Why Is Pedro Almodóvar Trying to Keep Roman Polanski Free?


After the Polish-French filmmaker was arrested on a 30-year-old warrant, some 100 entertainment industry heavies signed a letter petitioning for Roman Polanski’s freedom. “Filmmakers in France, in Europe, in the United States and around the world are dismayed by this decision,” it read, hoping to lend support to the child rapist’s cause. Among those joining the letter? Gay director Pedro Almodovar (who is now free of cocaine and writer’s block). Perhaps it’s not terribly surprising that one famous artsy director is standing by another. And besides, Almodovar has already done the whole “child sex abuse” thing.

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  • Matt

    It’s really out of line to insinuate that Pedro Almodovar has done “child sex abuse” simply because he made a film about it.

  • sal(the original)

    um why queerty?well we havent boycotted his films yet….now i am,and anyone in Hollywood who supports him will be on that list too

  • Erick

    I completely agree with Matt, if you were trying to be cute and funny, you failed miserably.

  • sal(the original)

    whos gonna take a public stand for the boys and girls like this victim in the world?not some in hollywood,well there needs a balance and with my dollars,my voice and my remote control i will do that

  • Fitz

    Polanski druged and raped a fucking 13 year old. Then he evaded the law for 30 years. Anyone defending him is scum.

  • Paul

    The issue isn’t whether or not convicted rapists should go free, as Queerty incorrectly frames it. The issue is whether or not Polanski should have to return to the US to face sentencing as a result of a wrongfully-obtained plea agreement (the DA on the case coaching the judge, etc), particularly when the incident happened over thirty years ago, whatever sex happened was consensual, and the victim has repeatedly called for the case to be dropped. Not to mention that California can’t afford to lock up any more people anyhow.

  • Fitz

    @Paul: There is no such thing as consensual sex between a 30 year old and a 13 year old. Even more so for a 30 year old who has fed that 13 year old drugs and ETOH.

  • sal(the original)

    @Fitz: amen

  • sal(the original)

    @Paul: dahhhling you are late to the debate ,we already drowned that kinda silly thing you said

  • Anthony in Nashville

    I have gotten into heated arguments with friends about Polanski. I am very surprised that people are willing to dismiss adult/child sex as no big deal.

    If you’re having sex with someone who can’t drive, there is a problem. If he didn’t think he did something wrong, he would not have left the country.

  • Ted B.

    Drag the dirty pervert home in chains, complete with “perp walk” at the LA courthouse.

    AS for his supporters, ask them how they explain their support of Polanski to their young daughters, and sons. The limousine-Liberal elites have lost their minds and their morals. (but we knew that….)

  • BetterToBeLiberal

    @Ted B.:

    Better to be a liberal who can forgive a filmmaker for a sex crime committed decades ago than to be completely heartless in supporting wars that kills and maims millions of children, not including the adults.

  • Cam

    @Paul: You said “whatever sex happened was consensual, and the victim has repeatedly called for the case to be dropped.

    Paul, Two things, 1. the 13 year old victim was fed drugs and booze, so even if she was of age, she couldn’t give consent. and since she WASN’T of age, there is no way she can give consent.

    Secondly, do you know WHY the victim has called for the case to be dropped? It’s because every single time it gets brought up, her name AGAIN gets dragged through the mud by people like you painting her out to be a 13 year old whore running around fucking directors in their 30’s. She has said that she was a victim but that every time it gets brought up it is painful for her and her family. So basically, you saying drop the case because the victim says so is the same as saying that no rape should be prosecuted because tesitfying in court is difficult for the victim.

    The old guy drugged and raped a 13 year old. Now a bunch of his boys club director buddies are backing him up. Gee, how nice for him, but it doesn’t change the fact that he drugged and raped a girl.

  • walt

    He pled guilty and was sentenced. Then the judge reneged on the sentence. So he left the country.

    Also, did anybody see the pictures of the girl? She did not look like a 13 year old and did not present herself as a 13 year old. He did not know she was a 13 year old.

