Director Jim Sheridan says his Sophie Toscan du Plantier documentary ‘in no way shows Ian Bailey in rosy light’
- 20:52, 15 Jul 2021
- Updated: 20:58, 15 Jul 2021
IRISH director Jim Sheridan has said that his Sophie Toscan du Plantier documentary “in no way shows Ian Bailey in a rosy light” after her family pulled their interview.
Jim directed the Sky documentary called Murder at the Cottage: The Search for Justice for Sophie which took a look at Sophie’s murder.
The French woman was beaten to death when she was 39 at her holiday home near Schull in West Cork.
No one has been found guilty of her murder in Ireland but journalist Ian Bailey, who has strongly denied any involvement in her death and has strongly protested his innocence, was found guilty in France two years ago at a trial in his absence and where he was not legally represented.
Murder at the Cottage: The Search for Justice for Sophie contained interviews from Sophie’s family as well as Ian Bailey.
Jim spoke about his documentary with Ray D’Arcy on RTE Radio One today and he explained that the five-part series didn’t shine a positive light on Ian.
Speaking on the show the director said: “Our documentary in no way shows Ian Bailey in a rosy light. In fact, our documentary bends over backwards to be fair.
“We had to abide by right of reply, we had to abide by legal opinion, there were so many constraints in what we could say that it was as of the middle of the road as you could go.
“Even if Ian Bailey did it you have to let it go and you have to put a potential other face on the murderer so that you can investigate it.”
Jim went on to say that he couldn’t comment on why Sophie’s family wanted their interviews to be taken out of the documentary and that he thought their grief had been “abused”.
He said: “The reasons for the french family taking out the contribution, which was quite minor, I can only leave up to them.
“I can’t really comment on it because the last thing I would want to do is damage a hair on their head.
“They’ve suffered enough and they probably had their grief abused.”
Ray asked Jim whether he had abused their grief and Jim responded saying: “Maybe, but not in a way for real financial gain.
“It’s necessary at certain points in the pursuit of justice for Sophie, you cannot just enter that arena, you can’t just go in blind and thrash around and make mad comments and mad opinions you have to be very careful.
“So if I prayed I would pray that the truth prevails and it doesn’t damage the family.”
Ray also asked the filmmaker whether Ian had been paid to partake in the series and Jim explained that he wasn’t.
He explained: “No he didn’t.
“In the initial stages before he was tried in France we might have paid him a couple hundred here and there for legitimate expenses for his car and whatever.
“But once that murder verdict came out he was not somebody you could pay just under European law and especially trying to make a broadcast of it.”