Roman Polanski's lawyer told Swiss newspapers that the acclaimed and controversial filmmaker is not in great shape. Herve Temine visited the 76-year-old, who has been in Swiss custody since September 26, and said to one paper, "I found him to be tired and depressed," and told another, "Roman Polanski...seemed very dejected when I visited him. Polanski was in an unsettled state of mind." Earlier this week, the Swiss authorities denied his request for bail.
Polanski was arrested last month on a U.S. arrest warrant; while he pleaded guilty to the 1977 rape of a 13-year-old girl, he fled the U.S. in 1978, apparently worried the judge wouldn't accept the plea for a 48-day sentence. Polanski's lawyers met with the U.S. Department of Justice earlier this month, to ask that he not be extradited. A letter from his lawyers thanking the DOJ for the meeting says, "Mr. Polanski stands little chance of receiving a fair hearing or disposition in California should he be returned, particularly in light of the world wide press attention on this case."
Today, the NY Times has an article about the Polanski case and how the world has changed when it comes to sex offenders—"In 1978 officials argued that the plea agreement would spare Mr. Polanski’s young victim the notoriety of a trial. But the soft deal was also in tune with the more permissive times, when sex with the under age was often winked at, especially among entertainment world sophisticates."