Director Roman Polanski will take part in the Venice Film Festival via Skype as he faces extradition

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The convicted rapist, who admitted to having unlawful sex with a 13-year-old girl in 1977, is set to attend the Venice Film Festival via Skype this year to avoid extradition

The convicted rapist, who admitted to having unlawful sex with a 13-year-old girl in 1977, is set to attend the Venice Film Festival via Skype this year to avoid extradition

The convicted rapist, who admitted to having unlawful sex with a 13-year-old girl in 1977, is set to attend the Venice Film Festival via Skype this year to avoid extradition

Director Roman Polanski is set to attend the Venice Film Festival via Skype to avoid extradition to the US over his statutory rape conviction from 1978. 

The convicted rapist admitted to having unlawful sex with a 13-year-old girl after he was charged with drugging and raping her in 1977. 

His new film, An Officer and a Spy, will screen at the film festival in early September but Polanski is expected to use a video call service to attend.

Attorney and extradition expert Joshua Dratel told the Hollywood Reporter: ‘If he puts his toe one inch over the line, he’ll be in jeopardy.’

This is because America and Italy signed an extradition treaty in 1983 which means that if Polanski were to go to Venice he would be arrested and probably sent back to America.  

Polanski, known for directing films such as Rosemary’s Baby and The Pianist, has been a fugitive from the US since 1978. 

After his conviction, the French-Polish director spent 42 days under psychiatric evaluation in prison in preparation for sentencing. 

He then fled to France, where he holds a citizenship, once he learnt the judge planned to give him a prison term. 

Attorney and extradition expert Joshua Dratel told the Hollywood Reporter : 'If he puts his toe one inch over the line, he’ll be in jeopardy.' Pictured are Roman Polanski and his late wife, Sharon Tate, who was murdered by the Manson family in 1969

Attorney and extradition expert Joshua Dratel told the Hollywood Reporter : 'If he puts his toe one inch over the line, he’ll be in jeopardy.' Pictured are Roman Polanski and his late wife, Sharon Tate, who was murdered by the Manson family in 1969

Attorney and extradition expert Joshua Dratel told the Hollywood Reporter : ‘If he puts his toe one inch over the line, he’ll be in jeopardy.’ Pictured are Roman Polanski and his late wife, Sharon Tate, who was murdered by the Manson family in 1969

Polanski's precaution over attending the Venice festival may stem from a similar situation he found himself in 2009 when he was arrested by Swiss officials for going to the Zurich Film Festival. Pictured is actress Mia Farrow in Polanski's 1968 film, Rosemary's Baby

Polanski's precaution over attending the Venice festival may stem from a similar situation he found himself in 2009 when he was arrested by Swiss officials for going to the Zurich Film Festival. Pictured is actress Mia Farrow in Polanski's 1968 film, Rosemary's Baby

Polanski’s precaution over attending the Venice festival may stem from a similar situation he found himself in 2009 when he was arrested by Swiss officials for going to the Zurich Film Festival. Pictured is actress Mia Farrow in Polanski’s 1968 film, Rosemary’s Baby 

His arrest sparked a backlash from Hollywood stars and Harvey Weinstein, who 80 women have accused of sexual assault, started a petition demanding Polanski's immediate release. Pictured are Polanski and Sharon Tate

His arrest sparked a backlash from Hollywood stars and Harvey Weinstein, who 80 women have accused of sexual assault, started a petition demanding Polanski's immediate release. Pictured are Polanski and Sharon Tate

His arrest sparked a backlash from Hollywood stars and Harvey Weinstein, who 80 women have accused of sexual assault, started a petition demanding Polanski’s immediate release. Pictured are Polanski and Sharon Tate

From sexual assault accusations to the murder of his wife: Who is Roman Polanski? 

Roman Polanski, a French-Polish director whose films have won eight Oscars, has been a fugitive from the US since 1978. 

He was arrested and charged with drugging and raping 13-year-old Samantha Geimer in 1977. 

He pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of unlawful sex with a minor before undergoing 42 days of psychiatric evaluation in prison while awaiting sentencing. 

Once he learned the judge planned to give him a prison term, he fled to Paris and has been avoiding extradition ever since. 

Pictured is a scene from Polanski's 1974 film, Chinatown

Pictured is a scene from Polanski's 1974 film, Chinatown

Pictured is a scene from Polanski’s 1974 film, Chinatown 

Polanski was born in Paris in 1933 but moved back to Poland with his Jewish parents in 1936. 