    It’s not like he stalked out a middle school and grabbed a girl off the sidewalk.

    I’m not saying what he did was right or wrong. But I was having sex at 13. And enjoying the hell out of it. Some of you guys are extremely judgemental. And stupid.

  • Duh

    @walt: Even if he didn’t know that she was 13, it was still RAPE by all accounts.

    She should be able to walk naked through the streets without expecting some asshole to rape her.

  • walt

    When you say rape, it brings to mind violence. I knew many 13 year old girls in my neighborhood who willingly had sex with their boyfriends.

    Women were once married and having children at that age.

    She presented herself as a much older woman. She was modeling for Vogue. Why would he not believe she was as she presented herself?

    do you always check identification cards?

  • edgyguy1426

    I don’t know too many 13 year-old girls with 30 year old boyfriends…women were once married and having children at that age.. you really going with that reasoning? Tradition? Women were stoned then for misrepresenting themselves as virgins (and in some countries still are, or burned)so, umm yeah, you got us there.

  • Fitz

    Actually, a 13 y/o can not give consent for a sexual relationship. And yes… if i were fucking someone very young looking, I would play it safe & look for ID. (but then, I am gay- and ‘they’ love a reason to hang us.) And “Rape” is not always violent. When one person is an adult and has gotten the 13 y/o loaded.. dude, this was rape. AND… even more important, he bailed on the judge who had let him have some time out while waiting for the sentence. he is scum, as are the people who want to “let it go because it was a long time ago”. I have a 12 year old niece, and if next year a 30 y/o gives her drugs and fucks her, I would seek my own special justice.

  • Paul

    Wow. It doesn’t take much to bring out the “hang ’em” law and order types, does it?
    The point I was making is not that sex between 43 year old men and intoxicated 13 year olds is okay. The point is that the circumstances of his conviction/plea are regarded by everyone (except Queerty, evidently) as unlawful because of misconduct between the prosecutor and the judge, and that so it is wrong to extradite someone based on such a conviction, particularly after 31 years and over the objections of the victim. Unfortunately most of the comments on here are unable/unwilling to address that. And with regard to the word “consensual”, I didn’t mean legally consensual, I meant not physically forced. Even the victim acknowledges that. That’s not a defense, certainly, but it is a mitigating factor.

  • B

    Ted B. wrote, “The limousine-Liberal elites have lost their minds and their morals.” On the contrary. According to press reports, Polanski pled guilty and spent some time incarcerated (in a prison hospital of some sort for evaluation) on the basis of a plea bargain. The judge allegedly wanted to change the sentence after the plea was entered. If so, there is an issue of a defendant getting fair treatment. Maybe the agreed upon sentence was too light, but that should have been worked out before the plea bargain was made, or at a minimum, Polanski should have been given an opportunity to withdraw the plea with any incriminating evidence that Polanski or his lawyer provided after the plea not being admissible.

    You simply don’t have a system of justice that you can trust if the rules can be changed in the middle of legal proceedings, and that is what liberals would be concerned about. No liberals are claiming that he should have been given a slap on the wrist after committing a serious crime, just for being a famous director. But liberals will argue against promising some guy 1 year in jail for pleading guilty and then sentencing him to 10 years in jail after the plea is entered.

  • Liberto

    I think this article is completely out of place. Who should apologize’ve written. Or if you have evidence that Peter be a pedophile to make a complaint in court.

  • strumpetwindsock

    @Anthony in Nashville:

    “If he didn’t think he did something wrong, he would not have left the country.”

    That’s not necessarily true, as any legitimate refugee can attest (and many people who instinctively run when they see a cop coming after them).

    Polanski may indeed be guilty; consent doesn’t let you off the hook for statutory rape.

    On the other hand, if he saw the system was rigged against him and he did not have the chance for a fair trial I can understand why he might run.

  • subtitulo

    Pedro Almodovar has previously acknowledged in interviews that he was molested as a child.

    It is very disingenuous to say that he does already “done the whole child sex abuse thing,” when he, in fact, was a victim of sexual abuse.

