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Arts and Entertainment

Better Late and Sorry? Polanski Uses New Documentary to Apologize to Victim in 70s Sexual Assault Case

Polanski as seen in a previous docu "Wanted and Desired"
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Is it too late for public apologies? It seems fugitive director Roman Polanski doesn't think so, as a new documentary film about his life and work includes his offering of apology to Samantha Greimer, the woman he was convicted of sexually assaulting 33 years ago.

The Hollywood Reporter, however, cautions that those who see Laurent Bouzereau's film "Roman Polanski: A Film Memoir" expecting to be enlightened about the case or even see Polanski's story told objectively will be let down:

[T]hose hoping this new documentary would provide further evidence for or against Polanski in the case that led him to flee America back in 1978 will be disappointed. The film, shot while Polanski was under house arrest in Switzerland two years ago awaiting possible extradition, offers little new information not already in the public record.

The film, which debuted Tuesday at the Zurich Film Festival, reportedly echoes much of the content of an earlier film, "Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired" in that there are clear allegations the case against Polanski as tried in Los Angeles in 1978 was fraught with "legal manipulation and corruption."

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Polanski was arrested in Switzerland in September 2009 when he traveled to Zurich to receive an award for his work in film. The Polish-born French citizen had been living in exile in Europe since fleeing Los Angeles following his conviction in the rape case that found him guilty of engaging in sex with then-13-year-old Greimer. Polanski was ultimately transferred to house arrest, but, despite the L.A. County District Attorney's urgings, was not extradited to Los Angeles.

"She is a double victim: my victim and a victim of the press," says Polanski of Greimer in the new film.