Space porn: These images are (quite literally) out of this world
Filmmaker Roman Polanski, breaking a months-long silence, said Sunday that the U.S. is demanding his extradition from Switzerland on a 33-year-old sex case largely to serve him “on a platter to the media.”
Polanski, who is under house arrest in his Alpine Swiss chalet, laid out his case against extradition on an online magazine run by one of his staunchest supporters, French philosopher Bernard-Henri Levy.
“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,” he wrote. “I ask only to be treated fairly like anyone else.”
Polanski suggests the case against him is unjust and riddled with problems. Each argument begins with the phrase: “I can remain silent no longer.”
One of Polanski’s complaints is that Los Angeles County District Attorney Steve Cooley, “who is handling this case and has requested (the) extradition, is himself campaigning for election and needs media publicity!” Cooley is running for California attorney general.
The district attorney’s spokeswoman Sandi Gibbons said the office “will withhold comment until the Swiss make a decision on his fugitive status.”
Swiss authorities are trying to decide whether to extradite Polanski to Los Angeles for having sex in 1977 with a 13-year-old girl.
Polanski was arrested seven months ago as he arrived in Zurich to receive a lifetime achievement award at a film festival.
The Oscar-winning director of “Rosemary’s Baby,” “Chinatown” and “The Pianist” was put behind bars for more than two months before being transferred on $4.5 million bail to house arrest in the luxury resort of Gstaad. Polanski wrote in the online magazine, La Regle du Jeu, that he had mortgaged his apartment to pay the bail.
Three decades ago, Polanski was accused of plying his victim with champagne and part of a Quaalude during a modeling shoot and raping her. He was initially indicted on six felony counts, including rape by use of drugs, child molesting and sodomy. He later pleaded guilty to one count of unlawful sexual intercourse.
What happened after that is a subject of dispute. The defense says the now deceased judge, Laurence J. Rittenband, had agreed in meetings with attorneys to sentence Polanski to a 90-day diagnostic study and nothing more.
But the judge later changed his mind and summoned Polanski for further sentencing — at which time he fled to his native France, attorneys said.
Polanski claimed the judge “betrayed” him and wanted “to gain himself some publicity at my expense.” He said the request for his extradition is “founded on a lie.”
Polanski said retired Deputy District Attorney Roger Gunson, who worked on the case three decades ago, has confirmed his take on events under oath. The director’s lawyers have argued that unsealing transcripts of Gunson’s secret testimony would show the extradition request is based on false and incomplete statements by the Los Angeles district attorney’s office.
Polanski added: “I can no longer remain silent because the United States continues to demand my extradition more to serve me on a platter to the media of the world than to pronounce a judgment concerning which an agreement was reached 33 years ago.”
The filmmaker has kept largely silent under house arrest. In December, he released a message thanking his supporters for their letters.
Associated Press writer Christopher Weber in Los Angeles contributed to this report.
NASA astronaut Mike Hopkins
On December 28, 2013, Expedition 38 crew member Mike Hopkins participating in the second of two space walks to replace a degraded pump module on the International Space Station. (NASA astronaut Rick Mastracchio is reflected in his helmet!)
The Soyuz TMA-10M
The Soyuz TMA-10M headed towards the International Space Station with crew members from Expedition 37 onboard.
40 years ago the Apollo 8 mission flew up to the moon, orbited it ten times and then returned to Earth. This picture was taken from that flight and shows the Earth as it seemingly rises in similar fashion to a sunrise.
Sunrise from Expedition 36
NASA Flight Engineer Karen L. Nyberg of Expedition 36 took this photo of the sun rising -- a sight they saw nearly 16 times per day due to the speed of the International Space Station's orbit around the earth.
A pair of NanoRacks CubeSats -- nanosattelite spacecrafts carrying experiments -- were launched by Expedition 38.