Polanski 'overwhelmed' by support since arrest

Roman Polanski is “overwhelmed” by the support he has received since being arrested in Switzerland.

The 76-year-old film director – who is under house arrest in Switzerland awaiting a decision over whether he will be extradited to America over a conviction for having sex with a 13-year-old girl in 1977 – says he was given strength by the letters he was sent after being arrested in Switzerland in September.

In a letter to French author Bernard-Henri Levy, which Levy handed over to the Huffington Post newspaper, Polanski wrote: “These messages have come from my neighbours, from people all over Switzerland, and from beyond Switzerland - from across the world.

"I would like every one of them to know how heartening it is, when one is locked up in a cell, to hear this murmur of human voices and of solidarity in the morning mail. In the darkest moments, each of their notes has been a source of comfort and hope, and they continue to be so in my current situation."

The comments Polanski made in the letter are his first since he was taken into custody while attending a film festival in Zurich.

In 1977, the ‘Rosemary’s Baby’ filmmaker pleaded guilty to charges of having underage sex with 13-year-old Samantha Gailey, now known as Samantha Geimer.

He believed he would face a jail term of just 42 days, and claimed a judge had reneged on a plea bargain deal to reduce the charges from rape and serious sexual assault if he admitted under-age sex. However, on the day of his sentencing he fled to London then Paris.

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