October 1st, 2009
08:40 PM ET
11 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. Erik

    Nazi war criminals still get prosecuted 70 years after the fact. There is no time limit on justice. The guy raped a 13 year old girl and should be punished for it.

    October 1, 2009 10:57 pm at 10:57 pm |
  2. Vera

    The victim herself had publicly forgave and asked the case to be dismissed. Aren't there more dangerous criminals to hunt down?

    October 1, 2009 10:59 pm at 10:59 pm |
  3. Lee Bartholomew

    Switzerland and France aren't going to be getting along very well if he is extradited here. This guy was punished four ways from hell. I sure wouldn't want to have lived his life. Too many horrors. Think though that a debate really should go on about plea deals. They made a plea deal then someone stripped it from him. They do it all the time. Someone should come up with a plea deal ban or something. Or this wouldn't have gone as far as it did.

    October 1, 2009 10:59 pm at 10:59 pm |
  4. Richard L

    Good for Arnold.

    October 1, 2009 10:59 pm at 10:59 pm |
  5. Tracey

    Way to go Arnold! You are the FIRST person associated with Hollywood that I have heard speak out against this child rapist. Polanski is a disgusting pig who drugged a CHILD, a disgusting pig who sodomized a CHILD, a coward who ran. Perhaps Polanski will get a taste of his own medicine in jail or maybe even prison. I wonder how many of the Hollywood elite as they call themselves, would feel if this happened to their pre-teen daughter?

    Hollywood your popularity and appeal is waning among the moral people in society. All you have to sell in Hollywood is narcissism, sex, drugs, adultery, alcohol and fornication. If you think compassion makes you a moral person (Harvey Weinstein) you might want to read the bible again. Or for many of you, it will be a first..

    October 1, 2009 11:03 pm at 11:03 pm |
  6. AJ

    If Polanski were a conservative, he would be called a priest. Then the anti-intellectual conservative base would pretend they didn't notice.

    October 1, 2009 11:04 pm at 11:04 pm |
  7. Austria-Hungary

    Polanski should be freed, end of discussion. Further comments are useless and irrelevant.

    October 1, 2009 11:04 pm at 11:04 pm |
  8. bellablue

    It is a sad day in America, when people uphold ANY predator that violates a 13 year old or ANY OTHER child for that matter! I am completely livid as to the revelation that ANY one would consider letting this guy remain free and live his life in another Country. Not even the reports of the horrible nightmare this child had to endure and some of it right out of the Court record, seem to matter at all. IIs it any wonder we have Congressman verbally bashing each other, people trying to exthort others over sexual "favors", politicians having affairs with women in America, as well as in Argentina, and a Republican party who supports Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh and Bill O'Riley????? AND now, the youth of America, no matter the ethnicity, are showing the whole world that "killing" an innocent teenager, who did nothing to deserve death, is the 21st Century way of life????? !!! They need to put this guy in jail for the rest of his life, however many years that may be!! Bring him back from Switzerland, and make him go through the justic system like the law was written and stands on the books!!

    October 1, 2009 11:05 pm at 11:05 pm |
  9. economist

    The main page headline says "republican sounds off", but that's a bit misleading.

    October 1, 2009 11:14 pm at 11:14 pm |
  10. kas

    Polanski is a perv and should spend the rest of his pitiful life in jail. I'd boycott these Hollywood nutjubs and their movies, but I already don't patronize them...have not been to a movie in likwe18 years...maybe more...so I'll just keep it up.

    October 1, 2009 11:17 pm at 11:17 pm |
  11. orangeshrub@yahoo.com

    This man needs to be in jail. We can all agree on that. Whoever defends Polanski needs to take a look another look inside themselves. This is not about his art, this is about him and his crime against that young girl and society. Being a great artist does exempt you from behaving like a human being.

    October 1, 2009 11:18 pm at 11:18 pm |
  12. Not Following the Herd Mentality

    Polanski is too old to go to prison, he will die there. His victim has already said what the prosecutor is doing is ten times worse than what Polanski did because it brings unwanted attention to her. The victim already forgave him and even reached a civil settlement. The DA should respect the victim's wishes and drop it. Polanski does not deserve the death penality which would be the result of a prison sentence. The Governator is playing Mr. Populist on this one because of his low poll rating. Putting Polanski in prison at $26,000 a year is a waster of taxpayer money - we can't afford it!

