After seven months under house arrest in his Swiss chalet, and still facing extradition, Roman Polanski has broken a long silence over his 33-year-old sex conviction, claiming the case against him is based on a "lie" and accusing the US authorities of wanting to "serve me on a platter to the media of the world".
The Oscar-winning film director used an online magazine run by the French philosopher Bernard-Henri Levy to argue that he has already served his time for the statutory rape of a 13-year-old girl and now deserves to be "treated fairly like anyone else," rather than be returned to the US to serve out his sentence.
The 900-word statement paints Polanski as the victim of publicity-hungry lawyers. It claims he fled to France, which has no extradition treaty with America, in 1978 because the judge in his original trial reneged on the terms of a plea deal in order to "gain himself some publicity".
The LA District Attorney who persuaded the Swiss authorities to arrest him at Zurich airport in September "is himself campaigning for election and needs media publicity".
He does not apologise for plying a 13-year-old girl with champagne and drugs before sodomising her in the hot-tub at Jack Nicholson's Hollywood home in 1977. But he does repeat the phrase "I can remain silent no longer!" nine times.