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The International Writers Magazine - Our Tenth Year: Comment

Roman Captured
Dean Borok

Exposing Roman Polanski to the wrath of the U.S. criminal justice system would be the equivalent of a death sentence for the 75 year-old film director. The American public doesn’t believe in the existence of art. For them it’s all a function of commerce, which brings it down to their level and makes it comprehensible to them.

Now they have him in their bear trap, and to quote Frank Zappa, "Now that I’ve got you I’m never gonna let you go, baby!"

Polanski was convicted of "unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor", which is not the same as rape. The distinction is that in the case of the victim, Samantha Gailey, she was actually delivered by her mother into the tender embrace of Jack Nicholson and Polanski during a social visit to Nicholson’s house, and somehow things got a little bit wild (big surprise!). What if she had been eighteen instead of thirteen? She still could have pressed charges, saying Polanski plied her with Quaaludes and champagne and forced himself on her, only in that case he really could have gotten hit with a rape charge. Actually, he got off easy because her mother had engineered the whole encounter. ">"You have to see my daughter! She’s beautiful. You can use her in your movies".

That’s Beverly Hills for you. I spent part of my youth there, attending Beverly Vista School and Beverly Hills High School. Those kids are not innocent. They know what’s up, and they laugh at moral values as they are understood in flyover country. The high school kids had drugs, guns, counterfeit money, you name it. They had luxury cars and big rolls of cash.

Sex in Beverly Hills? Look at Monica Lewinski, who is nowhere out of the ordinary. Let's not forget Paris Hilton, who was as wild a teenager as they come and only cleaned up her act when threatened with incarceration. Mackenzie Phillips, carried on with her own father, John Phillips, for ten years, and now that her career has dried up, she is using the story to get attention. Can a book deal be far behind?

This Roman Polanski business is more reminiscent of Michael Jackson than anything else. The profit motive cannot be ignored. First you get the criminal conviction, then follows the big payoff in the form of a lawsuit in civil court. Gailey sued Polanski , and they settled for $750,000, which is a mere bagatelle compared to the Jackson payouts. In any event, Polanski never paid because he was already in France.

He should have stayed there. After successfully evading the American criminal justice system for 30 years, Polanski developed a sense of invulnerability. He didn’t read the papers, which are full of the Swiss caving in to the Americans in order to avoid having their banks declared off-limits. Polanski is a juicy morsel thrown to the U.S. Government to get back on their good side. Where the Swiss are concerned, everything is about money.

Everybody knows that the criminal justice system is not above a little hysterical witch-hunting when the occasion arises. I can think of two separate cases, one in New Jersey and one in California, where multiple citizens were sentenced to long prison terms and had their lives ruined because of insane persecution by elements of the community, aided by deluded social workers and voracious prosecutors, only to have their sentences overturned when it turned out that the child molestation charges proved to be entirely specious.

I’m not going to go out on a limb by standing up for Polanski. He’s a great artist, who will go down in history long after his detractors are ground to dust, and if he gets deported to the States and sent up, I will send him a salami with a file in it. Even though he succeeded beyond his wildest dreams working in America, the U.S. has been bad luck for him on a personal basis. His wife, Sharon Tate, was murdered by the Manson gang. Then he got nailed on this bullshit charge, and that’s what it is – bullshit. Everybody knows he’s no child molester. Rather, it seems to me like he is the patsy in the old badger game.

He succeeded professionally in Hollywood, but some people are not compatible with American life. Polanski is a French Jew, and he is a natural pigeon for the unwashed masses in flyover country to vent their spleen. If he gets sent to jail in this country, between the guards and the other inmates I wouldn’t give a plugged nickel for his chances. Nothing in Polansky's life has prepared him for a stretch in Vacaville or Soledad prison.

Just so the reader does not think I am crazy or full of baloney, here is an item from Associated Press dated Oct. 22, 2009:
Swiss alerted US to Polanski Trip
Swiss officials tipped off the US and set in motion the arrest last month of Roman Polanski, the film director, a top Swiss official confirmed yesterday. According to e-mails obtained by Associated Press, the Swiss justice ministry sent a fax to the US Office of International Affairs on September 22 stating Mr. Polanski, wanted in a decades-old child sex case, was travelling to Zurich. Swiss officials wanted to know if the US would be submitting a request for his arrest. "The Americans immediately confirmed that was the case," the justice ministry official said.

It's obvious that the Swiss, nervous about having their banks declared off limits in an entirely different context, decided to throw Polanski to the wolves in order to placate the Americans!
© Dean Borok Oct 25th 2009
Peace prize, Letterman and Kids
Dean Borok

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