UPDATED with Polanski lawyer statement: Roman Polanski won’t be voting on the winners for the 93rd Academy Awards, a California judge decided Tuesday.
At a downtown hearing this morning, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Mary Strobel concluded that the disgraced Oscar winner had been given more than enough of a heads-up by Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in 2018 before the organization tossed out the longtime member.
As long-hidden or -accepted cases of sexual harassment and sexual assault were exposed in late 2017 and early 2018, Polanski was expelled for violating the AMPAS’ Code of Conduct with his rape of a 13-year-old girl in the 1970s and flight to Europe to escape American justice.
“Here, Petitioner was given the opportunity to present any evidence he deemed relevant to the Board’s consideration ‘of whether [he] should or should not remain a member of the Academy’ in light of his criminal conviction and fugitive status,” Strobel wrote in a tentative that was adopted as a final ruling at the end of today’s session.
Back in May 2018, the Academy did say the expulsion of Polanski (along with the now-imprisoned Bill Cosby) occurred in part because “the Board continues to encourage ethical standards that require members to uphold the Academy’s values of respect for human dignity.”
Polanski’s lawyer Harland Braun tells Deadline the director has no intention to appeal, right now.
After being warned that the presiding judge in his 1977 rape case had changed his mind on a deal between all the parties and was going to sentence Polanski to roughly 50 years behind bars, the director has been convinced the court docket is stacked against him. “The problem Roman has obtaining justice in Los Angeles is that all the judges cover for each other’s misconduct,” Braun adds. “All Roman asked for is a fair process.”
Having won the Best Director Oscar in 2003 for The Pianist, Polanski has been in self-imposed exile in Europe since he fled the U.S. 40 years ago after being convicted of rape. With his French citizenship as a protective shield and the support of a number of prominent producers, studio bosses and talent over the years, the Poland-born filmmaker has fended off various disorganized attempts by American officials to bring him back to face justice.
Polanksi’s most recently movie, An Officer and a Spy, won three Cesar Awards in France earlier this year including Best Director.
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