    October 1, 2009 11:20 pm at 11:20 pm |
  13. Vic

    Good, I agree with The Governator.

    October 1, 2009 11:24 pm at 11:24 pm |
  14. Scott A.

    This coming from a man who demonized women in his own past. Did he ever face up to his charges? Treat him like everyone else...how about you Arnold you hypocrite?

    I could care less what Polanski did...it's none of my business.

    Republican politicians have no say whatsoever in trying to preach morality at a time when they're trying to keep people off affordable and adequate health care. Arnold doesn't care about anything good and decent...he only cares about looking good in front of a camera.

    Do your job CNN – call him and other Republicans out for preaching morality while they're allowing millions of people without affordable (or any) insurance to suffer because they're too cheap to care about being humanitarians.

    October 1, 2009 11:26 pm at 11:26 pm |
  15. Brian

    It is a cut and dried case. Break the law, get convicted of the crime, go directly to jail. Not only should this hose bag spend time in prison for the original crime, but also for fleeing the law.

    The loser raped a child! Don't you bleeding hearts see that as wrong?

    October 1, 2009 11:34 pm at 11:34 pm |
  16. hockey dad

    I don't condone the predatory actions of Palanski on the 13 year old, and he deserves some sort of punishment,... but he was also shafted by the judge in the case, which led to him fleeing.

    October 1, 2009 11:39 pm at 11:39 pm |
  17. Zohar Freiberg

    Roman Polanski is a rapist!!! It's time to keep the guy away from young girls!!!

    October 2, 2009 12:01 am at 12:01 am |
  18. Dan

    It is time that the movie stars and the sports stars who break civil and moral laws get treated like the criminals that they are. The lawyers who protect these scumbags are just as guilty as the criminals they protect. It is the liberal lawyers of this land that have given way too many rights of the victims away to protect the criminals who get three square meals a day, healthcare and education. The criminals (including the illegal aliens) are given too much access and rights in prison, while the victims pay with their very lives.

    The movie stars and sports "heros" get way too much money for what they do. There isn't a one that deserves anything close to what they get paid.

    When you worship this trash, you get the society that you have today.

    October 2, 2009 12:14 am at 12:14 am |
  19. cjg

    What else was he to say ? You do the crime , you do the time!

    October 2, 2009 12:16 am at 12:16 am |
  20. bri6

    Try everyone fairly why is that just now the fad with athletes and stars?

    October 2, 2009 12:18 am at 12:18 am |
  21. Patty

    For once, I agree with the govenor.

    October 2, 2009 12:28 am at 12:28 am |
  22. Carrie

    This is not a liberal /conservative issue, the fact that some think it is , is just in a word ...dumb! This is a law issue , not political!

    I think of myself at left of center , and I feel he needs to pay for fleeing the country and whatever his sentence was to be. Now since the girl involved does not want him to serve time , perhaps that will land him some slack , but personally he needs to pay his dues .....

    Regardless what the GOP wants people to think , liberals are not decadant , ungodly monsters , that is a myth and a prepertrated lie that started with people like Carl Rowe and Newt Gindrich , put fear into people and they will believe anything ....but if truth be told most liberals are just as godly , as most conservatives , and just as decadent !

    October 2, 2009 12:34 am at 12:34 am |
  23. Pat

    can we just leave the liberal/conservative rhetoric out of here, guys?

    I am a "freakin' liberal".... and I want Polanski to answer to the law like everybody else.
    I bet most of his 'supporters' would feel different if this happened to their 13 year old child.
    A wrong is a wrong and nothing changes about that just because somebody was successfully evading justice for 32 years. That alone is another reason to pile some more onto his time.
    Is anybody thinking about the message we are sending if he gets off just because he fled the country?

    October 2, 2009 12:35 am at 12:35 am |
  24. chris c

    I don't think prison time is necessary. Maybe probation or community service.

    October 2, 2009 12:41 am at 12:41 am |
  25. Mark

    Nice, Arnold. My hat off to you.

    October 2, 2009 12:44 am at 12:44 am |
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