Polanski ‘blindsided’ by academy expulsion

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The Latest on the expulsion of Bill Cosby and Roman Polanski from the organization that puts on the Oscars (all times local):

6:55 p.m.

Roman Polanski’s attorney says the director was blindsided by a decision to expel him from the organization that bestows the Academy Awards.

Attorney Harland Braun says Polanski will ask the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to conduct a hearing so Polanski can make his case to remain in the prestigious body.

Braun says that Polanski’s team was prepared to present academy officials a case for the Oscar-winner to remain in the organization but they were never given the opportunity.

The organization announced Thursday that Polanski had been expelled by its board of governors after a vote Tuesday. The board also expelled Bill Cosby.

Braun said he plans to ask the academy to reinstate the director, who remains a fugitive after pleading guilty to unlawful sex with a minor in 1977.

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11:30 a.m.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Board of Governors has voted to expel Bill Cosby and Roman Polanski from its membership.

The film academy said Thursday that its board of governors met Tuesday night and voted on their status in accordance with their Standards of Conduct.

The organization that puts on the Oscars also expelled Harvey Weinstein from its ranks in October.

Only one person is thought to have been previously expelled from the academy: Carmine Caridi, a character actor who had his membership revoked in 2004 for lending DVD screeners of films in contention for Oscars that ended up online.

Polanski remains a fugitive after fleeing the United States in 1978 after pleading guilty to unlawful sex with a minor. Cosby was convicted last week of sexual assault in Pennsylvania.

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