Natalie Portman 'very much regrets' signing petition for filmmaker Roman Polanski
The actress signed the petition back in 2009
Nine years after she signed a Hollywood petition demanding the release of Roman Polanski from Swiss custody, Natalie Portman says she regrets supporting the filmmaker, who pleaded guilty to unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor in 1977.
The Black Swan actress admitted it was a "mistake" backing the campaign to set free the 84-year-old filmmaker after he was arrested for an old warrant relating to the rape of a 13-year-old girl, but she agreed to get involved after being asked by someone she "respected".
In an interview with BuzzFeed, Portman said: “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.”
Polanski was jailed in Switzerland for two months, before being put under house arrest at his home in Gstaad; Swiss authorities eventually rejected the request for extradition to the US, releasing Polanski from custody.
Portman wasn't the only famous face to sign the petition campaigning for the "immediate release" of Polanski, as the likes of directors Martin Scorsese, David Lynch and Darren Aronofsky, also put their names to the cause.
In explaining why she has joined the Time’s Up cause, Portman, 36, has revealed that, after her turn in The Professional in 1996, which she filmed over her 12th birthday, the roles she was offered were “sexy little girls”.
Portman also dismissed questions about another controversial filmmaker, Woody Allen, who she worked with on Everyone Says I Love You when asked if his time was up because of allegations he sexually molested his daughter, Dylan Farrow, insisting the "conversation" should be directed elsewhere.
She said: "I don't think that's what the conversation should be about. I think it should be about: Why didn't Elaine May make a movie every year? Why didn't Nora Ephron make a movie every year? Where's the female version of Bill Cosby? Why don't we see any Asian women in films? There's so much art that's being lost by not giving opportunities to women and people of color."