Fugitive director Roman Polanski got a “fair” shake and shouldn’t be allowed to sue the Academy over his expulsion, the group that runs the Oscars claims in new court paperwork.
In its nine-page filing obtained by the Daily News, the Academy said Polanski’s ouster was “consistent” with its “stated opposition to any form of abuse or harassment.”
“The full circumstances of this case — including petitioner’s admitted unlawful sexual intercourse with a thirteen year-old minor, his fugitive status, the Academy’s paramount interest in upholding respect for human dignity among its members, and the Academy’s invitations to petitioner to present in writing anything and everything he thought relevant to expulsion and to present his case to the Board in person or via video conference — demonstrate that the Academy’s expulsion process was fair and reasonable,” the filing said.
The new paperwork was a response to the April lawsuit filed by Polanski in Los Angeles claiming the Academy engaged in an “improper administrative action” when it voted twice to give him the boot.
Polanski, 85, argued his movies have been nominated for Oscars 28 times and that he won the Academy Award for best director in 2003 for his critically acclaimed film “The Pianist.”
He said it wasn’t fair for the Academy to reverse course so suddenly after decades of support, so he asked for reconsideration after the first vote to yank his membership in May 2018.
The “Chinatown” director claimed the Academy then “didn’t provide reasonable notice” and “failed to comply with its own rules” when it met the morning of Jan. 26 and held a second vote that upheld his dismissal.
“We asked to appear before the board to present Mr. Ponalski’s side and answer questions, but they refused to let us do that. It’s incredible arrogance,” Polanski’s lawyer Harland Braun told The News on Tuesday.
“We’re looking forward to litigating this case through discovery,” Braun said.
A trial-setting conference has been set for Aug. 15.
Polanaki was 43 years old in 1977 when he was arrested and charged with sexually assaulting a 13-year-old girl at actor Jack Nicholson’s compound in the Hollywood Hills.
The victim, Samantha Geimer, said Polanski raped and sodomized her after plying her with champagne, part of a Quaalude and a promise to feature her in French Vogue.
Polanski pleaded guilty to one count of sexual intercourse with a minor and fled to France shortly before his sentencing because he feared the judge was going to violate his plea agreement and give him extra jail time.