Director Roman Polanski today won the libel case against Condé Nast’s Vanity Fair over an article that accused him of seducing a woman shortly after his wife’s murder. Polanski was awarded nearly $90,000 in damages.
A July 2002 Vanity Fair article claimed Polanski propositioned a woman at a restaurant on the way to his wife, actress Sharon Tate’s funeral. Tate was murdered in 1969 by followers of Charles Manson.
“It goes without saying that, whilst the whole episode is a sad one, I am obviously pleased with the jury’s verdict today,” said Polanski in a statement.
In 1977, Polanski fled the United States after he admitting to having sex with a 13-year-old girl. He has since lived mostly in France, and could have been extradited back to the states if he had appeared at the trial in London’s High Court.
“As a father of four children, one of whom is a 12-year-old daughter, I find it equally outrageous that this story is considered defamatory to a man who can’t be here because he slept with a 13-year-old-girl and has been a fugitive from justice for more than a quarter of a century,” said Vanity Fair editor Graydon Carter. “Nevertheless, it is interesting to see how the wheels of British justice work. “