Oscar-winning film director Roman Polanski on Friday accused the US Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences of harassment after it expelled him along with actor Bill Cosby in light of historic sexual assault cases.
Polanski, who lives in France, is wanted in the United States for the statutory rape of a 13-year-old girl in 1977.
The veteran 84-year-old director of “Rosemary’s Baby” has for years been seeking to negotiate a deal in the case with US authorities.
The board of governors of the Academy, the body which hands out the Oscars, voted this week to strip both men of membership “in accordance with the organisation’s Standards of Conduct”.
“It has the hallmarks of psychological abuse against our client, who is an older person,” Jan Olszewski, Polanski’s lawyer in Poland told AFP.
“Roman feels that the Academy is acting in violation of its regulations and has asked me to review them,” Olszewski added, calling the Academy’s move the “height of hypocrisy”.
The lawyer also said that “comparing Bill Cosby to Roman Polanski is a total misunderstanding and harassment.”
Cosby, once the darling of American television, faces up to 30 years in prison after being found guilty on three counts of sexual assault on April 26 for drugging and molesting a woman in 2004.
Polanski’s victim Samantha Geimer, who has sought to end the 41-year-old case against the fugitive director, on Thursday dismissed the Academy’s decision to expel him as “an ugly and cruel action which serves only appearance”.
Olszewski told AFP that “Polanski had one incident in his life, for which he was found guilty, for which he took responsibility”.
“The victim forgave him and for many years he was a member of the Academy. Everyone knew, because the process was transparent and public and nobody was bothered,” he added.
Commenting on the #MeToo campaign against sexual harassment sparked by revelations of long-term and rampant abuse in Hollywood, Polanski told Poland’s Onet.pl news portal this weekend that “there is certainly part, perhaps even a large part, of truth in it, but certainly not everything”.
The Academy last October also voted to expel disgraced film mogul Harvey Weinstein in response to allegations of sexual assault and harassment.
The body’s 54-member board of governors includes some of the biggest names in the industry, among them Steven Spielberg, Tom Hanks and Whoopi Goldberg.
The Academy in December adopted a code of conduct for its 6,000-plus members after dozens of women came forward to accuse Weinstein of sexual assault.
Brian Williams compares Corey Lewandowski’s opening statement to the North Korean news lady
MSNBC host Brian Williams on Tuesday noted the similarities between former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski and North Korean news anchor Ri Chun Hee.
"Corey Lewandowski, the former Trump campaign manager who is now considering a Senate run in New Hampshire, testified before the House Judiciary Committee today," Williams reported. "It is likely his North Korean anchorwoman-quality opening remarks were meant were one viewer (Donald Trump)."
Ri, who has earned the nickname "Pink Lady," is known for her enthusiastic reading of government-approved news.
Watch the video below from MSNBC.
‘Train-wreck of a witness’: Analysts nail ‘obstructive’ Corey Lewandowski for proving the Democrats’ case
Political commentator Catherine Rampell disagreed with New York Times columnist Frank Bruni that the Democrats faltered during the hearing with Corey Lewandowski Tuesday. Former state and federal prosecutor Elie Honig called Lewandowski a "train-wreck of a witness."
She explained that Democrats had an extremely low bar: they had to prove Trump obstructed justice and that Corey Lewandowski gave one of the examples of such obstructions. In that sense, Rampell said they accomplished their goals.
"I don’t think this was a great day for Corey Lewandowski," she began. "This is a guy who went on TV and announced to the world -- apparently at the same time he is also trying to fundraise for Senate -- that he lies most of the time. Except when he's under oath."
WATCH: Ana Navarro keeps shouting down Trump booster — even as CNN host cuts to commercial
President Donald Trump cheered on his top Hispanic advisor Steve Cortes, who appeared before a New Mexico audience. Trump asked Cortes which he loved more, Hispanics or America, which prompted CNN's Ana Navarro to blast the president for racism. Meanwhile, Trump's latest CNN shill cried "political correctness."
"Look, I suspect he didn't want to offend Steve Cortes and I suspect Steve Cortes was not offended," Navarro said. "But really what a stupid thing to say. Right? To somehow ask the question about whether you love the country more than you love Hispanics -- they are one and the same."