Film of Alice Sebold’s Lucky Shelved as the rape sentence is overturned

Lucky, an upcoming film adaptation of Alice Sebold‘s 1999 memoir will no longer be forthcoming. About Variety, the film lost its funding months ago. Lucky was set to star You‘s Victoria Pedretti as a young Sebold, and like the memoirs, explores Sebold’s journey after she was beaten and raped by a stranger while a freshman at Syracuse University in 1981.

The dissolution of the film adaptation coincides with the release of Anthony Broadwater, the man convicted of first-degree rape and five related charges in Sebold’s case. He served 16 years in prison after being wrongfully charged with the 1981 rape.

In his debut memoir, Sebold – who went on to write the best-selling novel The lovely bones– gave Broadwater the fictitious name Gregory Madison. Months after her assault, she saw Broadwater – a black man who was not actually involved in the incident – and alerted police to him.

According to New York Times, Broadwater’s case was reopened in part due to the adjustment. After Lucky went into pre-production, the film’s executive producer, Tim Mucciante, became skeptical of Broadwater’s guilt after finding inconsistencies between the memoir and the script.

“I began to be in doubt – not about the story that Alice told about her assault, which was tragic, but the second part of her book about the trial, which was not connected,” Mucciante told The times. Mucciante said he went out Lucky in June, a private detective and defense attorney hired to investigate Broadwater’s case, and came to believe that Broadwater was innocent. The investigation found flaws in the case, including the use of a now discredited method of microscopic hair analysis, a reliance on Sebold’s identification of Broadwater in the courtroom, and the prosecution’s dishonesty. Broadwater – who had struggled to rebuild his life as a registered sex offender after being released from prison in 1999 – has always maintained his innocence.

Monday, November 22, New York State Supreme Court Justice Gordon J. Cuffy overturned Broadwater’s conviction for first-degree rape and five related charges, and his status as a sex offender was revoked. By Broadwater’s exemption, Onondaga County District Attorney William Fitzpatrick said: “I’m not going to defile this procedure by saying, ‘I’m sorry.’ It does not cut it. This should never have happened. ”

“I have been crying tears of joy and relief the last few days,” Broadwater, now 61, told the AP on Tuesday. “I’m so excited that the cold can not even keep me cold.”

A spokesman for Scribner, Sebold’s publisher, told The Guardian that “Neither Alice Sebold nor Scribner have any comments. Scribner has no plans to update the text to Lucky at this stage.”

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