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Man wrongly convicted for raping author Alice Sebold will be part of documentary ‘Unlucky’

The man who spent 16 years in jail after being wrongly convicted of raping Lovely Bones author Alice Sebold will star in a documentary about his life.

The documentary is named Unlucky, a play on the name of his accuser’s memoir about the attack, Lucky, which netted her millions of dollars.

It chronicles the case of Anthony Broadwater, 61, who was exonerated last month in the 1981 rape of Sebold – a New York Times best-selling author who has since apologized for identifying the wrong man.

As she made millions writing novels, Broadwater spent 16 years locked in a jail cell and another two decades living under the stigma of being a registered sex offender.

He was finally exonerated last month film producer Timothy Mucciante noticed inconstancies in Sebold’s story while filming a movie about her book Lucky, which was based on the sexual assault and her role in convicting Broadwater.

Mucciante will now produce Unlucky. 

Anthony Broadwater was wrongfully convicted in the 1981 rape of author Alice Sebold. He’s pictured on November 22, 2021 in a Syracuse, New York Courthouse after a judge overturned his conviction that wrongfully put him in state prison

Sebold apologized to Broadwater on Tuesday and said she was 'deeply regrets' what he has been through in the past four decades

Sebold apologized to Broadwater on Tuesday and said she was ‘deeply regrets’ what he has been through in the past four decades

'Of the many things I wish for you, I hope most of all that you and your family will be granted the time and privacy to heal,' she said in the statement

‘Of the many things I wish for you, I hope most of all that you and your family will be granted the time and privacy to heal,’ she said in the statement

Simon and Schuster, publisher of Lucky, said Tuesday that it will no longer distribute the book

Simon and Schuster, publisher of Lucky, said Tuesday that it will no longer distribute the book

As is custom in documentaries, Broadwater will not be compensated for participating in the film, but a GoFundMe raised more than $30,000 for him as of Wednesday morning.

In a statement released to The Associated Press on Tuesday and later posted on Medium, Sebold, the author of the novels The Lovely Bones and The Almost Moon, expressed her regret in helping to convict Broadwater all those years ago.

‘First, I want to say that I am truly sorry to Anthony Broadwater and I deeply regret what you have been through,’ she wrote in her apology to the newly-freed man.

‘I am sorry most of all for the fact that the life you could have led was unjustly robbed from you, and I know that no apology can change what happened to you and never will.

‘Of the many things I wish for you, I hope most of all that you and your family will be granted the time and privacy to heal.’

The book’s publisher said Tuesday that it will no longer distribute the book. 

‘Following the recent exoneration of Anthony Broadwater, and in consultation with the author, Scribner and Simon & Schuster will cease distribution of all formats of Alice Sebold’s 1999 memoir Lucky,’ it said in a statement.

Broadwater released a statement following the author’s apology Tuesday, telling DailyMail.com: ‘I’m relieved that she has apologized. It must have taken a lot of courage for her to do that. It’s still painful to me because I was wrongfully convicted, but this will help me in my process to come to peace with what happened.’  

Sebold wrote in Lucky how she was attacked from behind by a man in the park in Syracuse when she was a college student in 1981. She describes over several pages in graphic detail how he raped her then let her go, telling her she was a 'good girl' and apologizing for what he'd done. The book sold over 1million copies and propelled her career

 Sebold wrote in Lucky how she was attacked from behind by a man in the park in Syracuse when she was a college student in 1981

Sebold wrote in Lucky how she was attacked from behind by a man in the park in Syracuse when she was a college student in 1981. She describes over several pages in graphic detail how he raped her then let her go, telling her she was a 'good girl' and apologizing for what he'd done. The book sold over 1million copies and propelled her career

 She describes over several pages in graphic detail how he raped her then let her go, telling her she was a ‘good girl’ and apologizing for what he’d done. The book sold over 1million copies and propelled her career

Sebold wrote in Lucky how she was attacked from behind by a man in the park in Syracuse when she was a college student in 1981. 

She describes over several pages in graphic detail how he raped her then let her go, telling her she was a ‘good girl’ and apologizing for what he’d done. The book sold more than 1million copies and propelled her career.

Sebold identified a different man as her rapist in a police lineup, but she was steered to Broadwater by the police department and prosecutors. 

They also used a form of hair analysis to convict Broadwater that would not have been relied on in today’s courts.

Sebold wrote in Lucky how she was attacked from behind by a man in the park in Syracuse when she was a college student in 1981

Sebold wrote in Lucky how she was attacked from behind by a man in the park in Syracuse when she was a college student in 1981

The private investigator hired by Mucciante has found a suspect he believes is the real rapist, and has given his research to the police, who would not say whether they reopened the case.  

Red Badge Films and Red Hawk Films are partnering on the documentary, which also highlights the role Mucciante played in exonerating the innocent man.

‘Unlucky tells the true story of Anthony Broadwater, a wrongfully convicted man, and Timothy Mucciante, a film producer who kick-starts the journey to clear his name,’ a press release said. ‘The story tells the tale of how Mucciante signs on as executive producer for the film adaption of the book Lucky, by Alice Sebold, but quickly notices serious red flags about Sebold’s story.’ 

Mucciante, tracked Broadwater down after being fired from the Netflix production.

He found him earlier this year, living in a derelict apartment in Syracuse, the town where the rape happened. 

Broadwater was stunned to learn that Sebold had sold over 1million copies of Lucky, and gone on to make millions of dollars through The Lovely Bones. 

He and his wife live in a small apartment in a building that last week was using tarp as windows to protect them from the cold.

‘He was pretty shocked. He is living, this is not an exaggeration, a very squalid existence,’ Mucciante told DailyMail.com last week. ‘Alice Sebold, based on Lucky and The Lovely Bones, is living in a very, very nice home in San Francisco.’ 

Broadwater has been living in this home in Syracuse, New York, since he was released from prison in 1998

Broadwater has been living in this home in Syracuse, New York, since he was released from prison in 1998

Sebold lives in this $6million mansion in San Francisco, center, which she bought in 2007, eight years after her memoir was published

Sebold lives in this $6million mansion in San Francisco, center, which she bought in 2007, eight years after her memoir was published 

Producers said the situation with the original film Lucky reached a tipping point when the director wanted to change the attacker’s race from black to white, despite the actual assailant being black.

‘With no opportunity to discuss the issue and a director threatening to quit, Mucciante was forced from the production and took matters into his own hands,’ the release said.

‘With questions about the book and the script, Mucciante hires a private investigator to quickly get to the bottom of the matter.’


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