Woody Allen on Roman Polanski: Let Fellow Director Go in Child Rape Case, He Already "Paid for It"

Woody Allen and Roman Polanski (CBS/AP)

CANNES, France (CBS/AP) - Woody Allen, who knows firsthand about scandal involving a much younger woman, is renewing his call for fellow director -- and convicted child rapist -- Roman Polanski to be set free. 

In an interview from the Cannes Film Festival Saturday, Allen called Polanski "an artist and is a nice person" who "did something wrong and he paid for it."

Polanski pleaded guilty in 1978 to unlawful sexual intercourse with a 13-year-old girl in Los Angeles, but fled to France before sentencing. He was a fugitive until his arrest in Switzerland last September. Polanski is under house arrest in Geneva, and U.S. authorities are seeking his extradition in the 33-year-old case.

It was not clear whether Allen was aware of new allegations against Polanski when he made his remarks in an interview with France Info radio from the famous film festival.

Last week, British actress Charlotte Lewis went public with claims that Polanski had sexually abused her when she was 16.

Allen had previously signed a petition calling for Polanski's release.

The "Annie Hall" director is no stranger to scandal; his relationship with actress Mia Farrow ended in 1992 when she found out he was having an affair with her adopted daughter Soon-Yi Previn. Allen married Previn, who was 22 at the time, in 1997.


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