A: A little bit, but not really because . . .
A: Because I was afraid of him.
That's Roman Polanski's 13-year-old victim testifying before a grand jury about how the famous director forced himself on her at Jack Nicholson's Mulholland Drive home in March of 1977.
I'm reading this in the district attorney's office at the Los Angeles County Criminal Courts Building, digging through the Polanski file to refresh my memory of the infamous case, and my blood pressure is rising.
Is it because I'm the parent of a girl?
Maybe that's part of it.
But I wish the renowned legal scholars Harvey Weinstein and Debra Winger, to name just two of Polanski's defenders, were here with me now. I'd like to invite Martin Scorsese, as well, along with David Lynch, who have put their names on a petition calling for Polanski to be freed immediately.
What, because he won an Oscar? Would they speak up for a sex offender who hadn't?
To hear these people tell it, you'd think Polanski was the victim rather than the teenager.
And then there's Woody Allen, who has signed the petition too.
You'd think that after marrying his longtime girlfriend's adopted daughter, he'd have the good sense to remain silent. But at least Soon-Yi Previn was a consenting adult.
I'd like to show all these great luminaries the testimony from Polanski's underage victim, as well as Polanski's admission of guilt. Then I'd like to ask whether, if the victim were their daughter, they'd be so cavalier about a crime that was originally charged as sodomy and rape before Polanski agreed to a plea bargain. Would they still support Polanski's wish to remain on the lam living the life of a king, despite the fact that he skipped the U.S. in 1977 before he was sentenced?
The Zurich Film Festival has been "unfairly exploited" by Polanski's arrest, Winger said. Thanks, Deb. And so sorry the film festival was inconvenienced by the arrest of a man who left the United States to avoid sentencing for forcing himself on a child.
Weinstein, meanwhile, issued an open letter urging "every U.S. filmmaker to lobby against any move to bring Polanski back to the U.S.," arguing that "whatever you think of the so-called crime, Polanski has served his time."
Let's get back to the grand jury testimony.