ZURICH — Director Roman Polanski defended his 1977 rape of a 13-year-old model by expressing his belief that she was 13-and-a-half at the time.
“She seemed much too mature for someone of her years,” wrote the 77-year-old auteur in a letter to the French film magazine, Cahiers du Cinema. “She had a certain je ne sais quoi – a sophistication – one would associate with an older girl of, say, 13-and-seven-months.”
Polanski was seeking to have the charges against him dismissed under French law, which allows the “je ne sais quoi” defense in cases where a defendant was horny and uncertain of his victim’s age at the time of the assault.
The fugitive filmmaker, however, was subsequently apprehended last week by Swiss authorities, who have been asked by the Los Angeles district attorney’s office to extradite him to the United States.
Although the DA’s office agreed with Polanski’s assessment of the victim’s physical appearance after reviewing her 1977 modeling portfolio, they nevertheless decided to move forward with prosecuting the case.
“While the young woman in these photos appears mature enough to have been sodomized on her own volition,” explained one LA County prosecutor, “the U.S. allows individuals to engage in dangerous, drug-induced sexual activity only after reaching the ‘age of consent,’ which is determined utilizing one’s actual date-of-birth, and not ‘how hot’ they are.”
Polanski’s defense attorney brushed off the age issue as a technicality. “She was getting hammered by the freakin’ director of ‘Chinatown,’” he exclaimed. “He’s not going to stop in the middle of a take to ask for identification.”
Although Polanski confessed to the encounter years ago, he now insists the girl misled him, declaring that he would never knowingly have had intercourse with a 13-year-old “outside the protective bubble of French society.”
“You don’t understand,” he protested, as Swiss officials cuffed him and took him into custody. “The bitch told me she was ‘almost fourteen.’”