Duff, 30, is set to star in The Haunting of Sharon Tate and shared a photo of herself dressed similarly to the actress on Instagram, writing, “Had the incredible opportunity of playing Sharon Tate the past two weeks in an independent movie. She was an amazing woman and it was a true honor.”
Debra tells PEOPLE she thinks “it’s classless” and “exploitative.”
“It doesn’t matter who it is acting in it – it’s just tasteless,” Debra says. “It’s classless how everyone is rushing to release something for the 50th anniversary of this horrific event.”
Debra, who was 16 when her sister was murdered by Charles Manson’s cult followers, also commented on what she believed was the premise of the film: A scene in which her sister has a premonition that she and former boyfriend and hairstylist Jay Sebring would have their throats slit — an eerie similarity to how their actual deaths occurred.
She says the dream is false.
“I know for a fact she did not have a premonition — awake or in a dream — that she and Jay would have their throat cut,” she says. “I checked with all of her living friends. None of her friends had any knowledge of this. Tacky, tacky, tacky.”
She adds, “It’s a total fabrication.”
Tate, 26 at the time of her death, was married to director Roman Polanski and was eight-and-a-half months pregnant with their first child — a boy — when she was stabbed repeatedly in her home.
Sebring, Abigail Folger, Wojciech Frykowski and Steven Parent were also stabbed at the home of the actress, whose blood was used to write on the walls.
Debra says she owns the rights to her sister’s likeness.
“It would have been nice if someone had contacted me,” she says of the upcoming independent film.
Manson died in November at the age of 83. He was serving nine life sentences in California’s Corcoran State Prison at the time of his death.
“I said a prayer for his soul,” Debra said of the moment after she received a call from a prison official informing her of Manson’s death.