Polanski Picks Up Award, 2 Years Late

'Better late than never,' fugitive director tells Zurich film festival
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 28, 2011 2:55 AM CDT
Roman Polanski walks to the podium to collect his lifetime achievement award at the Zurich Film Festival last night.   (AP Photo/Michael Probst)
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(Newser) – Two years to the day after the Swiss arrested him for child sex offenses committed in the US in 1977, Roman Polanski picked up his lifetime achievement award at the Zurich film festival. "What can I say? Better late than never," said the director, who was freed from house arrest last summer after the Swiss decided not to extradite him to the US. "It's a very moving moment for me," he told the audience, which gave him a standing ovation.

The 78-year-old director, who is still wanted in the US for having unlawful sex with a 13-year-old girl, said he wanted to thank those who helped him during "these difficult months," the BBC reports. "I would in particular like to thank the prison staff who tried to make my stay as bearable as possible, including the head of the prison of Zurich," he said. "I love coming to Switzerland, I have been coming for years, and I'm happy to be here."

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