It Wasn't Rape: Sharon Tate's Sis
As Roman Polanski faces months in jail, Hollywood elite rally around him
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 30, 2009 9:56 AM CDT
Debra Tate, sister of slain Sharon Tate, speaks during a parole hearing for Manson follower Susan Atkins Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2009, at the Central California Women's Facility in Chowchilla, Calif.   (AP Photo/Ben Margot/POOL)
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(Newser) – The sister of Roman Polanski’s murdered second wife, Sharon Tate, says his crime was not rape. "There's rape and then there's rape,” Debra Tate tells MSNBC, and what happened between Polanski and his 13-year-old victim was “a consensual matter.” More from the Polanski saga:

  • Fake IDs, disguises, maybe a bad dye job? Not for Roman Polanski. His life on the lam has been one of luxury, from a penthouse in a glitzy Paris shopping district to a vacation chalet at a swanky Swiss ski resort, reports the New York Daily News.

  • His life now, however, is markedly different. The jailed director has to get by on five francs (about $4.85) a day, which he uses mainly on phone calls. If he wants extra money, he can make envelopes or cardboard boxes, the Times reports.
  • This new, decidedly less luxe life could go on for months. Though his attorney requested Polanski be released while fighting extradition, Switzerland rarely releases nonresidents. “We are talking about three, four months easily” to go through the appeals process, a prosecutor tells the Los Angeles Times.
  • Polanski does have quite the Hollywood entourage trying to make his prison stint shorter, though. Woody Allen, David Lynch, and Martin Scorsese are among those who have added their names to a petition demanding his immediate release.