Director Roman Polanski has been given clearance by The House of Lords to testify via video link in an uncoming libel case. Polanski is suing Vanity Fair magazine for suggesting in a 2002 article that the filmmaker had been spotted hitting on women in New York City en route to the funeral of Sharon Tate, his pregnant wife who had been murdered by the Manson Family in the couple's Hollywood Hills home. Conde Nast, publisher of the magazine, now admits that the incident actually occured several weeks later, but neither side is backing off the case.

So why can't he just show up in court? In 1977, after an incident at a party thrown by Jack Nicholson involving an under-age girl, Polanski was convicted on charges of statutory rape, and has been living in exile in Paris ever since. If the 71-year-old Oscar winner was to travel to England to testify in the current civil case, he would surely be extradicted and sent back to the US for sentencing on the statutory rape charges. Yesterday's decision by the House of Lords upholds an orginal judgement and overturns a ruling by the Court of Appeals, who claimed Polanski shouldn't be allowed to "use judicial process when it suited him, but avoid it when it did not".

Read more at Reuters.

categories Cinematical