Patty Hearst Blasts Bio-Pic for Romanticizing 'Rape and Torture'

Patty Hearst has come out swinging against a CNN documentary series and an upcoming Fox biopic about her 1974 kidnapping for romanticising her "rape and torture."

Hearst also slammed author Jeffrey Toobin, who wrote an unauthorized biography in 2016. The book, American Heiress: The Wild Saga of Kidnapping, Crimes and Trial of Patty Hearst, is the basis for Fox's film. Toobin is also an executive producer on the CNN series, titled The Radical Story of Patty Hearst.

"Jeffery Toobin's unauthorized book, American Heiress, which cites one of my kidnappers as its main source, romanticizes my rape and torture and calls my abduction a 'rollicking adventure,'" Hearst said in a statement released to Variety by daughter Lydia Hearst's spokesperson.

The statement continues, "I am further saddened and appalled that Fox 2000 agreed to finance and produce a movie based on Toobin's book (with a similarly themed screenplay, also written by men) and that CNN has agreed to continue to perpetuate a one-sided dialogue romanticizing my torture and rape by hosting a podcast and docuseries through Toobin's distorted lens."

Hearst said she has "grown well past the 19-year old me and gone on to become a proud wife, mother, and grandmother," adding that she has "no interest in revisiting such a violent and hurtful time in my life."

Hearst added that the #MeToo moment, the "Time's Up" initiative and Oprah Winfrey's Golden Globes speech all inspired her to speak out.

In 1974, Hearst was kidnapped by the Symbionese Liberation Army and suddenly re-emerged as a bank robber and a member of the terrorist group. She was captured, tried and served 22 months in prison. During her trial, she claimed she was brainwashed by the group.

James Mangold (The Wolverine, Walk The Line) was hired to direct the Fox 2000 movie. Yahya Abdul-Mateen (The Get Down) was picked to play the SLA leader and Elle Fanning is playing Hearst.

Mangold got the gig in December. The script was written by Larry Karaszewski and Scott Alexander with Mangold. The producers are Mangold, Nina Jacobsen and Brad Simpson.

CNN's Radical Story is set to begin on Feb. 11, and will run six episodes. A weekly iTunes podcast co-hosted by Toobin and CNN journalist Brian Stelter starts on Jan. 26.


Photo credit: Patrick McMullan/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images