RadarOnline reports that this woman will hold a conference today in Los Angeles with lawyer Gloria Allred, to level "sexual charges" against Polanski. No word yet on who the woman is, or what exactly the charges are, but given Gloria Allred's involvement with both the Tiger Woods and Jesse James scandals, she's become the go-to attorney for those looking to expose celebrities' sexual foibles. Of course, Polanski's acts in 1977 were far worse than a foible, and it remains to be seen whether the new charges will match them in severity.
If they do, however, the news will be embarrassing not only for the 138 signatories of the original "free Polanski" petition (minus Emma Thomspon, who reportedly asked that her name be removed), but for ten new luminaries as well. Serial Polanski-booster Bernard Henri-Levy, responsible for the initial petition and publisher of the director's recent public statement, has just gathered a crew of prominent filmmakers from around the world to voice support of Polanski in connection with the 2010 Cannes Film Festival. The new petition reads,
The undersigned learned to their amazement of new elements of information provided by Roman Polanski in the text published last Sunday, May 2nd, on the website of La Règle du Jeu, the review published under the direction of Bernard-Henri Lévy. In particular, they learned of the existence of this essential piece of evidence, placed under seal, strangely, by American justice: former District Attorney Roger Gunson's deposition of last February 26th declaring, under oath, that, 33 years ago, Roman Polanski served the entirety of his sentence at Chino State Penitentiary, according to the decision of the judge charged with his case at the time (before the latter, under the pressure of public opinion, suddenly changed his mind and retracted his decision). Conscious of all the Festival they will be attending this year owes the author of "The Pianist", whose absence there will be strongly felt, conscious as well of the basic rule of law that maintains it is impossible to judge and condemn a man twice for the same infraction, and conscious, finally, that the United States's extradition request is based upon a lie, they hereby appeal to the Swiss authorities, entreating them not to believe the word of Governor Schwarzenegger and the prosecutors of the state of California.
Signatories include Jean-Luc Godard, who apparently helped Henri-Levy conceive of the petition, as well as Chilean director Patricio Guzman and Romanian director and screenwriter Cristi Puiu. Though the petition's text focuses, as did Polanski's statement, on allegations of judicial misconduct, the mention of The Pianist is telling. We've asked before, but the question bears repeating: would Henri-Levy and his famous friends be supporting a child rapist if he hadn't made award-winning films? And now there's a new question: will they continue supporting him if new, fresher allegations come to light?
Exclusive: Roman Polanski Shocker: New Woman Comes Forward With Sexual Charges [Radar]
Cannes Directors Sign Petition Supporting Polanski [AP]
Fresh Pro-Polanski Petition From Cannes Filmmakers [AFP, via Yahoo! News]
Polanski Petition: A Gesture Of Solidarity And An Appeal To Swiss Justice [Huffington Post]