Oscar-winning director Roman Polanski, who was kicked out of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences last year, is suing to have his membership reinstated.
The lawsuit alleges that AMPAS did not follow proper protocol in dismissing him from their ranks.
“We are litigating the fairness of their procedure. They threw him out without warning and without giving him a chance to respond. There was not even any notice of why. After 40 years on the same day as [Bill] Cosby. Give me a break,” Polanski’s attorney Harland Braun told Variety.
Polanski, whose films include “Rosemary’s Baby,” and “Chinatown ,” fled the United States in 1977 rather than face jail time for raping and drugging a 13-year-old girl. He pled guilty at the time to the lesser charge of unlawful sex with a minor.
He has continued to make films abroad, including 2003 Best Picture winner “The Pianist .” But with more awareness of sexual assault in the #MeToo era, support for the director has dwindled.
The lawsuit says the Academy’s expulsion decision “is not supported by findings, and the Academy’s findings are not supported by evidence.” Polanski wants the decision reversed and the Academy to pay costs incurred by the suit.
The decision to suspend or expel someone requires two-thirds approval of the 54-member board of governors. AMPAS has not yet commented on the lawsuit.
Polanski’s next movie is “J’Accuse,” about a 19th-century French captain who was wrongfully convicted of treason and sentenced to life imprisonment at Devil’s island.
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