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Warner Bros. hits back at Atlanta newspaper over ‘Richard Jewell’ movie

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Warner Bros. hit back at the Atlanta Journal Constitution after the newspaper objected to a depiction in the Clint Eastwood film “Richard Jewell,” of a real-life reporter having sex with an FBI source in exchange for information.

“There is no disputing that Richard Jewell was an innocent man whose reputation and life were shredded by a miscarriage of justice. It is unfortunate and the ultimate irony that the Atlanta Journal Constitution, having been a part of the rush to judgment of Richard Jewell, is now trying to malign our filmmakers and cast,” the studio said in a statement, obtained by Entertainment Weekly.

{mosads}“’Richard Jewell’ focuses on the real victim, seeks to tell his story, confirm his innocence and restore his name. The AJC’s claims are baseless and we will vigorously defend against them,” it added.

The film depicts Kathy Scruggs (played by Olivia Wilde) having a sexual relationship with an FBI contact, which the newspaper blasted for furthering stereotypes about female journalists trading sex for stories as well as baselessly casting aspersions on Scruggs. The paper also called for the film to include a disclaimer making clear there is no evidence Scruggs, who died in 2001, did such a thing.

Jewell, an Atlanta security guard, discovered a backpack containing three pipe bombs at the 1996 Summer Olympics, alerting the police and helping to clear the area.

He later came under public suspicion of involvement in the bombing plot after the Journal-Constitution broke the news that he was being treated as a potential suspect by the FBI. He was later fully exonerated, with far-right extremist Eric Rudolph confessing to the plot as well as to the bombings of a gay bar and an abortion clinic.

Jewell sued several media outlets for their role in the suspicions. The Journal-Constitution was the only media defendant that did not settle with him, with an appeals court ruling in 2011, four years after Jewell’s death, that while the FBI’s suspicions of him proved to be wrong, the newspaper was accurate in reporting them.


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