Roman Polanski’s lawyers persuaded the High Court in London to put off the start of a libel action he is bringing against New York-based Vanity Fair.
The action was scheduled to have begun on Monday, but Mr Justice Roy Eady granted an application to delay the case – in which Mia Farrow is expected to be one of the main witnesses – until at least after Christmas.
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The Court of Appeal has refused permission for Polanski to give evidence in the case by video link from France.
The adjournment was granted after the judge was told that the fim director’s lawyers wanted time to consider appealing to the House of Lords against that ruling.
Polanski, who has been living in France since fleeing America in 1977 when he was charged with a sex offence, is said to fear that if he comes to England to give evidence in person, he could be extradited to the US.
He is seeking damages from Vanity Fair over an article which claimed he propositioned a woman on the way to the funeral of his actress wife, Sharon Tate, in 1969. Vanity Fair publisher CondÃ© Nast denies libel.