October 1st, 2009
08:40 PM ET
12 years ago

Schwarzenegger: Treat Polanski 'like everyone else'

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/10/01/art.arnold10.0109.jpg caption="Schwarzenegger: Treat Polanski 'like everyone else'."]
WASHINGTON (CNN) - California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger told CNN on Thursday that he thinks filmmaker Roman Polanski, who was arrested in Switzerland last weekend for having sex with a 13-year-old girl, should not get special treatment because of his celebrity status.

As some in Hollywood rally to Polanski's defense, the movie star-turned-Republican governor said he wouldn't promise the director a pardon if he gets extradited to the United States and re-enters California's legal system. He said that he would "not treat (Polanski's) situation any differently than everyone else's."

"It doesn't matter if you are a big-time movie actor or a big-time movie director or producer," Schwarzenegger told CNN's Wolf Blitzer. "I think that he is a very respected person, and I am a big admirer of his work. But nevertheless, I think he should be treated like everyone else."

soundoff (105 Responses)
  1. joe m

    the time for treatting polanski just like anyone else has long past. he had the chance for this 30 yrs. ago. when he ran and thumbed his nose at the law, he deserves to be treated with extreme prejudice. he has shown himself to be a person who has no respect for the law, and cannot be trusted to do the right thing. polanski needs to be brought back, charged with the original crimes, have the plea deal revoked because he ran, and then charged further for fleeing. i couldn't care less if he is the most gifted artist alive today, he is a criminal who victimized a child and was not man enough to take responsibility. to his supporters; the women among them need to read the transcripts of the testimony by the victim and consider if they'd still be willing to support this criminal if it was them, their sister, their daughter, or mothers that had been the victim of polanski. i doubt that any of them would feel that this crime was 'just so long ago', and it was somehow wrong that he was arrested on the way to a 'cutural' event. polanski needs to be treated like any one who sexually abuses a child. he needs to be thrown in jail, have his name put on a sex offender list, and be barred from ever living in an area near children or having contact with them.

    October 1, 2009 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  2. Robin

    I cannot believe that this fugitive was allowed to show his movies in this country. It is a crime in itself for a child molester (fugitive) to be able to produce a movie ('The Pianist" )and collect my money for the ticket . That's is raping the public!!! HE NEEDS TO BE EXTRADITED AND PUT UNDER THE JAIL!!!!

    October 1, 2009 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  3. No Incumbents 2010

    Polanski isn't being treated like everyone else. Despite the judicial misconduct, he was targeted for extradition because he is famous. His victim has pleaded with authorities to let this case go. The LA District Attorney is wasting taxpayer dollars going after this case. Polanski has already been punished by (1) 42 days in prison, (2) having to live a life in exile instead of being able to do movies in Hollywood, and (3) reaching a civil settlement with the victim. The LA District Attorney is grasping for headlines and will be defeated the next election for abusing the powers of his office.

    October 1, 2009 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |

    Polanski is a hero to liberals. Its funny, they think a guy like this should go free and anyone who serves in the military are criminals. How anyone proudly claims to be a liberal is beyond me. Where is the big earthquake we have been wating for in cali? Its time for hollywood to sink into the ocean.

    October 1, 2009 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  5. Va 4 Obama

    I rarely agree with anything Gov. Schwarzenegger has to say but he is definately correct this time.

    October 1, 2009 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  6. Jeff

    Wouldn't anyone else go free?

    October 1, 2009 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  7. Justme

    Go Arnold! There should never have been a plea bargain. It does not matter who he is. He assaulted a child sexually and he needs to suffer the consequences. How many others has this guy offended? This is not usually a one time thing. And any grief defense is flat wrong. Grow up hollywood, there is no la la land.

    October 1, 2009 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  8. Bob of Lompoc

    But not like you were treated, Arnold. Remember? You had been playing slap and tickle, hide the swartzen, and "give her a wedgie" with many a female co-worker, co actor, what have you, but when you ran for Governor, it all was well hidden. You and your powerful wife saw to it that your boring behavior never saw the light of day. So, Arnold, not like EVERYONE.

    October 1, 2009 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  9. LacrosseMom

    Ya think?!

    October 1, 2009 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  10. Justme

    By the way, I am a liberal, but we don't not all live in Hollywood or agree with those who think there is an entitlement to fame.

    October 1, 2009 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  11. Joe

    Polanski will get what he deserves when he's in jail from Big 'ol Buba !

    October 1, 2009 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  12. Robin in Tampa, FL

    I'm sure if the guy made some flops I'm sure the people support him now would have a very different opinion of him.

    October 1, 2009 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  13. Dr Phillipa

    I'd like to see a conversation between Gov Schwarzenegger and Achmadinijad. Imagine how much ol Mahmood would learn from Ahnold. As for Polanski, that's one for Californians to decide.

