Entertainment & Arts

Oscars 2018: Man denies stealing Frances McDormand's best actress Oscar

Terry Bryant Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Terry Bryant carried an Oscar at the Governor's Ball

A man has pleaded not guilty to stealing actress Frances McDormand's Oscar after Sunday's ceremony.

McDormand was named best actress - but her statuette briefly went missing at the lavish after-show Governor's Ball.

Terry Bryant filmed himself holding a statuette and telling other guests he was a winner, before being arrested.

His lawyer Daniel Brookman said: "There's a difference between holding an Oscar and what he is charged with, so that will play out in court."

The 47-year-old had been in police custody on a grand theft charge, but was released without having to pay bail following Wednesday's hearing after the judge ruled he did not pose a flight risk.

Image copyright AFP

Judge Deborah Brazil heard testimony from his rabbi Naomi Levy, who described him as a "sweet, gentle man of faith".

Ms Levy added: "I think we are living in an unusual time in America. I believe that maybe perhaps his story is a commentary on our whole society and its obsession with its 15 minutes of fame."

Police said Mr Bryant was a ticket holder for the Governor's Ball. He was ordered to return to court on 28 March. Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office said he faces up to three years in jail if convicted.

The Oscar was retrieved and later returned to McDormand, who won for her role in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. It's the actress's second Oscar, 21 years after her first for Fargo.

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