Natalie Portman 'very much regrets' signing pro-Roman Polanski petition

Academy Award-winning actress Natalie Portman said she “very much" regrets signing a petition in 2009 calling for the release of controversial director Roman Polanski from a Swiss prison.

Portman told BuzzFeed in an interview published Tuesday that she signed the form at the time and takes “responsibility for not thinking about it enough.”

"I very much regret it. I take responsibility for not thinking about it enough. Someone I respected gave it to me, and said, 'I signed this. Will you too?' And I was like, sure. It was a mistake,” Portman told BuzzFeed.

“The thing I feel like I gained from it is empathy towards people who have made mistakes,” she continued. “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.”


The form called for Polanski to be released from a Zurich prison in order to avoid extradition from the U.S. The “Chinatown” director fled the U.S. to France in 1978 while awaiting sentencing for drugging, raping and sodomizing then-13-year-old Samantha Geimer.

Polanski, 84, continues to avoid extradition to the U.S. He was jailed in Switzerland due to the warrant from the U.S. but later freed. He can now only live freely in France and Poland to avoid extradition.

A few other women have also alleging Polanski sexually assaulted them when they were teenagers including Renate Langer, Charlotte Lewis and a woman who only wished to be identified as Robin.

Other high-profile people who signed the petition include Woody Allen, now-disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein, Wes Anderson, Darren Aronofsky, David Lynch and Martin Scorsese, according to Indie Wire.

Portman, 36, who is a big advocate for the Time’s Up movement, also spoke about Allen who has come under scrutiny due to his past alleged indiscretions. Allen has been accused by his adopted daughter, Dylan Farrow, of sexual assaulting her when she was 7 years old. Allen has denied the allegations.


Farrow spoke out earlier this year about the alleged incident which led to a growing number of actors distancing themselves from the once revered director.

Many actors have distanced themselves from director Woody Allen.

Many actors have distanced themselves from director Woody Allen. (Reuters)

When asked if “time may be up for Allen” Portman said it was not the time to “talk about what man’s career is over.”

“I don't think that's what the conversation should be about. 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. Let's not talk about what man's career is over,” the “Annihilation” star said. “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. 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.”