In 1977, director Roman Polanski was at Jack Nicholson’s house in Hollywood during a photo shoot. He met a young model named Samantha Geimer, who was only 13 at the time, gave her champagne and half a Quaalude and then allegedly raped her. Polanski was arrested and plead guilty to having sex with a minor, and served 42 days in state prison for what a judge termed “pre-sentencing diagnostic testing.” When he was released, he fled to France to avoid facing charges and potential further sentencing. He’s lived in France for the past 32 years, where he is a citizen and cannot be extradited, and has continued to direct films—including “The Pianist” which won him an Academy Award for Best Director and Best Picture. Polanski has never returned to the U.S., and has mostly avoided traveling to countries where he could be arrested. But on Saturday, as he arrived in Switzerland to speak at the Zurich Film Festival, he was picked up by Swiss officials bearing a U.S. arrest warrant.
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