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Image / Living / Culture

Ian Bailey now wants his interviews from the new Netflix documentary removed


by Sarah Finnan
30th Jun 2021

Netflix

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Netflix will not be removing Ian Bailey’s interviews from a new Sophie Toscan du Plantier documentary, despite continued requests from him to do so.

Brought to us by Oscar-winning producer Simon Chinn, Sophie: A Murder in West Cork premiered on Netflix just today. One of the most highly-anticipated titles to be added to the streaming giant’s online catalogue this year, the three-part series examines one of Ireland’s most infamous murders, delving into the nitty-gritty details surrounding Sophie Toscan du Plantier’s death at her Irish holiday home in 1996.

Coinciding with the 25th anniversary of Sophie’s death (which falls this December), the documentary includes exclusive contributions from members of her family including her son Pierre-Louis Baudey, her parents George and Marguerite Bouniol along with aunts, uncles, and cousins (one of whom serves as an associate producer on the series). 

Also featuring several interviews from Ian Bailey –  the prime suspect and the first reporter on the scene after Sophie’s death – it’s now emerged that he’s since asked for his participation to be completely axed from the documentary altogether.

Telling The Journal that he has written to Netflix on two separate occasions, Bailey has reportedly requested that his interviews be removed from the broadcast on account of it being a “one-sided telling of the story”. Claiming that he is “totally sympathetic to the French family” in one breath, but describing the series as “a piece of self-serving demonising propaganda” in the next, he accused Sophie’s family of buying into a “false narrative”. 

“I was aware right from the outset that there was a degree of light feckery going on with the Netflix project which has been made really at the family’s behest, with the family as part of production,” he said. 

Admitting that he’s had no response to his requests, Bailey has even threatened legal action against the streaming service – adding, “I haven’t had any replies and if they don’t, they don’t – then que-sera-sera. Maybe my team of solicitors and barristers that I have to call on and I’ll possibly refer it to them.”

Going on to say that “everybody’s lives down here have been really messed up by this dirty rotten stinking lie”, Bailey said that he’s “lost everything” he values. 

Responding to the situation, a Netflix spokesperson confirmed that there will be no changes to the documentary, stating that Bailey had given his written consent for the platform to use his interviews.

The second documentary about Sophie’s murder in just a matter of weeks, Bailey’s request comes just weeks after members of Sophie’s family asked similarly of Sky TV. Agreeing to partake in a five-part Jim Sheridan special that aired on the channel earlier this month, it’s believed that the family objected to their inclusion in the project as they feel it “aims to demonstrate the innocence of Ian Bailey” rather than find justice as they were initially told. 

Asking that both their interviews and the photos of the body at the scene of the crime be removed from the documentary, Sky TV agreed to the family’s requests out of respect for Sophie.

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