HOLLYWOOD—Director Roman Polanski’s legal team told a Los Angeles judge Thursday, September 19 that his client was retracting his request for the Los Angeles Superior Court not to hear his reinstatement request into the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences.
Polanski felt that he would not receive fair treatment in a Los Angeles court. Harland Braun, Polanski’s attorney, argued that the history of his client’s case showed that the Los Angeles Superior Court had issues of impartiality. The documents allege that “several Los Angeles judges have acted either dishonestly, or denied him (Polanski) due process,” adding that those claims have been “reinforced via the added authority.”
At the latest hearing, Braun argued that the Los Angeles Superior Court would be in the best position to fix what has been a what he called a moral and historical mistake. He suggested to the judge that she should decide whether there is any validity to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences claim that Polanski’s case is barred due to legal doctrine of fugitive disentitlement.
The Academy’s legal representative, Kristen Bird indicated that she would like to proceed with the trial. As a response, the judge told Braun he could file a motion to support his position. The judge also agreed to attend a phone conference if attorneys have trouble with what information should be presented at trial. The case is set for August 25, 2020 and will be presented before Judge Mary H. Strobel.
Polanski, who was admitted into the academy in 1968 was removed in 2018. According to Polanski’s legal documents, he was removed without notice or a chance to be heard. His request for reconsideration was denied in January 2019. Polanski is also asking for attorney’s fees, in addition to his reinstatement.
According to a statement from AMPAS, “The board continues to encourage ethical standards that require members to uphold the Academy’s values of respect for human dignity.”
Polanski fled the United States in 1978 after he was convicted on a statutory rape charge. He has won numerous awards for his work in cinema including winning a Best Director Oscar in 2003 for “The Piano.”