Thursday 24 May 2018

Roman Polanski threatens to sue Academy over ‘illegal’ expulsion

The Academy last week voted to kick out both Roman Polanski and Bill Cosby.

Roman Polanski has threatened to launch legal action after being kicked out of the Academy (Anthony Harvey/PA)
Roman Polanski has threatened to launch legal action after being kicked out of the Academy (Anthony Harvey/PA)

By Keiran Southern, Press Association Los Angeles Correspondent

Roman Polanski has threatened to sue the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences after he was expelled from its membership.

Polanski, along with disgraced comedian Bill Cosby, was kicked out last week.

Cosby has been convicted of sexual assault and Polanski remains a fugitive after fleeing the US in 1978 after pleading guilty to unlawful sex with a teenager.

ipanews_26380874-fa2c-4c41-b6a9-da76bdc7597e_embedded25984089
Roman Polanski has threatened to sue the Academy (Joel Ryan/PA)

Now, in a letter to AMPAS president John Bailey, Polanski’s lawyer Harland Braun has threatened legal action over the “illegal” expulsion.

Mr Braun alleges the Academy broke its own Standards of Conduct rules when its board of governors voted to eject Polanski and Cosby for misconduct.

The letter reads: “Mr Polanski has a right to go to court and require your organisation to follow its own procedures, as well as California law.”

It also asks that Polanski is “given a fair hearing to present his position with respect to any proposed expulsion”.

ipanews_26380874-fa2c-4c41-b6a9-da76bdc7597e_embedded21800949
Bill Cosby was last week found guilty of sex crimes and was also booted out of the Academy (PA)

The Academy had expelled film producer Harvey Weinstein in October, following numerous allegations of sexual misconduct.

Polanski, who won a best director Oscar for The Pianist, has been in self-imposed exile since he fled the US 40 years ago, fearing a judge would extend his sentence after he served 42 days in jail.

He pleaded guilty to having unlawful sex with Samantha Geimer in 1977 after allegedly plying her with champagne and a sedative at the Hollywood Hills home of Jack Nicholson, who was not there at the time.

Polanski, 84, is currently living in France.

Cosby, 80, is awaiting sentencing following his conviction for drugging and molesting a woman at his mansion in Philadelphia in January 2004.

Press Association

Entertainment Newsletter

Going out? Staying in? From great gigs to film reviews and listings, entertainment has you covered.

Editors Choice

Also in Entertainment