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You star Victoria Pedretti has reportedly dropped out of Alice’s Sebold’s new movie, news that has come after the man the author accused of rape in 1981 was exonerated earlier this week.
The Netflix star, 26, who is best known for playing Love Quinn in You, was set to star in a movie adaptation of Sebold’s memoir by the same name, Lucky, which details her 1981 rape story at Syracuse University when she was a freshman.
It has also been revealed that the movie was dropped after losing all its financing months ago, a source close to production told Variety, which reported that Pedretti is ‘no longer involved’ with the project.
The news comes just days after the man Sebold accused of rape, Anthony Broadwater, 61, was exonerated.
Victoria Pedretti, 26, is ‘no longer involved’ in the film adaptation of Alice Sebold’s memoir Lucky, which details her 1981 rape story at Syracuse University
Pedretti is best known for her role as Love Quinn (right) in the Netflix hit You
Revelations that led to Broadwater’s exoneration came after Executive Producer Timothy Mucciante hired private investigator Dan Myers after he noticed the ‘inconsistencies’ in Sebold’s story. Mucciante was fired after he pushed back on a suggestion to cast the rapist as a white man and not a black man.
‘I started poking around and trying to figure out what really happened here,’ Mucciante told The Associated Press earlier this week.
The process of exoneration began in 2019 after Sebold signed a deal to turn Lucky into a movie for Netflix.
It’s not exactly clear what happened next but it led to the case returning to court in New York on Monday, and to Onondaga County DA William Fitzpatrick admitting: ‘This should never have happened.’
Mucciante found the man Sebold accused Anthony Broadwater, 61, earlier this year, living in a derelict apartment where there was tarp over the windows in Syracuse with his wife.
Author Alice Sebold, 59, (pictured) was seen for the first time since the exoneration on Wednesday. Her literary career took off after she published Lucky in 1999 – the same year the man she accused of rape, Anthony Broadwater, 61, was released from prison
Broadwater (pictured middle) was originally not identified by Sebold in a police lineup, but was later identified in court. It was only when a cop gave Broadwater’s name because he had been in the area at the time that he was roped into the investigation
Broadwater’s case was brought back up after Executive Producer Timothy Mucciante (pictured) found ‘inconsistencies’ in Sebold’s story while working on the film. He hired a private investigator – who now claims he may know the real rapist – to fill in the holes. Mucciante was fired from Lucky after suggesting they cast a white man as the rapist instead of a black man
Broadwater spent 16 years behind bars for the 1981 rape that was the center point of Sebold’s 1999 memoir, which launched her career.
She wrote in the memoir how she was raped in a tunnel by a black man when she was a 19-year-old first-year student at Syracuse University in 1981. The book sold over 1million copies.
Broadwater was convicted in 1982 after Sebold, now 58, identified him as her rapist in court.
It was only when a cop gave Broadwater’s name because he had been in the area at the time that he was roped into the investigation. In a police line-up, she picked the man standing next to him. But when Broadwater was tried in court, Sebold did pick him.
The other piece of evidence that convicted him was hair analysis – but the technique used has long been considered unreliable by the Department of Justice.
Sebold originally picked out a different man (far right) in a police lineup, but later identified Broadwater (second to right) in court
Broadwater was released from prison in 1999, the year the book came out. He lived a quiet life afterward, working as a trash hauler and marrying but refusing to have children because he didn’t want them to have to live with the ‘stigma’ of his rape conviction. He said he was treated as a pariah because he was on the sex offenders’ registry.
Even after he married a woman who believed in his innocence, Broadwater never wanted to have children.
‘We had a big argument sometimes about kids, and I told her I could never, ever allow kids to come into this world with a stigma on my back,’ he said.
‘On my two hands, I can count the people that allowed me to grace their homes and dinners, and I don’t get past 10. That’s very traumatic to me.’
Broadwater remained on New York’s sex offender registry after finishing his prison term in 1999.
Sebold’s career, in the meantime, soared. In 2002, she published The Lovely Bones – another story based around child kidnap and rape. It sold over 5million copies in America alone, grossing $60million in sales, and was turned into a blockbuster Hollywood movie in 2009 starring Saoirse Ronan, Stanley Tucci and Mark Wahlberg.
Broadwater broke down in tears as the conviction was expunged and he is now asking for an apology from Sebold, who is yet to comment.
‘I just hope and pray that maybe Ms. Sebold will come forward and say, “Hey, I made a grave mistake,” and give me an apology. I sympathize with her, but she was wrong.’
