Freed Polanksi Steps Out at Swiss Jazz Fest

By Tim Persinko
|  Saturday, Jul 17, 2010  |  Updated 9:33 PM EDT
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Roman Polanksi waved to fans and took in music at the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland, the film director's first public appearance since being released from 9 months of house arrest.

While well-wishing fans thronged the festival grounds, on stage Emmanuelle Singer, Polanski's wife, performed the theme to "Rosemary's Baby" as a tribute.

In an interview with French television at the event, Polanksi thanked the "millions of people" who sent him messages of encouragement during his internment, the AP reported.

"For the moment, I'm happy to be free and to be able to do the things I was kept from doing," he said.  Polanski completed his last film "the Ghost Writer," under house arrest at his villa in Gstaad, a ski-resort town in Switzerland.

"I would also certainly like to thank my wife Emmanuelle and my children, without whom I  would have never been able to hold onto my dignity and perserverance."

Polanski married singer and actress Emmanuelle Singer, 44, after directing her in the Harrison Ford movie "Frantic."  She was 19-years-old when they met.

The director of "the Pianist" and "Rosemary's Baby" had been detained by authorities last year when the United States pressed the Swiss government to extradite the 76-year-old to stand trial in the United States.  Polanski is still wanted in the U.S. in connecetion to a 1977 child sex case.

In a public statement in May, Polanski claimed the U.S. Justice Department was "trying to serve me on a platter to the media of the world," the NY Times reported.

Polanksi told the French press it was his son who cut off the electronic tracking bracelet he was required to wear while under confinment. Polanksi said his son "couldn't stand it anymore," so he was given the "privilege" of cutting the bracelet off.

Swiss officials have declined the American authorities request to extradite the director.

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