Polanski received a standing ovation before telling the audience: “What I can say? Better late than never.”
He had been on his way to receive the award in 2009 when Swiss police arrested him over a 1977 US conviction for having sex with a 13-year-old girl. He spent months in prison and house arrest but avoided extradition.
The 78-year-old Polish-French director, whose work includes Rosemary’s Baby and Tess, is now able to travel unhindered to Switzerland.
“It’s a strange anniversary for me, two years, day for day,” he said after receiving the award. “Certain parts of it I’d rather forget, but I’m happy to be here. It is a very moving moment for me so do not expect any speeches.”
via BBC News