Rape conviction overturned for man at center of Alice Sebold memoir Lucky

·2 min read

An upcoming movie has led to some long-overdue justice.

The Associated Press reported that Anthony Broadwater, the man convicted of rape and the focus of Alice Sebold's memoir Lucky, was exonerated of charges in the New York State Supreme Court on Monday. Broadwater had served 16 years in prison.

Reportedly, Broadwater's exoneration came as a result of the book's planned movie adaptation which was first announced in 2019 and set to star You's Victoria Pedretti. According to the New York Times, the film's executive producer, Timothy Muccianate "began to question the story that the movie was based on earlier this year, after he noticed discrepancies between the memoir and the script."

"I started having some doubts, not about the story that Alice told about her assault, which was tragic, but the second part of her book about the trial, which didn't hang together," Mucciante told the Times.

Mucciante left the production in June, but not before he hired a private investigator to dig further into Broadwater's case — the resulting evidence of which and more advanced forensic tools than was available previously were presented in court to help win his case.

Anthony Broadwater, Lucky by Alice Sebold
Anthony Broadwater, Lucky by Alice Sebold

Katrina Tulloch/The Post-Standard via AP; Scribner Anthony Broadwater and Alice Sebold's book "Lucky."

In the 1999 memoir, Sebold — also the award-winning author of The Lovely Bones — wrote about the rape that occurred when she was a student at Syracuse University in the early 1980s. She chronicled how she spotted a Black man in the street months after the rape that she was sure was her attacker and went to the police, but didn't know his name. Broadwater, who Sebold used the pseudonym of Gregory Madison for in her book, had been seen in the area at the time. Broadwater was tried and convicted of her rape in 1982.

"Neither Alice Sebold nor Scribner has any comment. Scribner has no plans to update the text of Lucky at this time," a representative for the book publisher tells EW in a statement.

Representatives for Broadwater and Mucciante didn't immediately respond to EW's requests for comment.

If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, please contact the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673) or go to rainn.org.

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