Frances McDormand's Alleged Oscar Thief Terry Bryant Pleads Not Guilty
Bryant was released without bail after he pleaded not guilty before Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Deborah S. Brazil. The judge released him from jail on his own recognizance.
Bryant's attorney, Daniel Brookman, provided sufficient support that yielded to the release of his client from jail. Brookman said that Bryant does not pose a threat to his community and has not had any contact with law enforcement for six years.
Naomie Levy, a rabbi who came to support Bryant, also attested to his good nature.
"He's a sweet and gentle man of faith," Levy said when Brookman brought her up to support Bryant's release.
Brookman's defense came after Judge Brazil brought up her concern over Bryant's prior theft-related charges and his failure to appear in court. He also contested the $20,000 bail for a grand theft felony charge against his client. He called the charge unnecessary as his client technically did not take home McDormand's Oscars trophy.
"There's a big difference between holding an Oscar and what he's charged with. I don't think his character matches these charges," Brookman told reporters outside court.
The 47-year-old Bryant swiped McDormand's trophy at the Governors Ball and even took a video where he is seen kissing the trophy. According to reports, the Three Billboards Outside Ebbing actress alerted security while inside the party when she noticed that her trophy was missing.
Bryant was later spotted leaving the 2018 Oscars after-party with the McDormand's trophy in his hand. He even posed for photos with the Oscar statue. However, he eventually gave it up when a photographer confronted him.
It is unclear how the accused got his hands on a ticket to the exclusive star-studded party. The footage taken from the Governors Ball shows Bryant walking beside McDormand while she was entering the venue. He even waved at the photographers and pretended to be a member of the actress's entourage when he made a move to usher her inside.
However, the footage does not show any indication that Bryant and McDormand knew each other. At that moment, the actress's son was seen carrying the Oscar, which is valued at $950.
McDormand said she did not want to press felony charges but the Academy wants the case to move forward. Bryant could face three years in jail if found guilty. He is due to appear in court again later this month.