Sebold's career was begun by the memoir, and three years later, her first novel, The Lovely Bones, which also deals with rape, catapulted her to international recognition. It was adapted into a film starring Saoirse Ronan and Susan Sarandon and sold millions of copies. 'All I ask is for Ms. Sebold to come up and say, “Hey, I made a big mistake,' and apologize to me,” Broadwater added. “I sympathize with her, but she was completely incorrect.”
“I'm not going to sully this procedure by saying, 'I'm sorry,’ Onondaga County District Attorney William Fitzpatrick told the state Supreme Court. That's not good enough. This should never have happened in the first place.” Broadwater was just 20 years old when he was accused of rapping Sebold while she was a first-year student at Syracuse University in New York in May 1981. He had recently come home after serving in the Marines.
He was found guilty based on two pieces of evidence: first, Sebold's identification of her assailant in court, despite previously identifying another guy in a police lineup; and second, microscopic hair analysis, which prosecutors claimed linked Broadwater to the crime. The Department of Justice has declared this type of hair analysis to be junk science. Broadwater was released from jail in 1999, but it wasn't until last year that a producer got so concerned about the contradictions in Sebold's memoir that he withdrew out of the project and recruited a private investigator.
Tim Mucciante had agreed to be the adaptation's executive producer, but he doubted Broadwater's culpability because the initial draft of the script deviated so much from the book. “I began looking around, trying to figure out what had happened,” Mucciante explained. Mucciante hired a private investigator earlier this year, who put him in touch with Syracuse-based CDH Law's J. David Hammond, who brought in Cambareri & Brenneck's Melissa Swartz.
Given Broadwater's acquittal, the status of the film version of 'Lucky' seemed uncertain. Jonathan Bronfman of Toronto-based JoBro Productions, the new executive producer, was contacted for comment. Sebold wrote in Lucky about being raped as a first-year student at Syracuse in May 1981 and later witnessing a black man on the street who she was certain was her assailant months later.
“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 reported the incident to police, but she didn't know the man's identity, and a search of the area failed to find him. An officer speculated that the man on the street was Broadwater, who had been rumored to be in the vicinity. In her book, Sebold gave Broadwater the pseudonym Gregory Madison.
Sebold failed to recognize Broadwater in a police lineup after he was caught, instead choosing a different man as her assailant 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.'
In her memoir, Sebold writes that Broadwater and the man next to him appeared to be the same person and that it occurred to her shortly after she made her decision that she had chosen the wrong man. Broadwater was later identified by her in court. She writes in her memoir that Mr. Broadwater and the man next to him appeared to be the same person and that she sensed she had chosen the incorrect man moments after making her decision. Mr. Broadwater was later named by her in court.