The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences has responded to a lawsuit filed by director Roman Polanski, saying it stands by its decision to expel the filmmaker last May.
“The procedures taken to expel Mr. Polanski were fair and reasonable. The Academy stands behind its decision as appropriate,” a spokesperson said.
On Friday, Polanski filed a lawsuit that read, “The Academy’s actions, sanctions and decisions against [Polanski] are invalid under Code Civ. Proc. 1094.5 and alternatively Code Civ. Proc. 1085, on the grounds that the Academy failed to grant petitioner any notice and a fair hearing. The Academy committed a prejudicial abuse of discretion in that the Academy failed to proceed in the manner required by law, the Academy’s expulsion decision is not supported by the findings, and the Academy’s findings are not supported by the evidence.”
Last May the Academy voted to expel both Polanski and Bill Cosby after the latter was convicted of aggravated indecent assault. The Academy said at the time that the expulsion was in accordance with the organization’s standard of conduct.
Polanski and his lawyer are asking the Academy to reinstate the Oscar-winning director.
Polanski’s attorney Harland Braun had threatened legal action in May 2018 if the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences “refuses to follow its own rules” in regards to the “illegal expulsion” of the filmmaker from the Academy.
Polanski was expelled 15 years after his film “The Pianist” took home Oscars for Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Actor at the 75th Academy Awards. The film was nominated for Best Picture, but lost to “Chicago.”
Polanski was arrested and charged with raping 13-year-old Samantha Geimer in 1977. He pleaded guilty and was imprisoned for 42 days, after which he was released and put on probation as part of a plea bargain. When Polanski learned that a judge was planning to revoke the plea deal, the director fled the country before the sentencing.