time's up

Natalie Portman on Signing Petition in Support of Roman Polanski: ‘I Very Much Regret It’

Natalie Portman. Photo: Joe Scarnici/Getty Images for Vulture Festival

In September 2009, Roman Polanski was arrested by Swiss police on a warrant for his 1977 sexual-abuse case. Though he was released from custody by July 2010, over 100 members of the film industry signed a petition in support of the controversial filmmaker. “Filmmakers, actors, producers and technicians — everyone involved in international filmmaking — want him to know that he has their support and friendship,” read the petition, signed by Natalie Portman, Darren Aronofsky, Michael Mann, Tilda Swinton, and more. As an early member of Time’s Up, the legal defense fund founded by Hollywood agents, executives, and actresses, Portman now wishes she hadn’t supported Polanksi’s release. “I very much regret it,” she said, when BuzzFeed News asked her about signing the Polanski petition. “I take responsibility for not thinking about it enough. Someone I respected gave it to me, and said, ‘I signed this. Will you too?’ And I was like, sure. It was a mistake. The thing I feel like I gained from it is empathy towards people who have made mistakes. We lived in a different world, and that doesn’t excuse anything. But you can have your eyes opened and completely change the way you want to live. My eyes were not open.”

Natalie Portman Regrets Signing Polanski Support Petition