Roman Polanski Will Pay His Victim of Sexual Assault $500,000

Roman Polanski agreed to pay his victim of sexual assault $500,000, 15 years after he fled the US, according to court documents released to the media.

The French-Polish director is being held in Switzerland on a US arrest warrant over his 1977 conviction for unlawful sex with a 13-year-old girl.

The confidential deal between Mr Polanski and the victim, Samantha Geimer, was reached in October 1993. It was disclosed because of a two-year struggle to get the film-maker to pay.

Mr Polanski - who faces extradition to the US - was detained in Switzerland as he travelled from France to collect a lifetime achievement award at the Zurich Film Festival, BBC News reports.

According to Reuters, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger said on Thursday that movie director Roman Polanski should be treated like anyone else if he came to the United States to face sentencing for having unlawful sex with a 13-year-old girl in 1977.

Asked if he would consider pardoning Polanski, the actor-turned-governor told CNN: "I would not treat his situation any differently than everyone else's."

Schwarzenegger would have the authority as California governor to grant Polanski a pardon, if asked, once the "Chinatown" director is extradited from Switzerland where he was arrested this weekend on a U.S. warrant.

Polanski, who has dual French and Polish nationality, fled the United States in 1978 after pleading guilty in a California court to unlawful sex with a minor. He served 42 days in a prison, but left the country when he believed a judge would sentence him to years behind bars despite having made a plea agreement for time already served.

His lawyers have said he will fight extradition. The arrest of Polanski, who won an Oscar for his 2002 movie "The Pianist", caused a furor in France but industry reaction in Hollywood has been much quieter.