About 40 minutes ago (i.e., just before 11 am Pacific), Slate‘s Kim Masters ran a response to yesterday’s press-release development in the story about why HBO decided to change the ending of Marina Zenovich‘s Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired, to wit:
“Following up our report this week about the new Roman Polanski documentary, we take note of a weird statement released Wednesday” under the signatures of prosecutor Roger Gunson as well as defense attorney Douglas Dalton — the case’s two principle advocates.
“Both are featured in an HBO documentary, Roman Polanksi: Wanted and Desired, in which they bemoan the shabby treatment that alleged child rapist Polanski suffered at the hands of the Los Angeles Superior Court in 1977.
“As we reported, the documentary originally ended with the assertion that an unnamed judge in 1998 was going to permit Polanski to return to the United States without risking jail time, but only if he appeared at a court proceeding that would be televised.
“Last week, the Los Angeles Superior Court identified that judge as Larry Paul Fidler and vehemently denied that he had ever imposed such a condition. After a pause, HBO said Friday that it would change the end of the film to say that Polanski feared the proceeding would be televised, which is quite different from having a judge insist that it had to be.
“The altered documentary aired Monday. Yesterday, the film’s publicists released a statement signed by Gunson and Dalton contending that at the 1998 hearing, Dalton pressed ‘for a resolution of the case that would allow for minimal news media.’ The statement says Dalton ‘recalled that Judge Fidler would require television coverage,’ and then adds: ‘Mr. Gunson recalls television coverage discussed at the meeting.’
“Talk about lawyer words. There’s no further elaboration as to what, if anything, Gunson remembers about that discussion. The statement, based on this rather threadbare set of assertions, concludes that both lawyers denounce the court’s ‘false and reprehensible statement’ disputing the notion that Fidler demanded television coverage.
“No word from HBO on whether the film will be changed again.”