Jim Sheridan gave Ian Bailey camera to film himself for new documentary but instead captured Bailey’s heavy drinking
- 7:30, 23 Jun 2021
DIRECTOR Jim Sheridan gave Ian Bailey a camera to film himself, with Sophie Toscan du Plantier’s family hoping he would confess — but it instead captured Bailey drinking heavily.
The extended filming captured Bailey’s boozing and the self-confessed chief suspect in the murder of French woman Sophie was regularly seen under the influence with his bins full of empty bottles.
Speaking about the footage, Bailey — who has always denied killing the French woman — told us: “No, it probably wasn’t a good thing to do. But look, it’s done and dusted . . . what’s done is done.”
The former journalist claimed the pressure of the French court case, at which he was convicted in his absence, and the possibility of being extradited to France to serve a 25-year prison sentence, fuelled his alchohol consumption.
He said: “I am a human being at the end of the day, and I’ve been subjected to inhuman, absolutely inhuman torture. something has got to give somewhere.”
Over months of self-filming, amounting to nearly fifty hours of recording, the most gruesome content caught on tape was a DIY tooth extraction using a pliers.
He told the Irish Sun: “The project (Murder At The Cottage) replaced my old Nokia Phone with a new Huawei phone, on the basis that I would film myself.
“This went on over such a long amount of time, it ended up with maybe thirty to fifty hours of footage, all of which I gave them. That included me extracting one of my own teeth in a very painful self-administered dental procedure.”
Sophie Toscan du Plantier was brutally killed at her West Cork holiday home on December 23, 1996.
And Oscar-nominated director Jim has revealed that the family of the murdered woman, who he interviewed, had been hopeful that over prolonged filming, the chief suspect might own up to the murder.
Sheridan said: “At one point the family may have believed we could get a confession from Ian Bailey. I tried my best.
“I gave him a camera to film himself, and he must have filmed himself for hours and hours . . . he never confessed. I would have given it to the family if he had confessed.”
Bailey has always denied any involvement in the murder of Du Plantier.
And while Sophie’s family had initially hoped Jim would get a confession from Bailey, and consented to be interviewed, they later asked for the removal of family interviews from the Sky series.
The family were reported to have told Sky they could not subscribe to any view that Mr Bailey and ex partner Jules Thomas were the victims of “a vast police plot”, particularly after what emerged in a number of civil and criminal trials related to the case.
Asked to comment on the family’s request to withdraw their interviews from Sheridan’s documentary, Bailey told us: “It’s interesting that anyone who even suggests that I have nothing to do with it immediately incurs a response from the French, they won’t hear of it”
Sophie’s family are interviewed extensively in forthcoming rival doc, Sophie: A Murder in West Cork, which airs on Netflix on June 30.
It’s a production Bailey described to the Irish Sun as a “slanted biased demonising piece of propaganda”.
He believes there was a far more commercial focus in the making of the Netflix series. 50€