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John Adams Blog

The blog of The Antient and Honourable John Adams Society, Minnesota's Conservative Debating Society www.johnadamssociety.org

Thursday, February 17, 2005

"I am a forum-shopping child molester ... Not a cad!"

Reuters last week reported what has to be the craziest story of the year. It notes that England's highest court ruled that film director Roman Polanski will be permitted to give evidence in an English court via video link from a Paris hotel room, in support of a case that Polanski has against Vanity Fair magazine.

Polanski wants to sue the magazine for libel in England because that nation's statute of limitations on libel claims is longer than that in France; but Polanski does not want to travel to England for the proceedings, because he also wants to avoid extradition to the United States on charges of child rape. In addition to a more permissive libel statute, England also has an extradition treaty with this country.

If that situation was not strange enough, Polanski's claim is that he was libeled by a 2002 Vanity Fair article that incorrectly claimed that the famed firm director propositioned a woman in a New York restaurant while he was en route to the funeral of his actress wife, Sharon Tate. Tate was murdered in 1969.

The claim raises the fascinating legal question of how the magazine's assertion that Polanski is, well, a boorish pig, could possibly reduce the reputation of a man who has evaded (for more than a quarter-century) extradition on claims that he drugged, raped and sodomized a 13 year old girl. See, the California indictment.

Only in Europe.