The title molecule, C20H23NO7, the product of nucleophilic cleavage of the 3a,6-epoxy bridge in 1-oxo-2-phenyloctahydro-3a,6-epoxyisoindole-7-carboxylate, comprises a cis-fused bicyclic system containing a 2-pyrrolidinone ring in an envelope conformation (with the C atom bearing the carboxylate substituent as the flap) and a cyclohexane ring in a chair conformation. The carboxylate substituent occupies the equatorial position, whereas the two acetyloxy substituents are in axial positions. The N atom has a trigonal-planar geometry, the sum of the bond angles being 359.3 (3)°. The dihedral angle between the mean plane of the four planar atoms of the pyrrolidinone ring and the phenyl ring is 25.98 (6)°. In the crystal, molecules are linked into zigzag chains along the c-axis direction by C - H⋯O hydrogen bonds.