Patty Hearst Film Pulled After She Blasts Projects Based on Her Hostage Ordeal


Movie bosses at Twentieth Century Fox have scrapped an upcoming film about the kidnapping of heiress Patty Hearst after she condemned them for making the project.

James Mangold’s film about Hearst’s abduction was set to feature Elle Fanning, but, according to The Hollywood Reporter, executives at the film studio have pulled the plug on the drama.

The decision comes hours after Hearst accused those behind the production, and an upcoming CNN documentary series titled The Radical Story of Patty Hearst, of exploiting her rape and abduction.
Twentieth Century Fox Film and its production partners have decided to cancel the studio’s planned project based on the book American Heiress,” bosses at the studio said in a statement.

The film was based on Jeffrey Toobin’s 2016 book American Heiress: The Wild Saga of the Kidnapping, Crimes and Trial of Patty Hearst. Toobin is also executive producing the small screen venture.

Lashing out at both projects on Thursday (11Jan18), Hearst directed much of her anger at Toobin, who she accused of glorifying her assault and forcing her to relive painful memories.

“Over the years I have been approached many times to discuss my ordeal, and I have answered many questions,” Hearst noted in a statement released by her daughter Lydia Hearst’s spokesperson. “I have spoken the truth about my experience and even wrote a 499-page book where I lay it all out, as painful as it was to relive. Each time I do, it puts me back in the nightmare which, as you might imagine, is deeply painful.”

The daughter of a wealthy newspaper publisher, Hearst was kidnapped at the age of 19 in Berkeley, California in 1974. Terrorist organization the Symbionese Liberation Army took responsibility for the abduction and, during her 19-month ordeal in their custody, leaders demanded a hefty ransom for her release.

She was rescued by the FBI in 1975, but the following year Patty was charged with helping her former captors commit crimes, including an armed robbery. She later claimed she had been brainwashed into aiding their illicit activities.

She was sentenced to 35 years in jail but then-President Jimmy Carter commuted her time behind bars.

Hearst also raged that Tobin did not seek her perspective when he wrote his book and instead favored the recollections of her assailants.

“It was offensive to me that a man would have the audacity to tell a woman that he would have the last word on her trauma,” she fumed. “(The book) cites one of my kidnappers as its main source, romanticizes my rape and torture and calls my abduction a ‘rollicking adventure’.”