Newspaper demands accuracy disclaimer be added to Richard Jewell over reporter's portrayal

Paul Walter Hauser stars as the title character in

An Atlanta newspaper has demanded that the studio behind Clint Eastwood's new movie "Richard Jewell" issue a statement saying they used dramatic license when portraying a reporter sleeping with a source to break a story, a report said Monday.

The film, directed by Clint Eastwood and now playing in select theaters before opening wide on Friday, tells the true story of Jewell, a security guard who helped prevent the bombing from becoming a greater tragedy, but whose personal life suffered after he was briefly treated as a suspect in the case.

In case you're unfamiliar with Richard Jewell, it's a biographical drama chronicling the Centennial Olympic Park bombing during the 1996 Summer Olympics, and how the eponymous security guard, played by Paul Walter Hauser, found the bomb and altered the authorities so that the area could be evacuated, but was later suspected of having planted the bomb himself.

Scruggs, who is played by Olivia Wilde in the film, told the story that the FBI was investigating Jewell in connection with the explosion. The movie strongly implies that Scruggs had sex with an Federal Bureau of Investigation agent in exchange for information about Jewell being a suspect.

Journal-Constitution editor Kevin G. Riley told Variety: "I think this letter makes it clear how seriously we take the misrepresentation of our reporters' actions and of the actions of the newspaper during that time".

"The film is based on a wide range of highly credible source material".

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"The AJC's claims are baseless and we will vigorously defend against them", the studio said in a statement. There is no disputing that Richard Jewell was an innocent man whose reputation and life were shredded by a miscarriage of justice.

Director Clint Eastwood attending the November 20, 2019 premiere of his film "Richard Jewell" in Hollywood, California.

In a letter released by Hollywood attorney Martin Singer, who is representing the Cox Enterprises-owned newspaper, he says that in addition to inaccurately characterizing Scruggs' behavior, the film also misrepresents the role that the AJC played in exonerating Jewell.

Friends and colleagues of Scruggs claim the film's portrayal of her is not accurate, though Warner Bros. claims the film already has a disclaimer which reads, 'The film is based on actual historical events. It provides, "Dialogue and sure occasions and characters contained within the movie had been created for the needs of dramatization". I have nothing but respect for Kathy Scruggs, she's no longer with us, so I feel a certain amount of responsibility to protect her legacy and tell people: 'Back off. To this point, the letter notes that Brenner - who wrote the 1997 Vanity Fair article on which the movie is based - repeatedly noted in her original story the various instances when Scruggs' information was properly vetted.

Ever since Richard Jewell premiered at the AFI Festival late last month, the AJC's Riley has been insisting in public statements and past letters that the movie has pivotal facts incorrect.

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