Polanski Has His Day in Court (but He'll Be in Paris at the Time)

Article excerpt


MOVIE DIRECTOR SUES VANITY FAIR BY VIDEO TO AVOID RAPE CHARGES OSCAR-WINNING director Roman Polanski is set to launch the High Court libel trial of the year, 200 miles from London in Paris.

Polanski will make legal history when he conducts his libel case against Vanity Fair magazine not from the front row of Court 13 in the Strand but from a TV studio in the French capital.

He will be the first person to bring a contested libel claim by being questioned and cross-examined in front of a jury via video link.

Movie stars Catherine Deneuve and Nastassja Kinski are likely to feature in the evidence and Mia Farrow is set to appear in the witness box, but Polanski will watch and listen in Paris throughout the trial, which is expected to last five days.

Polanski knows that were he to take the Eurostar to Waterloo and appear personally, he would be arrested and extradited to the United States where he has the certainty of a prison sentence hanging over him.

The director of The Pianist and Rosemary's Baby pleaded guilty in 1977 to having sex with a 13-year-old girl but fled to Paris and can never return to Hollywood-A French national, who also holds a Polish passport, he is safe in Paris. …