As reported by Variety ‘s Matt Donnelly and Brent Lang, director Roman Polanski filed a lawsuit in the state of California on Friday claiming he was wrongfully expelled from the Academy for sexual misconduct and believes his membership should be restored.
Last May the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences made the decision to expel both Polanski and comedian Bill Cosby during the rise of #MeToo movement, a time in which hundreds of sexual assault victims came forward to share their accounts of abuse at the hands of some of the biggest movers and shakers in Hollywood.
During a recent interview Polanski’s lawyer, Harland Braun, had this to say about the Oscar-winning director’s explosion:
“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.”
In response to Polanski’s lawsuit, a spokesperson for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences issued this statement:
“The procedures taken to expel Mr. Polanski were fair and reasonable. The Academy stands behind its decision as appropriate.”
According to suit, Polanski claims the Academy “failed to comply with its own rules, policies, and regulations,” and that the Academy’s decision “[was] not supported by findings, and the Academy’s findings are not supported by evidence.”
Polanski was arrested and plead guilty in 1977 for raping a 13-year-old girl, but never served jail time because he fled to France, where he’s been living ever since. Despite the charges against him, Polanski has since made 14 films, been nominated 14 times and won an Oscar for Best Director in 2003 for The Pianist.