Monday, May 20, 2024

Oscar Winning Director Roman Polanski Sues Motion Picture Academy Over Expulsion: Claims He Never Had Notice or Fair Hearing


Oscar winning director Roman Polanski, 85, has filed suit against the Motion Picture Academy for his 2018 expulsion.

Polanski became a member of the Academy in 1968 and continued until he says he received an unsigned letter from them on May 3, 2018. He says he asked the Academy for reconsideration. A panel was convened on January 26, 2019, at which neither Polanski or his attorney appeared. They declined to re-instate him.

Polanski is suing on the grounds of not having a fair hearing or even any notice that he was being expelled.

Attorney Harold Braun represents Polanski. They are asking for a copy of the full administrative record from the meetings at which Polanski was ousted.

Polanski won Best Director for “The Pianist” in 2003. He was nominated in 1975 and in 1981, respectively, for directing “Chinatown” and “Tess.” In 1969 he was nominated for his “Rosemary’s Baby” screenplay. The “Tess” nomination and the “Pianist” win, as well as Adrian Brody’s Best Actor win in 2003, came years after his famous scandal over his arrest and charges of having sex with a 13 year old girl, which was well known to all Oscar voters.

In 1977, Polanski was arrested and pleaded guilty in 1978 to to the charge of engaging in unlawful sexual intercourse.  He served 42 days in Chino State Prison was released pending a hearing at which his lawyers were assured he would receive probation. When he learned that would not be the case, Polanski fled the U.S. He has lived in France ever since then. His “victim,” Samantha Geimer, who was then 13, has since argued publicly for the case to be dismissed.

Tonight, Geimer Tweeted: “Off to my mom’s 80th birthday party, are any of you old enough to remember when she was called a gold digging whore? Think of that when you still need to shit on Roman 41 years later. Ugly is as ugly does, and neither my family or his is that.”


Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

Read more

In Other News