Natalie Portman says she “very much regrets” signing a petition that supported convicted rapist Roman Polanski

Natalie Portman recently revealed that she regrets signing a petition in support of director Roman Polanski in 2009. At the time, Polanski had been detained in Switzerland for the 1977 rape of a 13-year-old girl (he fled the U.S. to evade his prison sentence and has been living abroad ever since). More than 100 members of the entertainment industry signed a petition calling for his immediate release. Now, the actress has opened up about her decision to sign, admitting it “was a mistake.”

“I very much regret it," she told BuzzFeed in an interview on Tuesday, February 20th. "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."

Portman wasn’t the only high-profile celebrity to sign the petition. Other notable stars, including Penelope Cruz, Harrison Ford, Diane von Furstenberg, Darren Aronofsky, David Lynch, and Woody Allen also signed. Portman, who is now a prominent member of the Time’s Up movement, said that her decision was misguided, but that she’s learned from her error in thinking.

"The thing I feel like I gained from it is empathy towards people who have made mistakes," she explained. "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."

And with her “eyes opened,”  she’s famously called out the Golden Globes “all-male nominees” for Best Director and voiced her support for Dylan Farrow.

We commend Portman for owning up to her mistake, and we hope to continue to see her contribute to positive change for women and victims everywhere.

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