In the months since Roman Polanski was arrested in Switzerland, you've probably spent entire hours, maybe even entire days pitying poor, poor Roman Polanski. Just the thought of him sitting there under house arrest in his beautiful Swiss chalet, cruelly confined like a caged bird that plead guilty to having unlawful sex with a 13-year-old after being arrested on charges of rape and sodomy and then flew to France because it didn't like the way its case was going—why, it's enough to make you cry. At the very least, you've probably contemplated dusting off your old "Run, Juice, Run" sign, crossing off "Juice," writing in "Roman," and hopping a plane to Switzerland to stand amidst the picturesque mountains surrounding Polanski's chalet and show him you understand his plight.
But Roman Polanski doesn't want you to pity him—which is definitely what everyone was doing all this time. In fact, according to a statement he released this weekend, he wants to be treated just like anyone else.
Throughout my seven months since September 26, 2009, the date of my arrest at Zurich Airport, where I had landed with a view to receiving a lifetime award for my work from the representative of the Swiss Minister of Culture, I have refrained from making any public statements and have requested my lawyers to confine their comments to a bare minimum. I wanted the legal authorities of Switzerland and the United States, as well as my lawyers, to do their work without any polemics on my part.
I have decided to break my silence in order to address myself directly to you without any intermediaries and in my own words.
I have had my share of dramas and joys, as we all have, and I am not going to try to ask you to pity my lot in life. I ask only to be treated fairly like anyone else.
See? You shouldn't feel sorry for Roman Polanski's lot in life—even though, honestly, it's one hell of a pitiable lot. Could you imagine being a well-respected successful movie director pleading guilty to a sex crime charge, then fleeing the US because your sentencing isn't going the way you thought it was going to go, then having the vast financial resources to successfully be on the run for 33 years during which time you figured everyone had pretty much let the whole "fugitive from justice" thing go, then one day you go to Switzerland to get a lifetime achievement award from the office of the Swiss Minister Of Culture—as anyone else would—and then, boom, you get arrested at the airport?! Who among us cannot relate to that?
Still, Roman Polanski does not want your pity. He just wants to be treated like anyone else who is under house arrest at a chalet in Gstaad precisely because he is not like anyone else.
I can remain silent no longer because I have been placed under house arrest in Gstaad and bailed in very large sum of money which I have managed to raise only by mortgaging the apartment that has been my home for over 30 years, and because I am far from my family and unable to work.
Whoever said "Being a fugitive is easy" clearly hadn't met Roman Polanski. Actually, maybe they had met him before he was finally arrested last September, because up until then being a fugitive was pretty easy. Now, however, it's hard out there for a Roman Polanski.