In May of last year, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences finally expelled Roman Polanski from their midst. Nearly one year later, he has filed a lawsuit alleging that the Academy had failed to follow its own rules when ousting a member from their ranks, according to Deadline.
“The Academy committed a prejudicial abuse of discretion in that the Academy failed to proceed in a 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,” Polanski said in a lawsuit filed in L.A. Superior Court.
Polanski’s attorney, Harland Braun, demanded that Polanski be reinstated “as an Academy member in good standing,” a status he enjoyed for over 40 years despite having pleaded guilty to raping and sodomizing a 13-year-old girl and then fleeing to Europe to avoid punishment.
“The Academy failed to comply with its own rules, policies, and regulations in expelling Petitioner without notice, without an opportunity to be heard and deliberately violated California Corporations Code,” said Braun.
Last year, the Academy said of its decision to expel Polanski: “The Board continues to encourage ethical standards that require members to uphold the Academy’s values of respect for human dignity.” Following that, Braun issued a lengthy letter threatening a lawsuit, saying Polanski fell victim to an “illegal expulsion.”
“I am writing this letter to you to avoid unnecessary litigation,” Braun warned in May of last year. “Mr. Polanski has a right to go to court and require your organization to follow its own procedures, as well as California law.”
“The only proper solution would be for your organization to rescind its illegal expulsion of Mr. Polanski and follow its own Standards of Conduct by giving Mr. Polanski reasonable notice of the charges against him and a fair hearing to present his position with respect to any proposed expulsion,” Braun wrote.
One year later, the Academy has held firm to its decision to expel Polanski. In response to the lawsuit, an Academy spokesperson said the procedure for his expulsion was “fair and reasonable.”
“The procedures taken to expel Mr. Polanski were fair and reasonable,” an Academy spokesperson said Friday afternoon, according to Deadline. “The Academy stands behind its decision as appropriate.”
Strangely, at the time of Polanski’s ouster from the Academy, his rape victim, Samantha Geimer, said the Academy made an “ugly and cruel” decision.
“It is an ugly and cruel action which serves only appearance,” said Geimer, then age 55. “It does nothing to change the sexist culture in Hollywood today and simply proves that they will eat their own to survive. I say to Roman, good riddance to bad rubbish, the Academy has no true honor, it’s all just P.R.”
Geimer was only 13 years old when Polanski drugged and sodomized her during a photo shoot at Jack Nicholson’s house. During the height of the #MeToo movement, as many as five women came forward to accuse Roman Polanski of sexual assault when they were teenagers.