Roman Polanski, the 78-year-old French-Polish filmmaker, has made his first public acknowledgement of Samantha Geimer, the 13-year-old he was charged with sexually assaulting in Los Angeles. Polanski makes reference to the girl in a documentary that premiered at the Zurich Film Festival on Tuesday (27th September 2011).
According to ABC News, the director describes Geimer as "a double victim", adding, "my victim, and a victim of the press". Polanski and his lawyers accepted a plea deal of probation in 1978 after it was alleged the filmmaker sexually assaulted the model during a photo shoot for French Vogue, however, Polanski fled to France just hours before sentencing. On Tuesday, he took to the stage at the film festival to accept a lifetime achievement award two years after he was originally intended to receive it - he was arrested on arrival to Zurich in 2009 at the behest of U.S. authorities. Six charges against Polanski remain pending in the United States. Speaking to a packed audience in Austria, the director's opening joke, "Better late than never", was met with rousing applause.
In recent years, Polanski has made a number of award winning movies, including the World War II drama 'The Pianist', which scooped three Academy Awards including 'Best Director. More recently, he made 'The Ghost Writer', with EWAN MCGREGOR.