Monday, September 28, 2009

Roman Ruins.

The arrest of Roman Polanski in Switzerland over the weekend generated a lot of attention. Given that he had travelled to the country numerous times his arrest seems suspiciously like a political move, intended to the appeal to the same "get tough on crime" demographic as North American politicians do. Polanski pled guilty in LA in 1978 to having sex with a 13 year old girl, but fled to France before sentencing. Coming as it does right after actress/singer Mackenzie Phillips claimed that her late father, John Phillips of The Mamas and the Papas, had an incestuous relationship with her I can't help but wonder if there was something in the California water in the '70s. The whole mess reminded me of another LA example, Lori Maddox, who as a 14 year old had an affair with Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin, and depending on which version of her story you believe may have lost her viriginity at 13 to David and then wife Angela Bowie. And her story apparently isn't atypical of the groupie scene of the era.

Why did Polanski run? Last year's biopic Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired claims Polanski fled after the judge in the case looked as if he would renege on a plea agreement that would have seen Polanski serve no jail time other than the 42 days he spent incarcerated pre-trial. Even if true you have to wonder if doing the time would have been much worse for him. Given the slap on the wrist sentences apparently given for such crimes at the time he would likely have been able to get out of jail in fairly short order one way or another. Polanski's exile surely harmed his career, cutting him off as it did from big money Hollywood films.

These cases also bring up the obvious question of what a middle aged man would see in a 13 year old. Don't ask me, because I haven't got a clue.

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