  • geoff

    A: the kid was 13. B:the kid was drugged. C:Judges don’t make the plea agreements. The prosecuter makes a recommendation which the jugde usually goes by, but is not legally obligated to. Polanski is scum and deserves to be sentenced to the max plus time for evasion.I don’t give a fuck how talented you are, what’s right is right and what’s wrong is wrong.

  • sal(the original)

    @Paul: “Even the victim acknowledges that”DAMN RIGHT FOOL THEEEE VICCCTTTTIMMMM,you said it

  • B

    geoff wrote, “The prosecuter makes a recommendation which the jugde usually goes by, but is not legally obligated to.” The
    reality in this particular case according to http://blogs.findlaw.com/blotter/2009/09/roman-polanski-sordid-charges-and-a-troubled-trial.html is that “as depicted in the recent documentary Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired, some believe that judicial and prosecutorial misconduct marred the director’s trial. The documentary alleges that now deceased judge Laurence J. Rittenband improperly coordinated with prosecutors, misused the psychiatric observation process as punishment, and went back on the plea agreement reached by Polanski, prosecutors and the victim’s family (and which allegedly had consent of the judge as well).”

    If true – that the judge consented and then changed his mind *after* Polanski entered a plea, there is a problem. BTW,
    the article (not the documentary) states, “California judge Peter Espinoza, though he said there seemed evidence of misconduct, refused to rule on the motion without Polanski’s presence.”

    Since a California judge seems to think there might be evidence of judicial misconduct, there is no reason to dismiss that claim as being self-serving.

  • Kropotkin


    whatever sex happened was consensual, and the victim has repeatedly called for the case to be dropped. Not to mention that California can’t afford to lock up any more people anyhow.

    Excuse me, but a 40 years man providing a 13-year-old girl with quayludes and alcohol, getting her drunk, and then having sex with her is not consensual.

    It doesn’t matter if the victim has forgiven him, he was convicted of a crime is essentially the equivilent of an escaped convict.

    Not to mention that this guy has admitted to having sex with underage girls in his autobiography.


  • Kropotkin

    Also, did anybody see the pictures of the girl? She did not look like a 13 year old and did not present herself as a 13 year old. He did not know she was a 13 year old.

    Wonderful, the character assassination and blaming the victim start’s in earnest. What do people not get about age of consent? No matter what she presented herself as, she legally couldn’t have given consent, especially when she was screwed up on booze and pills.

    If he had a viable offense that he truly did not know her age; why did he plead guilty?

  • Merv

    Frankly, I think a 13 year old and a 40 year old can have consensual sex. However, this was not it. He pursued her under false pretenses of wanting to photograph her for a magazine. He drugged her against her will. He forced himself on her after she repeatedly said no. This isn’t exactly a gray area.

  • Distingué Traces

    What Polanski did would have been sexual assault if his victim had been thirty.

  • Fitz

    @Distingué Traces: Yes it would have. It is a more serious crime that the victim was 13.
    Merv, I find your perspective either ignorant or disgusting. Are you a card-carrying NAMBLA perv or just some pan-sexual-there-are-no-consequences moron? Gay or straight, those of us who are adults (not just in years) know that we have a group interest in protecting children and allowing them to develop their self identity. This wasn’t some close-call 17 y/o and 19 y/o going for it. This was a dirty old man with money and power and 13 y/o girl trying to make it in his circles. He drugged and raped her. Then he absconded during the sentencing phase. Where is there any gray on this issue?

  • B

    Kropotkin wrote, “If he had a viable offense that he truly did not know her age; why did he plead guilty?” Regardless of Polanski’s case, there are instances where people plead guilty when they have a viable defense. One is risk management – if one would be let go due to “time served” waiting for the trial by accepting a plea bargain, then it is the stigma of being assumed guilty versus a possibly long time in jail if the jury doesn’t buy the “viable defense.” Another (unlikely in Polanski’s case) is the legal costs, which the defendant would pay regardless.

