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Alice Sebold biopic pulled after man who spent 16 years in jail is cleared of her rape

The film, which was due to star ‘You’ actress Victoria Pedretti, has been pulled after Anthony Broadwater was cleared of charges

By Hollie Geraghty

Alice Sebold wears a pink shirt and has short black hair in Rome
American author Alice Sebold wrote 'Lucky' and 'The Lovely Bones'. (Photo: Alamy).

Plans for a screen adaptation of Alice Sebold’s 1999 memoir ‘Lucky’ have been axed after the man she accused of raping her had his conviction overturned.

The bestselling author, who also wrote ‘The Lovely Bones’, publicly apologised yesterday (November 30) to Anthony Broadwater, who spent 16 years in prison after being convicted of raping Sebold when she was 18, which would become the basis for her memoir.

In a statement released to the Associated Press, the author said that as a “traumatised 18-year-old rape victim”, she relied on the US legal system.

“My goal in 1982 was justice – not to perpetuate injustice,” she said. “And certainly not to forever, and irreparably, alter a young man’s life by the very crime that had altered mine.”

An attorney for Broadwater, Melissa Swartz, said he had no comment. He was released from prison in 1998, but told AP he was crying “tears of joy and relief” when the conviction was overturned last week.

Sebold wrote in ‘Lucky’ about her rape and how she believed a Black man she saw in the street several months later to be the attacker.

He was arrested but Sebold failed to identify him in a lineup and picked a different man because of the frightening “expression in his eyes”.

Broadwater was still put on trial and convicted.

‘Lucky’ was due to star ‘You’ actress Victoria Pedretti as Sebold, with Tim Mucciante as producer. 

It was Mucciante who noticed discrepancies in the case and started to look into what happened. He was dropped from the project but hired a private investigator to look into the evidence, who then recommended Broadwater’s defence attorney who filed the motion for the conviction to be overturned.

In a statement released via his lawyers, Mr Broadwater said he was “relieved that she has apologised”.

He went on: “It must have taken a lot of courage for her to do that.

“It’s still painful to me because I was wrongfully convicted, but this will help me in my process to come to peace with what happened.”