Disgraced film director Roman Polanski, who admitted to the statutory rape of a 13-year-old girl in 1977, sued the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to get his membership reinstated nearly a year after the organization kicked him out.
Polanski’s attorney filed a lawsuit on Friday in Los Angeles Superior Court to force the Academy to readmit the 85-year-old director as a member in good standing, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
The Academy, which organizes the annual Oscars, ousted the “Rosemary’s Baby” director in May 2018, along with convicted serial rapist Bill Cosby, for violating the organization’s standards of conduct.
In 1977, Polanski pleaded guilty to statutory rape and served 42 days in prison as part of a plea deal. He fled the U.S. when he learned that a judge wanted to revoke his plea deal, becoming a fugitive.
Since then, others have said Polanski sexually assaulted them. Artist Marianne Barnard accused the French-Polish director of molesting her when she was 10 years old in 1975.
In 2003, Polanski won an Oscar from the Academy. Harland Braun, Polanski’s lawyer, argued that the Academy had violated its own policies by expelling Polanski in 2018 without giving him a hearing.
A letter from Braun obtained by NBC News and dated Thursday urged the organization to “prepare and produce” documents linked to Polanski’s dismissal from the Academy.
“He got thrown out with an anonymous letter,” Braun told NBC News. “If the Academy gives him a fair hearing he’ll get to present his side. We just want a fair hearing.”
Need help? Visit RAINN’s National Sexual Assault Online Hotline or the National Sexual Violence Resource Center’s website.