An admitted mistake. Natalie Portman revealed in a new interview that she regrets signing a petition to release director Roman Polanski from Swiss custody in 2009 after he was arrested for a years-old warrant having to do with the rape of a 13-year-old girl.
According to the Oscar winner, 36, she only signed the petition because she was asked to do so by a good friend whom she looked up to. "I very much regret it. I take responsibility for not thinking about it enough," she told BuzzFeed on Tuesday, Feb, 20. "Someone I respected gave it to me, and said, 'I signed this. Will you, too?' And I was like, 'Sure.'"
Natalie continued, "It was a mistake. The thing I feel like I gained from it is empathy towards people who have made mistakes. We lived in a different world, and that doesn’t excuse anything. But you can have your eyes opened and completely change the way you want to live. My eyes were not open."
Roman in 2017.
As The Guardian previously reported in 2009, many notable names in Hollywood — including Martin Scorsese, David Lynch, and Darren Aronofsky, among others — signed a petition to have Roman, now 84, released after being arrested for his aforementioned rape case. Though Roman pleaded guilty to unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor in 1977, he fled the country before his sentencing was scheduled in LA.
During her chat with BuzzFeed, Natalie also shared her thoughts on director Woody Allen — whom she’s worked with in the past — in the wake of the sexual assault allegations made against him before and after the ever-growing #MeToo and #TimesUp movements.
"I don’t think that’s what the conversation should be about," she said about 82-year-old Woody. "I think it should be about: Why didn’t Elaine May make a movie every year? Why didn’t Nora Ephron make a movie every year? Where’s the female version of Bill Cosby? Why don’t we see any Asian women in films? There’s so much art that’s being lost by not giving opportunities to women and people of color."
Woody in 2017.
"Let’s not talk about what man’s career is over. Let’s talk about the vast art trove we’ve lost by not giving women, people of color, people with disabilities, and the LGBTQ+ community opportunities — let’s talk about that loss for all of us in art," the Annihilation actress added. "Let’s talk about that huge hole in our culture. I don’t want talk about ‘Isn’t it sad that this person who’s made 500 movies can’t make movies anymore?’ That’s not for me to decide. And it’s also not what I’m upset about."