Natalie Portman ‘very much regrets’ signing petition in support of Roman Polanski

The actress has said that signing "was a mistake" made out of a misplaced sense of empathy

Natalie Portman (Getty, EH)

Natalie Portman has expressed regret over signing a petition in support of Roman Polanski, the filmmaker who pleaded guilty to unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor in 1977.

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The actress was one of a number of Hollywood figures who signed a petition calling for the release of Polanski from Swiss custody, after he was detained in 2009 on a warrant for the underage sex case in the United States. The director had fled the country before final sentencing.

In an interview with Buzzfeed, Portman has spoken about the regret she feels for signing the petition. “I very much regret it,” she said. “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.”

The Annihilation star – a vocal advocate of the Time’s Up movement – added that her ‘eyes had been opened’ in the years since.

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

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Martin Scorsese, Woody Allen, Emma Thompson, Tilda Swinton and Wes Anderson were among the other Hollywood stars to sign the petition.