The deal will stem from Johnson’s memoir, “After Life: My Journey From Incarceration to Freedom.” Harper Collins will publish the book on May 21, which will include a foreword by Kardashian West.
“My life has forever changed because of Alice Marie Johnson,” Kardashian West said. “Her story is a gift that will now reach so many millions more through her book and film. I hope Alice’s case is just the beginning of a movement to help those left behind. I am invested in continuing to support Alice and this cause.”
Johnson was serving a life sentence for non-violent drug trafficking until President Donald Trump commuted her sentence last year. Kardashian West personally lobbied him in the Oval Office. Johnson had been convicted in 1996 for her nonviolent involvement in a Memphis cocaine trafficking organization.
“After Life: My Journey From Incarceration to Freedom” centers on how Johnson held onto hope and instilled it in others during her two-plus decades in prison, including becoming a playwright and mentoring other women. Scott Budnick and Zola Mashariki are overseeing the adaptation.
“Alice Marie Johnson is the quintessential movie heroine,” said Budnick, “She has resilience, fortitude and ultimately triumphs over adversity. We admire her and are proud to bring her story to life.”
Johnson was among those invited to sit with first lady Melania Trump and Trump family members at the State of the Union address on Tuesday night. Trump said during his speech, “Alice’s story underscores the disparities and unfairness that can exist in criminal sentencing — and the need to remedy this total injustice. Alice, thank you for reminding us that we always have the power to shape our own destiny.”
Johnson said, “I feel humbled that the telling of my story gives hope and my years of pain were not in vain.”
A campaign in support of Johnson’s release was launched by the American Civil Liberties Union and the website Mic. Supporters contended that the punishment was excessive and an example of harsher penalties on African-Americans.