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Man convicted of raping “Lovely Bones” author Alice Sebold exonerated after film producer re-investigates

Author Alice Sebold’s film project about her 1981 rape implodes after a personal investigation by a producer into the incident led to the exoneration of the man who was convicted of it.

Sebold, best known for her novel The beautiful bones, was working on the adaptation of his 1999 memoir Fortunate, which focused on her rape at age 18 during her freshman year at Syracuse University.

Timothy Mucciante, who was executive producer of Fortunate film, left the project this summer harboring doubts about the story, according to a report by the New York Times.

Mucciante “began to question the story the film was based on earlier this year, after noticing discrepancies between the memoir and the script,” NYT reporters Karen Zraick and Alexandra Alter wrote.

He left the project in June and even hired a private investigator to examine the evidence against Anthony Broadwater, the black man who was convicted of first degree rape and five other counts in the 1981 inquiry. He spent 16 years in prison before being released in 1998.

Mucciante says he has no doubts that Sebold was brutally sexually assaulted, but he became convinced of Broadwater’s innocence based on details such as Sebold initially identified a different man as his assailant in a police line.

Broadwater was cleared on November 24 in the New York State Supreme Court.
Therefore, Fortunate lost its funding months ago, according to a source who spoke to Variety, and it looks like the project will not move forward.

Besides, You star Victoria Pedretti – who was supposed to star in the film – is no longer involved in the project. It’s still unclear who Pedretti was supposed to play in the film.

A spokesperson for Scribner, the publisher of Sebold, said The Guardian that “neither Alice Sebold nor Scribner have a comment,” adding that “Scribner has no plans to update Lucky’s text at this time.”

Fortunate – which has sold over a million copies – launched Sebold’s career as an author. She then wrote the 2002 novel, The beautiful bones, which sold 10 million copies and was adapted into the Oscar-nominated film of the same name by Peter Jackson.

You can follow Alana Mastrangelo on Facebook and Twitter at @ARmastrangelo, and on Instagram.

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