging and raping 13-year-old Samantha Geimer, who as an adult in recent years has asked prosecutors to drop the matter so she could move on with her life. She accepted a settlement from Polanski in a civil lawsuit but is not permitted to discuss the terms.

The Oscar-winning filmmaker was under house arrest in Switzerland for several months after his arrest but eventually was released. Officials have said they will not extradite Polanski to the United States to face the charge; a Los Angeles judge said he will not consider dropping the charge unless Polanski appears in person before him, and Polanski has vowed not to return to the United States unless the charge is dismissed.

The Hollywood Reporter said Polanski does not intend to give any interviews while in Zurich, and festival organizers have declined to discuss the filmmaker's legal troubles.

His films include "Rosemary's Baby," "Chinatown," "The Pianist," "The Ghost Writer" and the forthcoming "Carnage."

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