Roman Polanski, director of Chinatown
, Rosemary's Baby
and The Pianist
, among others, was arrested after he landed in a Swiss airport for the Zurich Film Festival on Saturday 26th September.
The director has been hiding in France from the US and its allies in fear of being extradited back to America after pleading guilty to having sex with thirteen year old Samantha Geimer in 1977. He admitted guilt to the charge as part of a plea bargain agreement with the judge and was sentenced to 42 days' prison time. However, the judge - now dead - tried to go back on the deal. Polanski managed to get out of the country and has been living in France as his crime was not covered in treaties between America and France, making him untouchable... unless he left the country.
Polanski was due to take part in a tribute honouring his work in cinema at the Zurich Film Festival. Unfortunately, authorities were alerted to his presence and stepped in to make sure he didn't make it.
"There was a valid arrest request and we knew when he was coming. That's why he was taken into custody," says spokesman Guido Balmer, adding that the US will now have to make a request for extradition to be able to bring Polanski back to America for a re-trial.
It seems a strange risk for Polanski to take, especially considering how careful he has been in the past - even appearing via video link in a 2005 libel trial in London against Vanity Fair.
Interestingly, victim Geimer has long since sued Polanski for an undisclosed sum and is also calling for the case to be dismissed, saying she just wants it to be over. We'll keep you posted on this one.I could make a joke about looking in on a girl's changing room, bu I won't.