Roman Polanski’s Apology

I suppose it’s nice that Roman Polanski is expressing contrition for raping Samantha Geimer in his new documentary memoir. But I think that declaring her “a double victim: my victim and a victim of the press,” is perhaps not quite as effective as it could have been. The press doesn’t get involved unless Roman Polanski gives a 13-year-old drugs and alcohol and rapes her. In any case, it’s important to recognize that the reason Polanski can’t come back to the United States and has to circumscribe his travel is not solely because something happened between him and his victim: it’s because something happened between Polanski and the state. Our rule of law does not—and shouldn’t—depend on individual offenders and individual victims making peace. It’s good for her to get some matter of personal peace. But it’s not enough for the rest of us.