Whoops! Over at the Daily Beast, failed prosecutor turned blogger Marcia Clark landed herself what could turn out to be a pretty big Roman Polanski–related scoop. Clark sat down for a conversation with former L.A. County prosecutor David Wells, who was not only one of the original people assigned to the Polanski case when it first came to light back in 1977, but also a major figure in last year’s HBO documentary, Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired. In that film, Wells claimed that he breached the law by advising the judge in the case, the late Judge Laurence Rittenband, about some of Polanski’s outrageous behavior in the wake of his release from the 42-day psychiatric-evaluation period that Polanski underwent as part of his plea bargain. However, now Wells is claiming that he lied to the film’s director about these statements, which could poke a major hole in Polanski’s potential defense efforts (should he be successfully extradited). Wells claims that he was told that the film would never air in the United States and that he fed the director these lies because: “I thought it made a better story if I said I’d told the judge what to do.” Ouch.
We’ve got more Roman Polanski updates for you below, including a piece of news that we know you’ve all been dying to hear: Kirstie Alley’s thoughts on the matter!
• In case you had forgotten some of the details about the case, be sure to read the Smoking Gun’s summary of Samantha Geimer’s testimony about what happened on that fateful night from the grand-jury minutes. A warning, though: It’s pretty harrowing stuff. [Smoking Gun]
• Sharon Tate’s sister, Debra, went on the Today show this morning to discuss the case. She described Polanski as a “good guy” and even claimed that the sex between him and Geimer was “a consensual matter.” [HuffPo]
• Los Angeles Times reporter Steve Lopez, whose name you might recognize from The Soloist, wrote a pretty eloquent op-ed on the matter. It’s highly critical of the prominent members of Hollywood who signed the pro-Polanski petition, mainly because he feels that they are ignoring the plight of what he describes as the “true victim” in this case, Samantha Geimer. [LAT]
• After an international outcry, the French government is softening their stance that Polanski should immediately be sprung from the Swiss jail where he’s currently residing. French government spokesman Luc Chatel gave the following statement to reporters after a Cabinet meeting: “A judicial procedure is under way concerning a serious case, the rape of a minor, and the U.S. and Swiss justice systems are doing their work.” [Reuters]
• Perhaps inspired by Debra Winger’s ranting, Kirstie Alley decided to weigh in on the situation via the popular time-wasting device Twitter. Composed using an interesting method of seemingly random capitalization, Alley fired off well over twenty tweets on the controversial subject, including the following: “JUST FOR THE RECORD….RAPE IS RAPE…this is one HOLLYWOOD STAR who does not CELEBRATE or DEFEND Roman Polanski..his ART did not RAPE her.” Genius! We can hardly wait to hear John Ratzenberger’s thoughts on the matter. [E! Online]