Natalie Portman regrets defending Roman Polanski
Portman wants more diversity in the entertainment industry (Picture: Getty Images)

Natalie Portman has admitted she regrets signing a petition for film director Roman Polanski, urging his release for a 1977 arrest for an underage sex case in the US.

The Black Swan star was one of a number of Hollywood heavyweights who signed the petition after Polanski was in Swiss custody and detained in 2009 for a warrant on the case.

Speaking to Buzzfeed, Portman said: ‘I very much regret it. I take responsibility for not thinking about it enough.’

Over 100 film industry professionals signed the petition and Portman stated it was given to her by someone she respected.

She said: ‘Someone I respected gave it to me, and said, ‘I signed this. Will you too?’ And I was like, sure. It was a mistake.’

Natalie Portman regrets defending Roman Polanski
Portman regrets signing the petition in support of Polanski (Picture: Getty Images)

The Star Wars actress has been a vocal supporter of the Time’s Up movement which aims to highlight sexual harassment in the entertainment industry.

She insisted she has had a change of heart about the Polanski situation in the years since she signed the petition.

Natalie said: ‘The thing I feel like I gained from it is empathy towards people who have made mistakes. 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.’

Polanski was originally charged with drugging and raping a 13-year-old girl and later pleaded guilty to the lesser offense of unlawful sex with a minor.

Other stars who signed the petition in Polanski’s defense include Tilda Swinton and film directors Martin Scorsese, David Lynch and Woody Allen.

Natalie Portman regrets defending Roman Polanski
Portman is a vocal support of Time’s Up (Picture: NBC)

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Speaking about the Time’s Up movement to Vulture, Portman told how she hopes the entertainment industry becomes better across the board at diverse representation.

She said: ‘You know, the message [is] that we want a workplace and particularly positions of power, like boardroom seats — we want them to reflect the world we live in and represent the world we live in.

‘We think all of us will be better off for it when all of us in our society have access and opportunity to hold those positions of power.

‘Of course that’s talking about men and women, and it’s also talking about people of color, people with disabilities, the LGBTQ-plus community.’

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