Broadwater was also stunned to learn that Sebold had sold over 1million copies of Lucky, and gone on to make millions of dollars through The Lovely Bones.
In Lucky, Sebold wrote of being raped as a first-year student at Syracuse in May 1981.
Sebold detailed the assault in her 1999 memoir, Lucky – her first of three books – which was in the process of being adapted as a film for Netflix. The fate of the film adaptation following Broadwater’s exoneration is currently unknown. She is also known for the Lovely Bones, which got a film adaptation in 2009 starring Saoirse Ronan, Stanley Tucci and Mark Wahlberg
Sebold wrote in Lucky how she was attacked from behind by a man in the park in Syracuse when she was a college student in 1981. She describes over several pages in graphic detail how he raped her then let her go, telling her she was a ‘good girl’ and apologizing for what he’d done. The book sold over 1million copies and propelled her career
‘This is what I remember. My lips were cut. I bit down on them when he grabbed me from behind and covered my mouth. He said these words: “I’ll kill you if you scream.” I remained motionless. “Do you understand? If you scream you’re dead.”
‘I nodded my head. My arms were pinned to my sides by his right arm wrapped around me and my mouth was covered with his left.’
She goes on to describe the rape in graphic detail, how she had to talk to the rapist to encourage him, telling him he was a ‘good man’ and how she wished it to be over.
She wrote how he then apologized in tears once the attack was over, and told her she was a ‘good girl’.
Sebold describes running back to her dorm, confiding in her friends that she was just ‘beaten and raped’ in the park.
‘My face smashed in, cuts across my nose and lip, a tear along my cheek. My hair was matted with leaves. My clothes were inside out and bloodied. My eyes were glazed,’ she said.
Months later, she said she spotted a black man in the street and thought it was him.
Private investigator Dan Myers says he knows the identity of the man who raped the Lovely Bones author
‘He was smiling as he approached. He recognized me. It was a stroll in the park to him; he had met an acquaintance on the street,’ wrote Sebold. ‘”Hey, girl,” he said. “Don’t I know you from somewhere?”‘
She said she didn’t respond: ‘I looked directly at him.
‘Knew his face had been the face over me in the tunnel.’
Sebold went to the police, but she didn’t know the man’s name and an initial sweep of the area failed to locate him. An officer suggested the man in the street must have been Broadwater, who had supposedly been seen in the area. Sebold gave Broadwater the pseudonym Gregory Madison in her book.
After Broadwater was arrested, though, Sebold failed to identify him in a police lineup, picking a different man as her attacker because ‘the expression in his eyes told me that if we were alone, if there were no wall between us, he would call me by name and then kill me.’
Sebold wrote in her memoir that Broadwater and the man next to him looked similar and that moments after she made her choice, it dawned on her that she had picked the wrong man.
She later identified Broadwater in court.
He was convicted in 1982 based largely on her identification of him and because of evidence provided by an expert in microscopic hair analysis that had tied Broadwater to the crime. That type of analysis has since been deemed junk science by the Department of Justice.
‘Sprinkle some junk science onto a faulty identification, and it’s the perfect recipe for a wrongful conviction,’ Broadwater’s attorney, David Hammond, told the Post-Standard.
In their motion to vacate the conviction, the defense attorneys Hammond and Swartz argued that the case relied solely on Sebold’s identification of Broadwater in the courtroom and a now-discredited method of hair analysis.
Broadwater was brought to tears after his exoneration
They also said that prosecutorial misconduct was a factor during the police lineup because a lawyer had falsely claimed to Sebold that Broadwater and the man standing next to him were friends who looked alike and had purposely appeared together to trick her.
The attorneys said this false claim had tainted Sebold’s later testimony.
Mucciante hired a private investigator earlier this year, who put him in touch with J. David Hammond, of Syracuse-based CDH Law, who brought in fellow defense lawyer Melissa Swartz, of Cambareri & Brenneck.
Hammond and Swartz credited Fitzpatrick for taking a personal interest in the case and understanding that scientific advances have cast doubt on the use of hair analysis, the only type of forensic evidence that was produced at Broadwater’s trial to link him to Sebold’s rape.
The private investigator who helped prove Broadwater’s innocence told DailyMail.com he has learned the name of a man who may be the real rapist – and is calling for the criminal case to now be reopened.
DailyMail.com has reached out to Netflix for a comment.