French President Nicolas Sarkozy May Have Gotten Roman Polanski Out of Prison

11/30/2009 Posted by Admin

By our guest blogger, Marie Biondolillo

Embattled director Roman Polanski might be humming "La Marseillaise” right about now. According to French newspaper Le Parisien, the director’s family is very grateful to French President Nicolas Sarkozy, whom they credit as being instrumental in securing Polanski’s release from Swiss prison into house arrest.

Le Parisien quoted Polanski’s sister-in-law, Mathilde Seigner, as saying, “I wouldn’t go so far as to say that it is thanks to the President that Roman has been freed, but he has been super.” She added that “The President has been very effective.”

Swiss courts were initially reluctant to set bail for Polanski, as he is considered a “high flight risk,” due to his fleeing the United States for Europe in 1978 during his trial for sexual misconduct with a 13-year-old girl. Until just two months ago, Polanski remained at large, despite a 31-year-old outstanding warrant for his arrest.

During his exile from the United States, he continued to make critically acclaimed films, including “The Pianist,” for which he won an Academy Award for Best Director in 2002.

Due to his history, Swiss authorities have been loathe to set bail for Polanski. Recently, however, a Zurich court agreed to release Polanski into house arrest if he made a $4.5 million bail. Some media outlets are speculating that President Sarkozy had a hand in this sudden reversal.

Polanski and his family have long lived in France, and Polanski holds joint French and Polish citizenship. According to the London Times, the director and his wife, actress Emmanuelle Seigner, belong to the same social circles as Carla Bruni, a model turned singer-songwriter who is married to President Sarkozy.

London Times Online
New York Daily News

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