    October 1, 2009 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  14. Terry from West Texas

    NOT THE KINDA GUY wrote: "Polanski is a hero to liberals. ..."

    This is typical Conservative propaganda. Liberals are depicted as people with a crazy upside down ethics. We are supposed to hate children, love abortions, love pedaphiles, hate hard-working Americans, and love welfare loafers. The fact that there is no one anywhere in the world who thinks like this has not inhibited Conservatives from repeating it as the truth since 1964. But then, as we all know, you should pay no attention to what Conservatives say. Watch what they do instead. Two different things.

    As for Polanski: This may be splitting hairs but...

    If the victim prefers not to have the issue of her molestation revived after so long a time, I would respect her wishes. I don't think he should be punished for that crime out of respect for her.

    However, he fled the court's jurisdiction to avoid sentencing. That is a crime that he should be punished for. Whatever the maximum sentence is for that, he should receive.

    October 1, 2009 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  15. GuyInVA

    Despite what the supportive media and Hollywood leftists tell you, Polanski did not flee prosecution. He plead guilty, and fled prior to sentencing. He had entered into a plea bargain calling for no jail time. He feared the judge would back out of the deal, so he ran.

    He gave the girl alcohol and part of a quaalude and then assaulted her. In California (or any other state of which I'm aware) a CHILD of 13 is not old enough to consent to sex with an adult. The man is a pedophile by definition. His constantly saying he did nothing wrong because "no one got hurt" is another classic sign of pedophilia. I understand the victim wanting to put it behind her, but that doesn't mean the crime never occurred. The initial plea bargain was designed to spare the victim the pain of testifying. Therefore, it is Polanski who continues to responsible for her suffering.

    October 1, 2009 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  16. Liberals are Hypocrites

    A local L.A. radio station here has been airing the testimony of that 13 year old girl Polanski pumped full of drugs and booze and then raped. Absolutely disgusting what this man did to a frightened, innocent young girl.

    October 1, 2009 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  17. Anonymous

    What if it was your daughter? The law is the law, regardless of the individual, if we start bending the rules for certain situations, then the law holds no true value. Also, the victim, although her opinion I'm sure is respected, does not decide the outcome of the case. Bottom line here is that if this case was an article in the Crime section and not the Entertainment section, and involved say a gym teacher and not a Hollywood director, I doubt anyone would be defending the guy. I mean who do these Hollywood types think they are, its insulting to every American that they defend a guy who committed a crime against a child, why crusade for this guy, why not go out and be advocates for rape victims or abused children?

    October 1, 2009 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  18. Maria - Proud Democrat

    Well said Governor!!!

    October 1, 2009 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  19. Kristen

    I absolutely cannot support or watch future films from any of these Hollywood heavyweights that want to condone Polanski's pedophilia actions. These actors, directors, producters, in my opinion, have lost all credibility. I think everyone should take a stand and speak up!

    October 1, 2009 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
  20. Jenn, Philadelphia

    People who defend Polanski by bringing up his tragic life as an excuse just bring dishonor to his family and wife. What he did was predatory. If he had a problem with what he thought the sentence might be, he should have withdrawn his plea and taken his chances at trial. It is offensive to see all those actors, directors and world leaders (of France and Poland) treating him like a victim. He was 44 and she was 13. There is never a time or place where that is appropriate.

    October 1, 2009 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  21. kyle

    How does this get turned into a Right vs. Left issue? Good gosh people, stop obsessing over which side is better than the other. You need lives..

    October 1, 2009 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  22. kman821

    Was anyone surprised that Woody Allen was one of the first celebrity child-loving defenders to raise his tainted voice?

    October 1, 2009 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
  23. hm,florida

    god people start growing up.

    October 1, 2009 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  24. girlsouth

    Polanski could have been long done with this long ago, and free to do what he pleased...which he did, as long as he didnt return to the U.S. It's ongoing because he refused to take responsibility with the very mild punishment he was subject to.
    Martha Stewart took it like a woman.
    Michael Vick took it like a man.

    And most people would agree, their crimes were not nearly as severe as his crime against a child. He is a true talent, but he should not get away with this.

    Sorry, Roman. This lifelong Dem sides with Arnie, this time.

    October 1, 2009 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  25. Janine

    Any support towards this scumbag sends the wrong public message to all pedephiles out there. Unfortunately, it gives them the green light to prey on young children, especially if the perpetrater is very rich and famous. Just because they have money, fame and power, doesn't mean they should be treated any differently in a court of law. Over the years, Polansky has lived the good life. It is now time for him to pay back his dues to society for the hideous crimes which he committed. Any profits that he made from his movies, which were shown in the U.S., should be turned over to as many child sex victim organizations throughout the U.S. as possible. No exceptions.

    October 1, 2009 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
1 2 3 4 5