Man charged with felony theft of Frances McDormand's Oscar

Frances McDormand, winner of the award for best performance by an actress in a leading role for "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri", poses in the press room at the Oscars on Sunday, March 4, 2018, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)

A 47-year-old man has been charged with stealing Frances McDormand's Academy Award

LOS ANGELES — A 47-year-old man was charged Tuesday with stealing Frances McDormand's Academy Award at an Oscars after-party.

Los Angeles County prosecutors said that Terry Bryant was charged with one felony count of grand theft for stealing the statuette McDormand won for best actress for her performance in "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri" on Sunday night.

Bryant faces up to three years in prison if convicted. Jail records show that he is still being held on $20,000 bail. It is not clear whether he has retained an attorney who can comment.

Video captured by The Associated Press appears to show Bryant walking with the statuette out of the party, the Governors Ball, the official Oscars after-party, and holding it up proudly to photographers and gawkers waiting outside.

One photographer didn't recognize him as an Oscar winner and followed and confronted him.

Police say Bryant handed back the statuette without a struggle. It was soon returned to McDormand, and Bryant was arrested.

An Instagram account that appears to belong to Bryant also shows him holding a Screen Actors Guild award. A photo and video show him holding a SAG trophy while wearing a tuxedo. In the video he points at the award and says, "I proclaim it in Jesus's name."

A representative for the SAG Awards, asked if there were any trophies reported stolen or missing, said the matter is under investigation.

The account appears to show Bryant at several awards shows and movie premieres, including the Golden Globes and the Grammy Awards, and shows him posing alongside several celebrities including Selena Gomez, Jimmy Kimmel and Mariah Carey.

The criminal complaint filed against Bryant lists both the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and McDormand as victims of the theft.

While Oscar winners can in general treat their statuettes as their own possessions, the academy maintains a stake in them as property. There are strict limits on how an Oscar, formally known as an Award of Merit statuette, can be used, and a winner cannot sell one without first offering to sell it back to the academy for just $1.

Bryant is expected to be arraigned in a downtown Los Angeles courtroom on Wednesday.


Associated Press Writer Michael Balsamo contributed to this report.

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