×

Patricia Hearst Denounces Fox Biopic, CNN Documentary Series

Patricia Hearst has slammed an upcoming Fox movie biopic and a CNN documentary series about her 1974 kidnapping.

Hearst blasted author Jeffrey Toobin, whose unauthorized 2016 biography “American Heiress: The Wild Saga of the Kidnapping, Crimes and Trial of Patty Hearst” is being turned into the feature film and who is an executive producer of CNN’s “The Radical Story of Patty Hearst.”

“Jeffery Toobin’s unauthorized book, ‘American Heiress,’ which cites one of my kidnappers as its main source, romanticizes my rape and torture and calls my abduction a ‘rollicking adventure,'” she said in a statement released by her daughter Lydia Hearst’s spokesperson.

“I am further saddened and appalled that Fox 2000 agreed to finance and produce a movie based on Toobin’s book (with a similarly themed screenplay, also written by men) and that CNN has agreed to continue to perpetuate a one-sided dialogue romanticizing my torture and rape by hosting a podcast and docuseries through Toobin’s distorted lens,” Hearst said.

She also offered details on spurning Toobin’s request for cooperation on his book, adding, “As hard as it was to do, I have grown well past the 19-year old me and gone on to become a proud wife, mother, and grandmother. I have no interest in revisiting such a violent and hurtful time in my life.”

Hearst issued the statement Thursday, saying that she was inspired to do so after seeing women display solidarity through the Me Too and Times Up initiatives at the Jan. 7 Golden Globes, adding that she had been moved by Oprah Winfrey’s speech.

CNN and Fox had no immediate comment.

James Mangold is directing the untitled adaptation of Toobin’s best-selling book about Hearst’s 1974 kidnapping by the Symbionese Liberation Army, and re-emergence as a bank robber and member of the left-wing terrorist group. Hearst captured the world’s attention when she was caught on tape participating in armed bank robberies and declared her allegiance to the SLA.

Her arrest and trial sparked a media frenzy. Hearst, who claimed she was brainwashed, was captured after 18 months on the run and served 22 months in prison. Yahya Abdul-Mateen has been cast as the SLA leader Donald DeFreeze, who was also known as Cinque Mtume and Field Marshal Cinque. DeFreeze and five other SLA members died in May of 1974, following a shootout with the Los Angeles Police Department.

The six-part CNN original series, “The Radical Story of Patty Hearst,” is set for Feb. 11 and includes interviews with Bill Harris, who was part of the SLA, and Steven Weed, who witnessed the abduction.

CNN’s planned weekly podcast, “Patty Has a Gun: The Life and Crimes of Patricia Hearst,” is set to be co-hosted by Toobin and CNN’s Brian Stelter, starting Jan. 26 on iTunes.

Read Hearst’s entire statement below.

This past weekend at the Golden Globes so many strong women put together an incredibly moving testimony to the fact that times are changing. I’m so grateful for people like Reese Witherspoon, America Ferrera, and Eva Longoria who have taken a stand for women everywhere. When Oprah gave her acceptance speech it moved so many of us…she said, “[Recy] lived as we all have lived, too many years in a culture broken by brutally powerful men. For too long, women have not been heard or believed if they dared to speak their truth to the power of those men, but their time is up.” That hit home for me more than you can imagine. It’s no secret that I was abducted, raped, and tortured at 19. What followed was a series of events that were the direct result of a child having been destroyed both inside and out.

Over the years I have been approached many times to discuss my ordeal, and I have answered many questions. I have spoken the truth about my experience and even wrote a 499-page book where I lay it all out, as painful as it was to relive. Each time I do, it puts me back in the nightmare which, as you might imagine, is deeply painful. This is why for the last several years, I have declined to answer any more questions. It’s very hard on me, and not something I want my daughters to be reminded of. When approached by Jeffrey Toobin in what could only be construed as an incredibly arrogant and egotistical fashion, he stated in an email that I should talk to him, saying, “you’ve written your own book and given many interviews”, yet he continued with, “It would be in your best interest to talk to me. I’m a high profile writer. This book will get a lot of attention. It will be seen as the last word on the subject.” It was offensive to me that a man would have the audacity to tell a woman that he would have the last word on her trauma. Naturally, I declined his request.

