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Polanski asks court to restore his film academy membership

FILE - In this Oct. 30, 3017 file photo director Roman Polanski poses a photo prior to the screening of "Based on a true story" in Paris, France. Roman Polanski is asking a judge to restore his membership in the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences after he was expelled for misconduct last year. Lawyers for the 85-year-old director filed documents Friday, April 19, 2019 requesting that a court compel the academy to make him a member in good standing again. (AP Photo/Francois Mori, File)

LOS ANGELES — Roman Polanski asked a judge Friday to restore his membership in the organization that bestows the Academy Awards nearly a year after he was expelled from it for sexual misconduct.

Lawyers for the 85-year-old fugitive director petitioned Los Angeles Superior Court to compel the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to make him a member in good standing again.

In May, the academy made the rare move of expelling Polanski and Bill Cosby, months after ending the membership of disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein.

Polanski appealed the decision, and in January the academy rejected his appeal.

Friday’s five-page filing states that by not giving Polanski sufficient notice of his expulsion, and not giving he or his lawyer to argue his case in person during the appeal, the academy “failed to comply with its own rules, policies and regulations.”

The academy responded with a brief statement saying, “The procedures taken to expel Mr. Polanski were fair and reasonable. The Academy stands behind its decision as appropriate.”

The filing also alleges that the expulsion violated a California law that requires corporations to give a fair hearing before removing a member, calling it a “prejudicial abuse of discretion.”

Polanski’s attorney Harland Braun said at the time that Polanski was “blindsided” by his removal, and learned of it through media reports.