Actress Bella Thorne is set to play the real-life teen who encouraged her boyfriend to take his own life via text in a powerful new TV movie.
The actress will portray convicted Michelle Carter in Conrad & Michelle: If Words Could Kill, which is based on true events, court testimonies and texted correspondence between the young lovers.
Austin P. Mckenzie has been cast as the tragic Conrad Roy in the Lifetime TV movie, which debuts next month (Sep18).
The teen lovers met during a family vacation and conducted much of their romance via text. When desperate Conrad, 18, expressed his desire to end his life, Michelle initially urged him to reconsider and then encouraged him to follow through and even offered suicidal suggestions.
In his 2014 suicide note, he wrote: “To Michelle, this life has been challenging and troublesome for me but I’ll forever be in your heart and we will meet up someday in heaven.”
Carter was sentenced to two-and-a-half years behind bars with 15 months suspended for encouraging her boyfriend to commit suicide. The judge overseeing the case ruled her texts pushed the mentally ill teenager over the edge.
In a recent appeal, her attorneys argued that the judge’s decision violated her right to free speech and that the texts should not have been used to convict her.
“Because the judge convicted Carter for what she said, or failed to say, not what she did, this case implicates free speech under the 1st Amendment,” her attorneys said in a brief.
Roy’s mother, Lynn Roy, sued Carter last year (17) for her “negligence and wanton and reckless conduct”.