Jeffery Toobin’s unauthorized book, American Heiress, which cites one of my kidnappers as its main source, romanticizes my rape and torture and calls my abduction a “rollicking adventure.” This project is attempting to rewrite history and directly flies in the face of the present #MeToo movement where so much progress is being made in regard to listening, and providing a voice, to those who have suffered abuse. I am further saddened and appalled that Fox 2000 agreed to finance and produce a movie based on Toobin’s book (with a similarly themed screenplay, also written by men) and that CNN has agreed to continue to perpetuate a one-sided dialogue romanticizing my torture and rape by hosting a podcast and docuseries through Toobin’s distorted lens. I refuse to give Jeffrey Toobin, 21st Century Fox, CNN or anyone else involved in these projects about my life the power to make me a victim again, or the power to provide a platform where victim blaming is ok.

As hard as it was to do, I have grown well past the 19-year old me and gone on to become a proud wife, mother, and grandmother. I have no interest in revisiting such a violent and hurtful time in my life. Aren’t we living in a better world than this? I sincerely hope the answer is a resounding “Yes.” I am joyful and inspired by all of the women who have been brave enough to come forward with their truths. I stand with you, I support you, and I applaud you. #ListenToWomen #TIMESUP #MeToo

More Film

  • European Film Awards Handed Out

    European Film Awards Handed Out (Live and Updating)

    Marcello Fonte, the star of Matteo Garrone’s “Dogman,” and Joanna Kulig, the star of Pawel Pawlikowski’s “Cold War,” won the prizes for best actor and actress, respectively, at the 31st edition of the European Film Awards, which is being hosted Saturday evening in Seville, Spain. “Dogman” and “Cold War” are among the films that dominated [...]

  • The Favourite Bohemian Rapsody Star is

    The Best Movie Scenes of 2018

    When we think back on a movie that transported us, we often focus on a great scene — or maybe the greatest scene — in it. It’s natural. Those scenes are more than just defining. They can be the moment that lifts a movie into the stratosphere, that takes it to the higher reaches of [...]

  • Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

    Box Office: 'Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse' Soars Toward $35-40 Million Debut

    “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” is swinging into theaters on a high note. Sony-Marvel’s latest output is launching to $42 million from 3,813 North American locations in its debut, though other more conservative estimates place that number at $35.5 million. The animated superhero story picked up $12.6 million on Friday, easily leading the pack for the weekend. [...]

  • Ventana Sur : Cinema226 Closes Four

    Cinema226 Announces Four Intl. Co-Productions, Hints at More (EXCLUSIVE)

    Mexico’s Cinema226, run by Marco Antonio Salgado and Sam Guillén, is driving into a raft of Mexico, Argentina and Spain co-productions, playing off the current vibrancy of Mexican film production funding and distribution outlets. Among the projects are titles which have been standouts at Ventana Sur’s Blood Window, the next film by Mexico-based Argentine filmmaker [...]

  • Ventana Sur Debates Gender Parity in

    Ventana Sur Debates Gender’s 50/50 in 2020 for Argentina Film Industry

    BUENOS AIRES — Despite recent gains, namely the equality pledge towards 50/50-2020 signed at the Mar del Plata Film Festival on Nov. 12, producer Magalí Nieva, pointed out that no representative from INCAA was present following the apparent resignation of its vice-president Fernando Juan Lima. “We are left without an interlocutor to discuss gender policies [...]

  • Ventana Sur Rocks with Sales, Mass

    Ventana Sur Rocks with Sales, Mass Attendance, Structural Growth

    BUENOS AIRES — Celebrating its 10th anniversary with a huge hike in attendance to over 4,000 accredited delegates, the 2018 Ventana Sur will go down in history on multiple counts: Sales and pick-ups on movies which combined social comment and entertainment value, increasingly the new foreign-language movie standard; new sections, led by a Proyecta co-production [...]

  • Ventana Sur: Aparicio Garcia Pitches Sports

    Uruguay’s Aparicio Garcia Pitches Sports Journalism Dark Comedy ‘Matufia’

    Uruguay’s Aparicio García impressed with his one-of-kind debut earlier this year, the grindhouse rural mobster comedy “La noche que no se repite,” and the filmmaker has now participated in Ventana Sur’s Proyecta section with his next project, the dark comedy thriller “Matufia.” García’s Isla Patrulla is so far the only producer, but his participation at [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content