The man accused of stealing Frances McDormand’s Oscar has said he had the statuette, but has pled not guilty to the charges.
McDormand collected the award for Best Actress at the Hollywood ceremony on Sunday night (March 4) for her role in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. She has since been reunited with her award.
Terry Bryant, 47, was arrested after allegedly taking the award and bragging about it on Facebook. His lawyer, Daniel Brookman, has since said that he and Bryant plan to “forcefully and aggressively resist” the allegations.
Associated Press reports that Brookman said that while his client can be seen on video footage holding the statuette, the images don’t mean he is guilty of theft. “There’s a big difference between holding an Oscar and what he’s charged with,” he said. “I don’t think his character matches these charges.”
Bryant walked out of the Governors Ball Oscars after-party with McDormand’s Best Actress award on Sunday (March 4), according to authorities. Video footage shows him holding it above his head and saying: “All right, baby boys and baby girls.” Police said he gave up the trophy when a photographer confronted him.
Naomi Levy, a rabbi who was present at court on Wednesday (March 8), described Bryant as “a sweet and gentle man of faith”.
The man has been released on bail and could face a maximum sentence of three years in jail if found guilty.
Earlier this week, USA Today reported that McDormand had been “spotted crying emotionally outside the Governors Awards ball after giving up the search for the statuette on the premises”.
A representative for has McDormand later told the publication that the star was “happily reunited” with her award and that “Fran and Oscar” were “enjoying an In-N-Out burger together”.
After picking up the trophy from Jennifer Lawrence and Jodie Foster, McDormand used her acceptance speech to honour her fellow female nominees.