Roman Polanski has offered a public apology to the woman he sexually assaulted in the 1970s as part of a new documentary which premiered at the Zurich Film Festival in Switzerland on Tuesday (27Sep11).
The veteran director returned to the country this week (beg26Sep11) to pick up a lifetime achievement award at the event, two years after he was arrested on child sex charges dating back to 1977, while he was en route to the annual ceremony.
Polanski fled America in 1978 and skipped sentencing after he was convicted on a charge of unlawful sex with a minor, relating to Samantha Geimer, who was 13 when the filmmaker bedded her at a party at actor Jack Nicholson's Hollywood home.
After his arrest in Switzerland in 2009, the Rosemary's Baby director fought extradition to the U.S. and was eventually freed last year (10) following several months of jail time and house arrest at his Swiss chalet.
Polanski's life is now the focus of Laurent Bouzereau's new film Roman Polanski: A Film Memoir, which was shot while he was under house arrest, and during the film, the moviemaker offers a public apology to Geimer, saying "She is a double victim: my victim and a victim of the press."
The screening on Tuesday marked the film's world premiere.