Frances McDormand alleged Oscar thief won't be prosecuted

Prosecutors on Tuesday dropped the case against a man charged with stealing Frances McDormand’s Oscar statuette from a 2018 Academy Awards after-party.

Terry Bryant’s felony grand theft trial was to begin Tuesday, but Los Angeles prosecutors said in court that they were unable to proceed with the case against the 58-year-old. Superior Court Judge Sam Ohta then granted a defense motion to dismiss it.

The district attorney’s office gave no explanation for the decision, and Bryant’s attorney wasn’t immediately available for comment.

FRANCES MCDORMAND REUNITED WITH OSCAR AFTER IT WAS STOLEN AT AFTERPARTY

McDormand won the award for best actress in “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” on March 4, 2018, and lost the statuette after having it engraved at the Governors Ball, the official Academy Awards after-party, held in the same Hollywood complex as the Dolby Theatre where the show takes place.

Associated Press video shows Bryant, wearing a tuxedo, leaving the party holding an Oscar and saying, ”″We did it! We did it.”

MAN ACCUSED OF STEALING FRANCES MCDORMAND'S OSCAR CHARGED WITH THEFT

The man accused of stealing Frances McDormand's Best Actress Academy Award on Sunday was charged with theft, the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office said. Charges were later dropped.

The man accused of stealing Frances McDormand's Best Actress Academy Award on Sunday was charged with theft, the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office said. Charges were later dropped. (Photo by Eric Jamison/Invision/AP)

A film academy worker who was escorting a photographer at the party testified at a preliminary hearing last year that he heard over a walkie-talkie that McDormand’s Oscar was missing, and he quickly spotted Bryant, and recovered the statuette.

It was immediately returned to McDormand, who could be seen holding it at the Vanity Fair post-Oscar party hours later.

MAN ACCUSED OF STEALING FRANCES MCDORMAND'S OSCAR RELEASED FROM JAIL

Bryant’s attorney, Daniel Brookman, argued in court last year that Bryant didn’t try to hide that he had McDormand’s Oscar, and the charge should be dismissed. “There was never any intent to deprive the owner of the property on a permanent basis,” Brookman said.

The attorney also said McDormand did not want Bryant to be prosecuted and displayed a police detective’s report that said the actress was “not desirous of prosecution.”

McDormand declined comment Tuesday through a representative.

Terry Bryant appears in Los Angeles Superior Court Wednesday, March 7, 2018. Bryant, who is charged with stealing Frances McDormand's best actress Oscar will be released on his own recognizance. Bryant pleaded not guilty to felony grand theft during his arraignment Wednesday in a downtown Los Angeles courtroom. Footage shot by The Associated Press shows Bryant walking into the after-party with McDormand and leaving while holding her statuette.

Terry Bryant appears in Los Angeles Superior Court Wednesday, March 7, 2018. Bryant, who is charged with stealing Frances McDormand's best actress Oscar will be released on his own recognizance. Bryant pleaded not guilty to felony grand theft during his arraignment Wednesday in a downtown Los Angeles courtroom. Footage shot by The Associated Press shows Bryant walking into the after-party with McDormand and leaving while holding her statuette. (AP)

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The case, and the charge of grand theft, showed how murky the value of an Oscar can be. Winners since 1951 have accepted the award on the condition that they or their heirs must offer it back to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for $1 before selling it elsewhere.

Last year in a rare auction of a pre-1951 Oscar, Gregory Peck’s statuette for the 1947 film “Gentleman’s Agreement” brought in nearly $500,000, and in 1999, Michael Jackson paid $1.5 million for producer David O. Selznick’s 1940 “Gone With The Wind” Oscar.

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A lawyer for the academy argued in Bryant’s preliminary hearing that the statuettes cost the organization between $2,300 and $2,500, and said they are probably priceless to most winners.