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is enough indeed enough?
an open letter to roman polanski
by alex b (@Lexistential)

Dear Mr. Polanski,

Although I haven't seen most of your movies, you had me at Death and the Maiden. You made a huge impression on my then-eighteen year-old mind, for I've never forgotten the intense, confrontational tone of your film.

However, with how I generally remember your name, I think you would have liked me better if I was underage- then and now.

Though your 1977 transgression occurred long, long ago, your name is back in the news because of a freshly revealed instance of past misconduct. British actress Charlotte Lewis states that you molested her in 1983, a time period where any fan or human being with a conscience hoped you would have learned to behave differently, but clearly didn't.

Oh, and Woody Allen is defending you. In my mind, that doesn't add to your integrity.

But, as Allen says, enough is enough. He says you've paid your dues, your critics need to stop hounding you, and so forth. If Allen and a slew of European filmmakers are to be listened to, you deserve the right to go on without facing any legal threat of extradition.

Of course, I disagree.

Personally, I think that had you weathered a sentence, you would have been respected as someone who truly paid their legal dues. As someone who enjoys the support of the artistic community as you do and is the gifted storyteller that you are, you would have inevitably returned to a prestigious place in the film industry. Your livelihood would have been guaranteed now as it always has been.

However, you did not. And, as your contact with Lewis shows, your attraction to underage young women is not an isolated instance.

I often wonder just how a man of your age and respected artist of your stature could have ever developed a taste for children. It's tempting to speculate that the loss of Sharon Tate and subsequent copious amounts of drug use threw you down a leering path, but as I generally believe that you have as much of a choice to stop aside from going forward, you're not entitled to any of my sympathy.

In any case, I don't want to linger on how you evolved into a pedophile. However, I think it's worth emphasizing that anyone who ever seizes an opportunity to press a sexual advantage on a child plays a power game where he or she is an inevitable victor, and the other party is irrevocably damaged.

Congratulations, Mr. Polanski. Not only did you succeed in evading American sentencing, but you wrecked someone else after the fact.

As far as what will happen to you now, I have a feeling that you'll weather out the American efforts to sentence you for as long as you can in Switzerland. You have enough power at your disposal to prevent yourself from being sent anyplace where someone might want to pretend you're the 13-year-old. You're a lucky bastard. I'm sure you know it.

But, just as it's inevitable that you would pay attention to the maidens in a schoolyard, I hope one of your victims has an opportunity to confront you. It's a grown-up interaction with a woman that's long overdue, and one of the minimum sentences you deserve.

With sincerity,
Alex B.


An expert in coloring outside the lines while reading between them, Alex B has a head for business, bod for sin, and weakness for ice cream during all seasons. Apart from watching Bravo marathons and enjoying haute bites here and there, she writes about TV, pop culture, and coloring outside even more lines. She sneaks Tweets via @lexistential.

more about alex b


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it's a question of pride
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tracey kelley
5.21.10 @ 6:40a


alex b
5.21.10 @ 10:10a

Merci, Tracey. It saddens me to see really talented people choose not to face their misdeeds. But, what's sadder is that if Polanski does return to US soil, his accusers have become mothers.

jeff h
5.21.10 @ 10:54p

Well, I'm glad someone said it.
Nice column.

alex b
5.24.10 @ 9:27a

Thanks Jeff!

adam mcglashan
6.6.10 @ 2:11p

I remember reading in an interview that Natasha Kinsky had her first 3-way with Polanski and another woman at age 17. He's been a kiddy fiddler from way back that has dodged the law for the last 30 years in a way the catholic church should be writing down. Dirty, dirty man.

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