Gloria Allred is going after Hilary Swank who stars in and is the executive producer of the movie Conviction, as reported at TMZ.TMZ featured a live streaming of a news conference that Gloria Allred held at her law office on the issue.
What is the movie Conviction about?
Katharina Brow was murdered in Ayer, Massachusetts in 1980. Kenneth Waters was wrongfully convicted of the crime in 1983. Conviction is the true story of Betty Anne Waters, Kenneth Waters’ sister, who worked to get Kenneth out of prison with the help of Innocence Project, “a national litigation and public policy organization dedicated to exonerating wrongfully convicted people through DNA testing and reforming the criminal justice system to prevent future injustice.”
Betty Anne Waters had to earn her GED, a B.A., a master’s degree and finally a law degree in order to eventually represent her brother Kenneth. Kenneth Waters was released from prison on June 19, 2001 after DNA testing proved he was innocent of the murder. Kenneth Waters died six months later on September 19, 2001 from a fall that led to a brain hemorrhage and coma.
In 2009, Ayer, Massachusetts settled for $3.4 million to the estate of Kenneth Waters. Hilary Swank plays Betty Anne Waters and is also the executive producer of the film. Sam Rockwell plays Kenneth Waters. The film opens on Friday.
Why is Gloria Allred going after Hilary Swank?
Gloria Allred, the high-profile attorney famous for representing such people as Amber Frey who was the lover of death row inmate Scott Peterson, the family of Nicole Brown Simpson, and Rachel Uchitel who was one of Tiger Woods’ mistresses, is now representing Katharina Brow’s family.
Allred says Swank did not bother to speak with the children of Katharina Brow before the movie was made. “The murder victim’s children feel that no proper respect or compassion has been shown by Ms. Swank for the murder victim and her family,” says Allred. In the live streaming news conference shown at TMZ, the adult children of Brow sat with Gloria Allred in her law office, giving their reasons why they feel Swank should have contacted them first. Now they want to have a meeting with Swank and the others involved in the film to find out why they have been ignored.
Is the high-profile attorney stealing the spotlight from the wrongfully convicted?
There are a couple of important messages that one can get out of Conviction. The first message is family. As Hilary Swank and Sam Rockwell spoke with Matt Lauer on the Today Show, Swank noted that Betty Anne Waters sacrificed her life to save her brother. For example, she lost her marriage in the process.
But there is a second message. In the US and in other parts of the world, many people are wrongfully convicted and sit in jail as innocent victims. In the US, DNA testing has helped to exonerate many of these people, but many more, as Sam Rockwell noted, sit in jail.
Gloria Allred has decided to side with the murdered woman’s children. She feels that the burden should not be on the victim’s family members to find out why their mother’s murder will be on film, but rather, it should be for Hollywood producers to reach out to murder victim’s families. Allred feels it’s Hollywood’s moral duty.
“We cannot say that Kenneth Waters was a victim, but we know our mother was,” said one of the family members. Gloria Allred will go after Hilary Swank and her people for a meeting, and take it from there.
But whether the family thinks Kenneth Waters is guilty or not, or whether they would like to have had a retrial, and as sad as the situation is for the murder victim and the murder victim’s children, Kenneth Waters is not the murderer based on DNA evidence.
Since Kenneth Waters is not the murderer based on DNA evidence, is it Swank’s responsibility to acknowledge the murder victim’s family? Unfortunately, by focusing on the murder victim’s family, the global problem of the wrongfully convicted is ignored.
Live – Gloria Allred Mounts Attack on Hilary Swank (Video), TMZ
Conviction – at Wikipedia
Gloria Allred has a problem with Hilary Swank’s ‘Conviction’ , USA Today
Jolie du Pre, Jesse James’ Alleged Mistresses — Yes, There’s a Fourth and She’s Hired Attorney Gloria Allred, Associated Content
Hilary Swank and Sam Rockwell Talk CONVICTION on the Today Show (Video), Fox Searchlight
Ayer to pay $3.4m for unjust conviction, The Boston Globe