The organization that hosts the Academy Awards can expand its lawsuit alleging the auction of a 1942 Oscar awarded to the art director of “My Gal Sal” was made without academy consent, a judge ruled Tuesday.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge John Segal found there were sufficient grounds to allow the academy to add Joseph Tutalo, the nephew of Academy Award winner Joseph Wright, as a defendant in the case originally filed July 1 by The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

According to the amended complaint, Tutalo provided Rhode Island-based Briarbrook Auction Services with the Wright Oscar and it was sold for $79,200 on June 24 to Nate D. Sanders Inc., which also is an auction house. The academy did not know of Tutalo’s alleged involvement until September, according to the organization’s court papers.

Academy attorney Gary Gans said Sanders likely plans to sell the Oscar again.

A 1951 academy regulation bans winners and their heirs from selling Oscars without permission.

“My Gal Sal’s” only Oscar win was to Wright. The film starred Rita Hayworth.

— City News Service

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