LOS ANGELES – Roman Polanski has been a member of the film academy for 41 years since pleading guilty to unlawful sex with a minor in 1977, but that came to an end Thursday when the organization behind the Oscars expelled both him and Bill Cosby from its ranks.
Polanski had long been an incongruity in Hollywood who had continued making films and winning awards as a fugitive. A-list celebrities signed petitions for his freedom, starred in his film and gave him a standing ovation in 2003 when he won the best director Oscar for "The Pianist."
His attorney says the 84-year-old director was blindsided by the decision, and plans to ask the academy to reconsider it.
Polanski and Cosby are the first members expelled since the organization adopted a revised code of conduct.