Why the actors' strike won't happen.
June 12, 2008
Push back: Following up our report this week about the new Roman Polanski documentary, we take note of a weird statement released Wednesday under the signatures of the prosecutor and the defense attorney in the case.
Recall that both are featured in an HBO documentary, Roman Polanksi: Wanted and Desired, in which they bemoan the shabby treatment that alleged child rapist Polanski suffered at the hands of the Los Angeles Superior Court in 1977.
As we reported, the documentary originally ended with the assertion that an unnamed judge in 1998 was going to permit Polanski to return to the United States without risking jail time, but only if he appeared at a court proceeding that would be televised.
Last week, the Los Angeles Superior Court identified that judge as Larry Paul Fidler and vehemently denied that he had ever imposed such a condition. After a pause, HBO said Friday that it would change the end of the film to say that Polanski feared the proceeding would be televised, which is quite different from having a judge insist that it had to be.
The altered documentary aired Monday. Yesterday, the film's publicists released a statement signed by the prosecutor in the case, Roger Gunson, as well as defense attorney Douglas Dalton. It contends that at the 1998 hearing, Dalton pressed "for a resolution of the case that would allow for minimal news media." The statement says Dalton "recalled that Judge Fidler would require television coverage," and then adds: "Mr. Gunson recalls television coverage discussed at the meeting."
Talk about lawyer words. There's no further elaboration as to what, if anything, Gunson remembers about that discussion. Presumably, it could have gone like this:
Gunson: "So, your honor, what about television coverage?"
Fidler: "Hate it."
Kim Masters is an NPR correspondent and the author of The Keys to the Kingdom: The Rise of Michael Eisner and the Fall of Everyone Else.
Photograph of Jack Nicholson by Gabriel Bouys/AFP/Getty Images. Historically accurate photograph of Claus von Stauffenberg from AP Photo. Photograph of Roman Polanski by Bill Bridges/Globe Photos, courtesy HBO.