Upon arriving in Switzerland for the Zurich Film Festival, at which he was set to accept the Lifetime Achievement Award, director Roman Polanski was taken into custody by Swiss authorities. The charge is for a U.S. warrant for arrest for Polanski’s 1978 statutory rape conviction.
Swiss police are reportedly holding Polanski for extradition to the U.S. and will not release Polanski until the process is complete.
Polanski fled the United States in 1978 after pleading guilty to having sex with 13-year-old Samantha Geimer in California. As a French citizen, Polanski has not returned to the U.S. in those 30 years for fear of being arrested as a fugitive and was looking to have the case dismissed. A recent judge demanded that he return to the U.S. in order to apply for dismissal.
The Academy Award winning director was best known for his films The Pianist, Chinatown, and Rosemary’s Baby.