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Emma Thompson removes her name from petition in support of Polanski

November 8, 2009 |  7:43 am

Actress Emma Thompson has removed her name from a petition condemning the attempt to extradite Roman Polanski to Los Angeles to face sentencing in a three-decade-old rape case.

Some top Hollywood stars and directors including Martin Scorsese and Woody Allen have voiced support for Polanski, the director who fled the U.S. before being sentenced for having unlawful sex with a 13-year-old girl.

According to the Independent newspaper in London, Thompson decided to pull her name off the petition after she met with Caitlin Hayward-Tapp, a student at Exeter University.

Hayward-Tapp told the paper she made her case about why signing the petition was a bad idea.

"It turned out she was very willing to hear what I had to say. She said she knows Roman Polanski and that she had had calls from friends asking her to sign the petition. She knows what a terrible early life he [Polanski] had," she told the paper. "She said she had already been thinking a lot about the petition, as others had expressed their dismay at her signing it. We talked for 15 minutes, and by the end she said she would get her name removed."

Polanski, 76, is fighting efforts to be sent back to the United States.

-- Shelby Grad