Double Oscar winner Hilary Swank has been criticized by Hollywood ambulance chaser Gloria Allred, who claims that Swank and MGM Studios failed to consult the film of a murder victim at the center of the new drama, Conviction, opening in theaters this Friday.
The tale is based on the real-life story of working mom Betty Ann Waters and her brother, who was convicted of the 1980 murder of Katharina Brow. The mother of two was found in her mobile home with more than 30 stab wounds. Kenneth Waters was convicted of her murder in 1983.
Betty Ann was eventually able to use DNA testing to get her brother freed from jail after 18 years. Conviction does not show a reenactment of the crime, instead focusing on Betty Ann’s efforts to work her way through law school, her unwavering devotion to her brother, and her work with the Innocence Project — an organization which works to free wrongly convicted prisoners.
Nonetheless, Brow’s children — represented by Allred — have publicly questioned Swank’s approach to the film, accusing the actress of insensitivity for not consulting the family prior to agreeing to star.
“Our family is being forced to relive the memory of a heinous crime,” Melrose Brow, the victim’s now grown daughter, told reporters at a press conference in Allred’s Los Angeles office.
Brow says she and her brother want to know whether their mom would be presented as the loving mother and grandmother she was.
“The film’s producers, including Ms. Swank, have never bothered to contact the family,” Allred charges. “We believe a proper respect for Ms. Brow’s family could’ve been shown. Do they have a legal duty to do it? We can argue about that. Do they have a moral duty? We say yes,” Allred added.
Allred has requested a meeting with Swank and Brow’s children to settle any potential issues.