IN a twist to Roman Polanski's renewed legal fight over a 32-year-old sex case, a retired district attorney who triggered claims of official corruption by telling a documentary filmmaker he had coached a judge in the case, now claims he made it all up.
The New York Times reports that David Wells, the former prosecutor, said: "I tried to butter up this story to make me look better."
Well had given a detailed description of having counselled Justice Laurence J. Rittenband on how to sentence the high profile movie director, who pleaded guilty to one count of having unlawful sex with a minor, has been at the centre of a hot legal fight over the case, the NY Times reports.
Well had no official role in Polanski's prosecution, and was only assigned to the courthouse in Santa Monica where Polanski was charged over his 1977 sexual encounter with a 13-year-old girl.
Even before Polanski was arrested last Saturday in Switzerland for possible extradition to the US, his lawyers had asked the Los Angeles courts to throw his case out or allow another court to review it, because of alleged corruption in the local judicial system.
Their concern particularly related to the actions described by Wells on the documentary film. That matter is still pending before a California appellate court.
Chad Hummel, a lawyer for Polanski, would not comment on Wells' recantation.