For the record (and by record, I mean “my blog”, which is a sort of record in this day and age), here’s what I think about that whole Roman Polanski mess. Yes, Roman Polanski raped a 13-year-old girl. Yes, it was “rape-rape”, as it involved alcohol, narcotics and an underage girl. Given the presence of narcotics, it still would have been rape-rape if she’s been of legal age. He also made some of the most amazing films of all time. These two things are, for the most part, mutually exclusive.
When the crime was committed, Polanski should have been tried and sent, not to jail, per se (though maybe for a little while), but certainly to a psychiatric prison where he received help. Because this man was not well at the time. His life till that point was filled with darkness that included the Holocaust and one of the most notorious serial killers in history. Both of these things directly effected his life. And he wasn’t coping with it well. Perhaps he’s somehow exorcised those demons since. Perhaps not. But at the time, he was definitely mentally ill. I have no doubt that had his wife and unborn child NOT been murdered by the Manson family, we wouldn’t even be having this discussion.
But since he wasn’t treated for his mental illness at the time of the crime, we are having this discussion years after the crime was committed. There are people who think they should just let it go (victim included). There are people who think he should be tarred and feathered for it. I think that since they did go through all the trouble of arresting him (finally), they should probably give him a trial. But if “temporary insanity” is not brought up, it is not a fair trial. I’m not saying he should be let off. I’m just saying sometimes fucked up circumstances make a person behave horribly and with whatever punishment he receives (or doesn’t receive), I hope they take that into consideration and get the man some help.