Judge: Man accused of McDormand Oscar theft will be released

Attorney Daniel Brookman, right, discusses the release of his client, Terry Bryant, in Los Angeles Superior Court Wednesday, March 7, 2018. (AP)
Updated 08 March 2018
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Judge: Man accused of McDormand Oscar theft will be released

LOS ANGELES: A lawyer for the man charged with stealing Frances McDormand’s Academy Award said Wednesday that he and his client plan to “forcefully and aggressively resist” the allegations against him.
Attorney Daniel Brookman acknowledged that suspect Terry Bryant can be seen on an Associated Press video holding McDormand’s best actress statuette but those images don’t rise to the seriousness of felony grand theft.
“There’s a big difference between holding an Oscar and what he’s charged with,” Brookman said outside court, where Bryant was arraigned Wednesday and pleaded not guilty. “I don’t think his character matches these charges.”
Los Angeles Superior Court Deborah Brazil ruled Bryant, 47, did not pose a risk to the public and said he will be released on his own recognizance.
Bryant walked out of the Governors Ball Oscars after-party with the trophy on Sunday night, authorities said. He was captured on the AP video holding it proudly over his head and saying, “All right baby boys and baby girls.”
He quickly gave it up when confronted by a photographer, police said.
McDormand won the Oscar, her second, for her performance in “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.”
Bryant could get three years in jail if convicted.
AP footage from earlier Sunday shows Bryant walked in to the Governors Ball alongside McDormand, although there is no indication they knew each other. McDormand smiled and laughed as she entered the party and her son carried her Oscar into the party, the footage shows.
Naomi Levy, a rabbi who came to court to support Bryant, said he is part of her spiritual congregation and never misses a meeting.
“He’s a sweet and gentle man of faith,” Levy said.


'Abdulla Al Ghurair Foundation' pledges $27 million for refugee education

Updated 43 min 58 sec ago
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'Abdulla Al Ghurair Foundation' pledges $27 million for refugee education

DUBAI: On World Refugee Day, Abdul Aziz Al Ghurair, Emirati businessman and philanthropist, announced the Abdul Aziz Al Ghurair Refugee Education Fund, a new 100M AED ($27 million) initiative to benefit 5,000 children and youth over 3 years.

Abdul Aziz Al Ghurair said: “I established this fund because I believe that philanthropists have a role in helping to address one of the most acute challenges of our region: lack of education opportunities for young people who need it the most.”
The Fund will award grants to support secondary, vocational and tertiary education programs for refugee youth in Jordan and Lebanon. It will also support children of families who due to wars and disasters in their home countries, temporarily reside in the UAE but are unable to afford school fees. The first round of grants will be announced prior to the start of the new school year.

Applauding this initiative, Filippo Grande, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees said: “We welcome the generous commitment by Abdul Aziz Al Ghurair. The Fund highlights the importance of the Arab world’s business community in creating a positive impact through supporting the region’s displaced communities.”

Commenting on the initiative, Gordon Brown, United Nations Special Envoy for Global Education said: “There can be no better investment in the future of the Arab region than to support the education of the most vulnerable — refugee children and youth.”

The AbdulAziz Refugee Education Fund will be administered by the Abdulla Al Ghurair Foundation for Education. Founded in 2015 and based in Dubai, it is the largest privately funded foundation in the Arab world focused exclusively on education. It aims to improve access to quality education for high-achieving, underserved Emirati and Arab youth. Abdulla Al Ghurair pledged one third of his wealth to the Foundation and set out a target of reaching 15,000 youth over 10 years valued at over $1 billion.