Friday, January 8, 2010

Larry King makes mistake when interviewing Debra Tate

Someone told me about this in an email.  I apologize, as I did not know that Debra was recently interviewed again by King but apparently so.  There was a big mistake in one of King's questions:

KING: Joining Lawrence Silver with us now is Debra Tate, Roman Polanski's former sister in law, the sister of the late Sharon Tate. On a persona note, I knew Sharon Tate. I had interviewed her a couple of months before her tragic murder. What do you want to see happen?

DEBRA TATE, FMR. SISTER IN LAW OF ROMAN POLANSKI: I would like to see this whole thing go away. I think that there has been a lot of time that has passed and we need to bring it to an end.

KING: Have you ever talked to Roman Polanski?

TATE: I have.

KING: How can you have a civil conversation with someone who so brutally murdered your sister?

TATE: Roman didn't murder my sister.

KING: I'm sorry. When the fact that he would have this terrible thing happen to him after the death of your sister, to once again focus you into the public light. That's what I meant.

TATE: I don't have any problems with Roman whatsoever. The actions that he took back then has logic that doesn't necessarily play out by the law, in my opinion. There are extenuating circumstances to this whole thing that have to do with legal improprieties. That is much bigger to me than the original offense.

KING: Did your sister love him?

TATE: Absolutely.

KING: And he loved her.

TATE: Absolutely.

KING: How was he doing when you spoke to him?

TATE: He was very concerned. He was very humble. He -- you know, he thinks that this is a tragic situation. Now he sees it a little differently perhaps. And that is purely my take on things. He didn't say it verbatim, but I could hear it in his voice.

KING: Was there an age difference between Sharon and Roman?

TATE: Yes, there was.

KING: How much?

TATE: Ten years.

KING: That's light by his standards, because he's been married to his current wife for 21 years. I believe he met her when she was 15.

TATE: Fifteen, 16 Years old.

KING: He had a romantic relationship with Nastassja Kinski when she was 15.

TATE: That's correct.

KING: You think he has an attraction for younger women?

TATE: I think in France it's a normal way of life. It's very well known that it's a right of passage. Younger women with older men, older women with younger men.

KING: Do you understand why people might not look favorably on it?

TATE: I absolutely do understand. I am a victim's rights advocate, and I deal with a lot of women that have truly been raped. I do understand it completely.

But this is just slightly different. And it's not up to me to bring that to public light. But there are circumstances that make it ever so slightly different than a full rape.

KING: Do you know Samantha Geimer, Larry's client?

TATE: I have never met her. Never.

KING: What do you make of her feelings?

TATE: Her feelings I absolutely understand, 100 percent. She's a mother. She's got her own children. This has got to put her, at this point in time, in a very uncomfortable position at best. And I think that it's very inappropriate on behalf of the LA DA's office, who I work with often, to pursue this case, especially in this fiscal climate. Perhaps there is an end we can reach without spending two million dollars on a trial, which is what it would usually cost.

KING: Where were you the night Sharon was killed?

TATE: I was supposed to be at Sharon's house. But a phone call, circumstances changed, and I stayed at my mother's home.

KING: You never get over that.

TATE: Never. Actually, I've never -- I get victimized in way or another over and over and over again.

KING: Did you talk to Roman soon after that?

TATE: Absolutely. Roman and I remained very close for many, many years. We still are. I flew to London and testified in her majesty's high court against "Conde Nast Magazine." He won that. I went to Paris and spent some time with them. It's like time lapsed.

KING: Does he have a happy marriage now?

TATE: He has a wonderful wife, happy marriage. Beautiful, bright, brilliant children.

KING: Debra, you are involved with standing up for victims?

TATE: I am involved with standing up for victims.

KING: In this care, your brother-in-law caused the victim to be a victim?

TATE: To tell you the truth, Larry, I believe that at this point in time there are victims on both sides of the fence. There's victims in our -- in our legal system, that have been taken advantage of, on both sides. There are perpetrators. Who's wearing the white hats? Who's wearing the black hats? It is all mixed these days. It is getting unclearer.

KING: What do you know about his health, Debra? There are reports he is in ill health.

TATE: He was not in good health in the beginning of this ordeal. But he is bouncing back ever so slightly. He is very concerned. And he is not taking this lightly, by any stretch of the imagination.

KING: Would he come back if this got cleared?

TATE: I can't say that. I would like him to come back. He is my -- basically my only family member left on Earth, other than my daughter. So, I would like him to come back, but I doubt it. I doubt it.

KING: Who in the populace is most upset, Debra, at the idea of Polanski getting some sort of deal? Is there still a large movement out there?

TATE: Evidently there is a very large movement. I catch a lot of riff for taking the position that I take. However, people weren't around at that time. I was. I do know the details and the circumstances, of which -- I'm not an attorney, so I'm not in that playing field.

But I do believe that there were exceptions that a fair court should take into consideration. And even as a victim's right advocate, I'm not necessarily in line with the current three strikes laws, the way they are, and so on and so forth. I think that we are definitely over-penalized in the state of California. And we need to recheck things.

Prison is -- incarceration is the number one business in the state of California now.

For the complete story with interviews with Lawrence Silver (Geimer's Attorney), and Samantha Geimer herself and more go to:


  1. Too bad when he was questioning her about Roman's attraction for younger woman....She didn't ask him what the age difference is between him and his wife ??????

  2. Technically Sharon and Roman aren't 10 years apart in age, close, but not 10 years. Roman was 9 years and 5 mos. older.