Back to West Cork, and the Tragic Murder, that wont go Away?

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Ian Bailey threatens to sue Netflix ahead of new du Plantier series

 29th July 2021


Murder suspect Ian Bailey has issued a legal threat to Netflix over interviews he participated in for its upcoming documentary series into the death of Sophie Toscan du Plantier.Ian Bailey, Death of Sophie Toscan du Plantier, Ian Bailey are posing for a picture© Provided by Extra.ie

The series Sophie: A Murder In West Cork will broadcast on the streaming service from this Wednesday. It was made by Lightbox which is headquartered in London and Los Angeles.

It is the second documentary series in as many weeks about Ms Toscan du Plantier’s death following Irish director Jim Sheridan’s Murder At The Cottage which was recently made available on Sky.Murder suspect Ian Bailey has issued a legal threat to Netflix over interviews he participated in for its upcoming documentary series into the death of Sophie Toscan du Plantier. Pic: Sophie: A Murder in West Cork/Netflix© Provided by Extra.ie Murder suspect Ian Bailey has issued a legal threat to Netflix over interviews he participated in for its upcoming documentary series into the death of Sophie Toscan du Plantier. Pic: Sophie: A Murder in West Cork/Netflix

In a letter to the production company, Ian Bailey objects to his inclusion of an interview that was conducted by Jennifer Forde on behalf of Lightbox for the series in May 2018.

He said: ‘The idea of the interview was “sold” to me by Ms Forde as a “teaser” for a Lightbox idea for a Netflix Production.

‘I explained at the time I was contractually bound to a Mr Jim Sheridan and his production Hellykits Ltd.’a close up of a person: Sophie: A Murder In West Cork is the second documentary series in as many weeks about Ms Toscan du Plantier’s death. Pic: Sophie: A Murder in West Cork/Netflix© Provided by Extra.ie Sophie: A Murder In West Cork is the second documentary series in as many weeks about Ms Toscan du Plantier’s death. Pic: Sophie: A Murder in West Cork/Netflix

Mr Bailey explains that he signed a release form but ‘only on the basis the footage be used for a tease production’.

‘At no time did I agree to it being used in a finished documentary.’

Mr Bailey also said that his former partner Jules Thomas did not sign the required release form to use her property to film the interview.a close up of a book: In a letter to the production company, Ian Bailey objects to his inclusion of an interview that was conducted by Jennifer Forde on behalf of Lightbox for the series in May 2018. Pic: Sophie: A Murder in West Cork/Netflix© Provided by Extra.ie In a letter to the production company, Ian Bailey objects to his inclusion of an interview that was conducted by Jennifer Forde on behalf of Lightbox for the series in May 2018. Pic: Sophie: A Murder in West Cork/Netflix

‘Subsequent to filming I wrote and emailed to Lightbox at Amwell Street, London making the point there was no permission from the property owner where the interview was conducted.

‘I did not receive a reply therefore I required footage of that interview to be withdrawn from the documentary.

‘You will clearly be aware of the potential consequence of a failure to do what I ask.’a person sitting on the side of a dirt road: The series Sophie: A Murder In West Cork will broadcast on the streaming service from this Wednesday Pic: Sophie: A Murder in West Cork/Netflix© Provided by Extra.ie The series Sophie: A Murder In West Cork will broadcast on the streaming service from this Wednesday Pic: Sophie: A Murder in West Cork/Netflix

In response to Mr Bailey’s letter, the production company said: ‘Lightbox’s legal team is satisfied that they have the relevant rights to use Ian Bailey’s interview in the series as he signed a comprehensive release form.’

The three-part series will examine the death of the French documentary producer Ms Toscan du Plantier in West Cork on December 23, 1996.

Mr Bailey has remained a suspect in relation to Ms Toscan du Plantier death for decades.Ian Bailey wearing glasses and looking at the camera: Ian Bailey has remained a suspect in relation to Ms Toscan du Plantier death for decades. Pic: Sophie: A Murder in West Cork/Netflix© Provided by Extra.ie Ian Bailey has remained a suspect in relation to Ms Toscan du Plantier death for decades. Pic: Sophie: A Murder in West Cork/Netflix

In 2019, he was convicted in his absence by a French court, however, repeated attempts by French authorities to extradite him have failed.

Last year, the Irish High Court decided that Mr Bailey could not be surrendered to France to serve out his sentence.

Members of Ms Toscan du Plantier’s family were interviewed for the series including her son Pierre-Louis Baudey, parents George and Marguerite Bouniol, uncle, Jean Pierre Gazeau and aunt Marie Madeleine Opalka.a close up of a man and a woman smiling for the camera: Members of Ms Toscan du Plantier’s family were interviewed for the series including her son Pierre-Louis Baudey. Pic: Sophie: A Murder in West Cork/Netflix© Provided by Extra.ie Members of Ms Toscan du Plantier’s family were interviewed for the series including her son Pierre-Louis Baudey. Pic: Sophie: A Murder in West Cork/Netflix

It was directed by Bafta nominee John Dower.

Last week, Garda Commissioner Drew Harris wrote to Mr Bailey to confirm he is seeking an update on the investigation into Ms Toscan du Plantier’s murder.

The Commissioner is to revert to Mr Bailey shortly, after he has considered the evidence in the case, and considered his claim that Gardaí botched the investigation.

Mr Bailey recently wrote to Commissioner Harris twice calling for a fresh Garda investigation.

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