03/18/2010 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Polanski, My Daughter and Me: A Very Short Story

In the summer of
1977 I got a magazine assignment to cover the trial of Roman Polanski. My
daughter Holly was then thirteen—the same age as the girl Polanski was accused of
seducing (I didn't know yet it was actually rape)—and Holly had decided to come to
Santa Monica with me, sit in the front row of the courtroom, and just stare at

She also planned to
write an article about the trial from her point of view. However, Polanski
pleaded guilty to a lesser charge, and fled the country on the day he was
supposed to be sentenced.

I told Holly, “I'm gonna
write about the trial anyway.”

“How can you do that?”

“I'll just make it up as if it actually occurred.
Roman Polanski's defense will be that the statutory rape laws are
unconstitutional because they discriminate against kids.”

“How would you feel if the kid was me?”

“Well, I'm a liberal father, but . . . you're right.
I'm not gonna write the article.”