    There was one case that made the Bay Area papers some years ago where a San Jose restaurant owner was driving home from work,
    heading towards Santa Cruz on Highway 17. Something happened that
    pissed off another driver, and in a classic case of road rage, that driver tailgated and otherwise harassed this person for 30 miles, trying to follow him home. Finally he stopped after exiting from the freeway and pulled out a gun for self defense, being scared out of his wits and not wanting this nut to figure out where he lived. The driver with the road rage issue wouldn’t back off even then, and ended up being shot and killed.

    There’s a viable defense – with everything else that transpired, it is reasonable to think that the victim would have killed the restaurant owner if the victim got close enough to him to get hold of the gun. The DA thought that you shouldn’t be able to shoot someone just because they followed you for 30 miles and got out of a car for some sort of confrontation, even if that person is foaming at the mouth and you are scared out of your wits and that person won’t stop even with a gun pointed at him. The trial ended in something like 8 in favor of conviction and 4 in favor of acquittal. So the DA decided to retry the case and the restaurant owner accepted a plea bargain to avoid the strain and cost of a second trial. Basically, he was worn down – he probably believed he’d be tried again and again until they got a conviction, given that the first trial showed that getting 12 jurors to agree he was innocent was unlikely.

  • Evil Steve

    1) The girl was already sexually active. After her mother made the accusations, police found semen in the girl’s panties. Forensic tests proved that the semen was not Polanski’s; it was the semen of the girl’s 19-year-old boyfriend. Later, a bailiff who was asked to retrieve the girl from the waiting room to testify found her on the bench with her mother’s boyfriend. The two were sitting close together, legs entwined, and speaking quietly and intimately. Nobody deserves to be raped, but this girl was not so innocent. That isn’t dragging her name through the mud, it’s reality.

    2) The girl’s mother had dated Polanski, and therefore knew the kind of lifestyle he lived. If in spite of that she still allowed her daughter to be alone with this man, where is she in all of this? Surely she should share some of the guilt?

    3) The girl testified — not Polanski, the girl (Polanski in fact did not testify at all) — that Polanski found a pill and had to ask her what it was. She told him it was a Quaalude. He asked her if he should take it and she said she did not know. He broke it in half and offered some of it to her. She took it. Voluntarily. Then she took the champagne he offered and drank it down voluntarily. Because she was an experienced drinker and drug user. By her own admission. Again, that’s reality. I’m not dragging her name through the mud; this is her own sworn testimony.

    4) The grand jury testimony does not tell us the whole story. Since the case never went to trial this testimony was never scrutinized by the defense. Polanski opted not to let it go to trial, wishing to avoid a media circus.

    5) Everyone involved with the case — including the prosecutor and the girl’s attorney — was outraged by the judge’s actions on this case. Polanski could have stayed and fought, but how can you say that in his position you would do so? I mean, how the hell do you know that?

    6) I don’t defend Polanski’s actions. But I also don’t understand the venom. He’s not a child molestor. There is no authority with any insight into this case who would agree with that statement. Shouting it, and insulting people who don’t agree with it, does not make it any truer.

    7) Implying that I’m a ‘limousine liberal’ because I’m not howling for someone’s blood is as laughable as it is sad. And then you want to talk about morality.

    Polanski had an indiscretion. Sure, it’s creepy and pathetic. Sure, he should’ve paid a price (and did, depending on who you ask). But folks, there are far greater injustices in this world. Pick your battles. And for the love of god, STOP politicizing this issue. You’re setting yourselves up for disappoinment anyhow: nothing will come of it. It’ll be dismissed. Or Polanski will die before the ball even gets rolling (he’s approaching eighty, remember). You watch.

    I say, forget about Polanski’s penis and concentrate on what’s more important: his films. Getting worked up about ‘the case’ is stupid. This thirty-year-old scandal is of zero consequence. Zero.

  • THeAwfulTruth

    They’re both disgusting. Old trolls.

  • T

    Statutory rape is a crime as is forced sodomy.

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