Frances McDormand’s alleged Oscar thief walks as court tosses case

Best actress winner Frances McDormand holds her Oscar backstage at the 90th Academy Awards in 2018.
(Scott Varley / TNS)

Charges against a man accused of stealing Frances McDormand’s Oscar statuette from an Academy Awards afterparty have been dropped.

The trial for Terry Bryant 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. A judge then granted a defense motion to dismiss.

The district attorney’s office gave no explanation, and Bryant’s attorney wasn’t immediately available for comment. Bryant had originally been charged with felony grand theft.

McDormand won the award for best actress for “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” on March 4, 2018, and lost the statuette after leaving it to be engraved at the postshow Governors Ball.

In the best actor category, Oscar got it wrong on Tuesday.

Jan. 24, 2019

Associated Press video shows Bryant — who police said had a legitimate Governors Ball ticket — leaving the party holding an Oscar. He also posted his own video on social media.

“Lookit baby, my team got this tonight. This is mine. We got it tonight, baby,” Bryant said in his video before kissing the statue. “Governors Ball, baby. Who wants to wish me congratulations?” Hoots and air kisses from partygoers who were drawn to the celebration followed, as Bryant tried to find out the location of Jimmy Kimmel’s afterparty. He said at one point he had won it for “music” and later that he’d won for “best producer.”

Bryant’s attorney argued in court hearings that his client never had any intent to keep the award.