‘Richard Jewell’ Scribe Billy Ray Accuses Atlanta Journal-Constitution Editor Of Using Disputed Scene To Cloak Its Role In Ruining Hero’s Life

  • Deadline
‘Richard Jewell’ Scribe Billy Ray Accuses Atlanta Journal-Constitution Editor Of Using Disputed Scene To Cloak Its Role In Ruining Hero’s Life
Exclusive: In his first comments addressing the controversy surrounding Clint Eastwood’s Richard Jewell, which has culminated in a threatened defamation lawsuit by the Atlanta Journal- Constitution, the film’s screenwriter Billy Ray assailed the newspaper for failing to own up to its role in destroying the life of the security guard who spotted a suspicious backpack under a bench at an outdoor concert in Centennial Olympic Park during the 1996 Olympics and helped move bystanders away before an explosion left two dead and more than 100 injured.

The newspaper, in turn, has criticized the film’s depiction of Kathy Scruggs — who broke the story with Ron Martz that the FBI was eyeing Jewell as its prime suspect — as a promiscuous crime reporter who essentially traded a sexual encounter with an FBI agent for the tip. The film asserts that tip, and pressure from Scruggs, led the newspaper to tear up its
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