The magazine's QC, Tom Shields, said: "This law knows of no rules - only violations of civilised conduct which, it appears, can be readily excused."
Mr Shields was making his closing speech for Condé Nast, the magazine's publishers. Mr Polanski, 71, was absent because of his fear of extradition to the US following his flight from there in 1978 while awaiting sentence for having sex with a 13-year-old girl. The film director is suing over a July 2002 article which said that after the murder in August 1969 of his then wife, Sharon Tate, by Charles Manson's "Family" he made sexual advances to a Swedish woman at a restaurant in New York.
It recounted an onlooker, Lewis Lapham, as saying: "He slid his hand inside her thigh... with the promise 'And I will make another Sharon Tate out of you'."
Mr Polanski, backed by the actress Mia Farrow, says the incident never happened. The magazine now accepts the incident did not occur when Mr Polanski was on his way to Hollywood for the funeral but says it took place about two weeks later.
The jury retired to consider its verdict.
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