Allen said Polanski "was embarrassed by the whole thing," ''has suffered" and "has paid his dues." He said Polanski is "an artist and is a nice person" who "did something wrong and he paid for it."
Polanski pleaded guilty in 1978 to unlawful sexual intercourse with a 13-year-old girl. He was taken into custody in September and is currently under house arrest in Gstaad, Switzerland.
Earlier this week, new allegations surfaced when a British actress claimed Polanski had sexually abused her when she was 16.
It was not clear whether Allen was aware of the new allegations when he made the remarks in an interview Saturday with France Info radio from the Cannes Film Festival. Allen had previously signed a petition calling for Polanski's release.
Allen's relationship with actress Mia Farrow ended in scandal and New York tabloid headlines in 1992, when she found out he was having an affair with her adopted daughter Soon-Yi Previn, then 22. Allen married Previn in 1997.
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