Film director Roman Polanski's wife said she "understands perfectly" that women have been shocked by the 32-year-old sex case revived by her husband's sudden arrest in Switzerland.
But she added in an interview with Elle magazine appearing today that in the 1970s, when the crime occurred, society viewed sex and drugs in a different light.
"My personal truth is that Roman is a marvellous husband and man," said actress Emmanuelle Seigner, 43. "He is an impeccable man and I have nothing to reproach him for."
The 76-year-old Polanski, who has two young children, is fighting extradition to the United States. The director was initially accused of raping a 13-year-old girl after plying her with champagne and a Quaalude pill during a 1977-modeling shoot. He pleaded guilty to unlawful sexual intercourse, and then fled to France on the eve of sentencing in 1978.
"My husband never believed he was above the law. The proof is that he pleaded guilty...," she said.
Polanski was arrested in Switzerland on his way to a film festival in September. He was jailed for more than 60 days before being placed under house arrest December 4 in Gstaad, Switzerland.
The woman who was the child victim at the time, Samantha Geimer, is supporting a motion by Polanski's lawyers urging that the director be sentenced to time served then - 42 days in a California prison for psychiatric evaluation.