Roman's request to restore film academy membership denied

A judge denied Roman Polanski's request to restore his membership in the organisation that bestows the 'Academy Awards' two years after he was expelled from it for raping a minor. The fugitive film director, who was sued in April 2019, had asked the court to compel the 'Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' to make him a member in good standing again.

A year earlier, the academy made the rare move of expelling Polanski and Bill Cosby, months after ending the membership of disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein. Polanski appealed the decision and in January 2019 the academy rejected his appeal.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Mary Strobel ruled that the academy had a right to expel Polanski, as the film organisation had afforded him a fair hearing and gave him sufficient notice of his expulsion. She adopted a tentative ruling that she had issued as her final order. Harland Braun, Polanski's lawyer said the 87-year-old director has no plans to appeal Strobel's decision.

"Roman's membership in the academy is pretty worthless and we would not waste legal fees for an appeal for no real purpose," Braun said in an email to 'The Associated Press'.

Braun added, "Roman is one of the greatest directors in movie history. His art will survive long after the academy is a forgotten relic."

An email seeking comment from academy officials was not immediately returned. In 2019, the academy said in a statement that 'the procedures taken to expel Roman Polanski were fair and reasonable.'

Polanski, who won a best director 'Oscar' for 'The Pianist' in 2003, remains a fugitive after pleading guilty to unlawful sex with a minor in 1977 and fleeing the United States the following year. He has been living in Europe since. He had been an academy member for nearly 50 years at the time of his expulsion and his films had been nominated for 28 'Oscars'.

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