Neither rain, nor sleet, nor house arrest will keep Roman Polanski from delivering good tidings and cheer. In a letter written from his current detention center (a spectacular three-story Swiss chalet) and his first public statement since being locked up, the 76-year-old director sent warm holiday wishes to his supporters.
That’s right — Polanski’s first public words after being imprisoned didn’t express remorse or beg for forgiveness. Instead, he gave a shout-out to all of the strangers out there who have had his back this whole time — despite his having raped a 13-year-old girl. Polanski writes that he has “been overwhelmed by the number of messages of support and sympathy” he has received:
These messages have come from my neighbors, from people all over Switzerland, and from beyond Switzerland — from across the world. I would like every one of them to know how heartening it is, when one is locked up in a cell, to hear this murmur of human voices and of solidarity in the morning mail. In the darkest moments, each of their notes has been a source of comfort and hope, and they continue to be so in my current situation.
The entire stomach-churning communique can be found on the Huffington Post, where it was published Monday by the letter’s recipient, French philosopher Bernard-Henri Lévy. Thanks to “the generous access provided by Arianna Huffington and her staff,” Lévy has used the site for months now as a dumping ground for his Polanski apologism — or, as he likes to call it, a point of view that “contrasts with the howling of the pack.” The truth, though, is that early on a significant share of “the pack” was howling about Polanski’s victimhood just like Lévy — but sanity finally prevailed. Unfortunately, despite popular opinion turning against the world-renowned director, his letter sadly suggests that Lévy is still far from alone.