Three years later the family were trapped in Krakow as Nazis invaded Poland. 

His parents were taken during raids, leaving Polanski to be brought up by the foster care system while using a different identity to evade Nazi capture.

In 1965 he directed his first feature-length film, Knife in the Water, before directing three more films in the UK. 

He moved to the US in 1968 where he directed psychological horror film Rosemary’s Baby and gained status. 

Pictured is a scene from Polanski's 2005 film, Oliver Twist

Pictured is a scene from Polanski's 2005 film, Oliver Twist

Pictured is a scene from Polanski’s 2005 film, Oliver Twist

In 1969 he was struck by tragedy when his then pregnant wife, Sharon Tate, was murdered along with four friends by the Manson family. 

He has been married to French actress Emmanuelle Seigner since 1989.  

After Sharon Tate’s death Polanski returned to Europe and carried on his career until 1974 when he went back to America to direct Chinatown. 

Although he was known as a convicted rapist, Polanski’s career continued to blossom after he fled America in 1978. 

He returned once more to Europe where he became famous for directing films such as The Pianist (2002), a film about a Polish Jew who was trying to avoid Nazi capture, and Oliver Twist (2005).

Pictured is a scene from Polanski's 2002 film, The Pianist

Pictured is a scene from Polanski's 2002 film, The Pianist

Pictured is a scene from Polanski’s 2002 film, The Pianist

In 2009 he was arrested by Swiss officials when he went to the Zurich Film Festival. 

His arrest sparked a backlash from Hollywood stars and Harvey Weinstein, who 80 women have accused of sexual assault, started a petition demanding Polanski’s immediate release. 

The ‘We demand the immediate release of Roman’ petition was signed by the likes of Woody Allen, Martin Scorcese and Tilda Swinton.  

In 2017 two women came forward to accuse Polanski of sexual assault, Renate Langer claimed he raped her when she was 16 in 1972. 

And Marianne Barnard claimed he molested her and photographed her naked when she was 10 years old in 1975.

Polanski’s precaution over attending the Venice festival may stem from a similar situation he found himself in 2009 when he was arrested by Swiss officials for going to the Zurich Film Festival. 

His arrest sparked a backlash from Hollywood stars and Harvey Weinstein, who 80 women have accused of sexual assault, started a petition demanding Polanski’s immediate release. 

The ‘We demand the immediate release of Roman’ petition was signed by the likes of Woody Allen, Martin Scorcese and Tilda Swinton. 

Polanski was struck by tragedy in 1969 when his then pregnant wife was murder along with four friends by members of the Manson family at the couple’s Hollywood home. 

The murders have recently been made into a film set to be released later this month, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, by director Quentin Tarantino.  

Who was Sharon Tate? 

Roman Polanski and Sharon Tate

Roman Polanski and Sharon Tate

Roman Polanski and Sharon Tate

Sharon Tate was an American actress and model who rose to fame in the 60s, appearing in several small-screen productions and starring in a several fashion magazine campaigns before making her film debut in Barrabas in 1961.

Her most noteworthy role was as Jennifer North in the 1967 cult classic Valley Of The Dolls, which earned her a Golden Globe nomination.

After starring in The Fearless Vampire Killers in 1967, she married director and co-star Roman Polanski in August 1968.

She was just two weeks away from giving birth to the couple’s son when she was butchered by members of the Manson Family at Polanski’s Southern California home in 1969.

Four friends were slaughtered alongside her at Polanski’s home in Benedict Canyon: Hollywood hairstylist, Jay Sebring, an ex-lover of Tate’s, coffee heiress Abigail Folger, Wojciech Frykowski, a Polish actor and writer, and Steven Parent, who had been visiting the caretaker.

On that fateful summer night, Polanski was in London scouting locations for the Day of the Dolphin when he got the call that his wife was stabbed to death 16 times in one of the most vicious and brutal murders in the history of Los Angeles.

Media frenzy directly followed the murders, with speculation that perhaps it had been part of a satanic ritual.

Polanski posed for photographs in the home, next to where the word ‘PIG’ was written in blood, saying he hoped the graphic images would help shock people into coming forward with information.

About a month later members of the Manson ‘Family’ were arrested on suspicion of involvement in an unrelated murder, which lead investigators to a breakthrough on the Tate case as well.

The suspects told police they had killed Tate and her friends not because of who they were, but because of the home they were in, which had belonged to a previous acquaintance of Manson.