- The Washington Times - Friday, October 2, 2009

Crossing paths with Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. at the Kennedy Center Wednesday evening, we asked him for comment on the case of Roman Polanski, the Academy Award-winning director who was convicted of unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor in 1977, then fled to Europe to avoid jail time. Mr. Polanski is being held in Switzerland pending extradition to the United States.

“We’re just acting as intermediaries,” volunteered the AG. “It’s really a matter between the Swiss and L.A.”

When asked what Mr. Holder meant by the term “intermediaries,” a Department of Justice official, who did not wish to be identified, explained that the Office of International Affairs, which is a departmental division, is working with the L.A. District Attorney’s Office to request extradition.

Otherwise, “we don’t have a dog in this fight,” the source said, adding, “We don’t comment on extradition unless the accused is on American soil.”

Mr. Holder was at the KenCen with his wife, Dr. Sharon Malone, for the Children’s Law Center benefit, at which he accepted the organization’s 2009 Distinguished Child Advocate Award.

The AG was introduced Wednesday night by Judith Sandalow executive director of the center, and although her praise for Mr. Holder’s work was glowing, she could not resist throwing in this little tidbit about her old friend: “He’s the only judge who ever yelled at me.”

Ms. Sandalow explained to G2 that she was a young lawyer who had to argue a case before the then-judge of the Superior Court of the District of Columbia.

“He did yell at me, but in a lovely judge way, ” she reflected.

“I’m not mean!” Mr. Holder told us with a smile in response to Ms. Sandalow’s jesting.

“OK, have you ever had to fire anyone?” we inquired.

“Yes, but with great difficulty and usually on a Friday,” he deadpanned.

“Are you the bad cop in the Holder household?” we followed up.

“No, I am definitely the good cop. She’s the bad cop,” he replied emphatically, pointing to his wife.

Wilmer’s Disney adventure

Actor Wilmer Valderrama was in town on Wednesday, meeting with members of Congress and promoting the Disney cartoon “Handy Manny,” in which he gives voice to the main character.

Mr. Valderrama, who is of Colombian and Venezuelan descent, highlighted the multicultural theme of the show. “I think that right now in America, we live in such a diverse country,” he said. “I think that it’s been a multicultural country for decades and decades and decades, but I think that now Hollywood and the entertainment industry [have] really embraced the image of a multicultural country, and so such vehicles like ‘Manny’ really kind of help plant that seed in a young kid’s mind.”

G2 caught up with the actor at the National Cable and Telecommunications Association headquarters, where he was discussing his show’s first-ever prime-time special, “Handy Manny Motorcycle Adventure” (Disney Channel, Sunday, 7 p.m.).

Mr. Valderrama, who co-starred in “That ‘70s Show” with Ashton Kutcher and Topher Grace, has dated starlets Mandy Moore, Hilary Duff and Jennifer Love Hewitt and is known as a bit of a ladies’ man in Hollywood. We were curious to get his take on the recent arrest of Roman Polanski. “I don’t have a real opinion about it,” he fudged. “I think that there are a lot of factors in play right now, and Hollywood is taken aback a little bit.”

Speaking of politics and Hollywood, “Poliwood,” Academy Award-winning director Barry Levinson’s documentary about the collision of politicos, pundits and entertainers, has been picked up by Showtime and will have its national debut on Nov. 2.

To contact Stephanie Green or Elizabeth Glover, e-mail [email protected]


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