Johann Hari: So that’s OK then. It’s fine to abuse young girls, as long as you’re a great film director – Johann Hari, Commentators – The Independent

So now we know. If you are a 44-year-old man, you can drug and anally rape a terrified 13-year-old girl as she sobs, says “No, no, no,” and pleads for her asthma medication – all according to the victim’s sworn testimony – and face no punishment at all. You just have to meet two criteria – (a) you have to run away and stay away for a few decades; and (b) you need to direct some good films. If you do, not only will you walk free, there will be a huge campaign to protect you from the “witch-hunt” and you will be lauded as a hero.

Roman Polanski admitted his crime before he ran away and, for years afterwards, he boasted from exile that every man wanted to do what he did. He chuckled to one interviewer in 1979: “If I had killed somebody, it wouldn’t have had so much appeal to the press, you see?Johann Hari: So that’s OK then. It’s fine to abuse young girls, as long as you’re a great film director – Johann Hari, Commentators – The Independent.

Total lack of remorse, utter disdain for the justice system, complete disregard for morality.  If anybody else had shown this disgusting attitude, the world would be up in arms and shouting for real justice.  He should, like any other child abuser, be imprisoned for life and his films should be banned so that he may no longer profit from his exile from the law.  There is NO excuse for what he did! I am not one to normally think in absolutes but this was absolutely wrong.  He went into exile to escape punishment for raping a child. Neither somebody’s job, nor any amount of self aggrandised talent, will or should place them above the law and those who excuse or even support his behaviour are just as contemptible as he is.  He raped a child and was then free to pursue his life (and do it again).  He showed not an ounce of remorse for his actions and even bragged about them in public with the excuse that every man “wants to”.

“But… fucking, you see… and the young girls. Judges want to fuck young girls. Juries want to fuck young girls. Everyone wants to fuck young girls!” – Roman Polanski, 1979

Even if this were true, which I sincerely doubt, most men manage to restrain themselves. Normal adult men do NOT find children sexually attractive! His friends and colleagues were, and still are, more than ready to dismiss the public outrage as a witch hunt, excusing what he did by blaming the mother and claiming the girl was not a virgin. I fail to see 1)how they knew this, and 2)why further abuse to a child who has already been abused, is acceptable. Some seem to think that he has already paid his debt by spending 42 days in a psychiatric facility.  42 days!!!  How is that in any way a fair or just punishment for the crime he committed?  They claim that he pleaded guilty to ‘make it all go away.’ Why would an innocent man plead guilty to a crime he did not commit? Isn’t that lying while under an oath to tell the truth?  Others claim that he paid $700,000 to the girl and her family in a civil court.  I say this now, as I said around the time of the Michael Jackson furore; civil cases should not be allowed to take place parallel with criminal investigations. That way money could not get in the way of real justice taking place. What kind of person tries to buy their way out of paying real consequences for their action? Come to think of it, what kind of parent accepts ANY payment for the abuse of their child over the knowledge of them spending years in prison for their crime? It allows that person to go off and do it again to another child and teaches others that justice favours the rich!

The French philosopher Bernard Henri-Levi, who led the campaign, said a little bit of child molestation isn’t his problem when Great Art is at stake. He wrote: “Am I repulsed by what he got up to? His behaviour is not my business. I’m concerned about his movies. I like The Pianist and Rosemary’s Baby.”

That’s worth saying again – this campaign was led by a man who thinks the drugging and raping of a child is “not my business”, when compared to a film about Satan inseminating Mia Farrow.

This is not a sensationalist media frenzy.  This is about a man who committed a vile rape on a drugged and underdeveloped teenage girl of thirteen years?  The west openly condemns child marriages (to middle-aged men) in the middle east, shouting about immorality (I quite agree, it is immoral.) while others claim that ‘it’s acceptable in their culture‘.  A morally reprehensible act is not adjusted or altered in any way by culture or geography.  It is acceptable in some parts of the middle east to circumcise girls, stone rape victims to death and murder homosexuals.  Should we condone incitement of Sharia Law here because it is ‘acceptable in their culture’?  This case has nothing to do with relative morality and everything to do with prosecuting a child abuser, reparation to the worlds’ justice systems so that other rich child abusers cannot repeat the sordid affair, and protecting their victims from harassment from the media.  He should no more be allowed to forget this without seeing some real justice (because, like human rights, justice works BOTH ways) than the scores of child abusing priests should have been moved around the world to protect them instead of doing what was right by the children who were abused.  We cannot condone any case of child molestation.  To allow this man to walk free would be a slap in the face to anyone who has ever been abused.

The novelist Robert Harris, who is a friend of Polanski’s, said: “It strikes me as disgusting treatment.” He wasn’t talking about the child-rape. He was talking about the attempt to punish the child-rape.



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