Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Sacha Baron Cohen Reportedly Returning To Write, Produce, Star In & Direct The Freddie Mercury Biopic Sacha Baron Cohen Reportedly Returning To Write, Produce, Star In & Direct The Freddie Mercury Biopic Watch: James Bond Is Back In First Trailer For 'Spectre' Starring Daniel Craig, Lea Seydoux, Dave Bautista, & More Watch: James Bond Is Back In First Trailer For 'Spectre' Starring Daniel Craig, Lea Seydoux, Dave Bautista, & More Terrence Malick's Next Film With Ryan Gosling, Rooney Mara & Michael Fassbender Reportedly Gets Titled Terrence Malick's Next Film With Ryan Gosling, Rooney Mara & Michael Fassbender Reportedly Gets Titled Watch: Jake Gyllenhaal Gets Bloody And Bruised In First Trailer For Boxing Drama 'Southpaw' Watch: Jake Gyllenhaal Gets Bloody And Bruised In First Trailer For Boxing Drama 'Southpaw' New Infographic Lays Out Canonical 'Star Wars' Timeline With Films, TV And Books New Infographic Lays Out Canonical 'Star Wars' Timeline With Films, TV And Books First Official Image: Jesse Eisenberg As Lex Luthor In 'Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice' First Official Image: Jesse Eisenberg As Lex Luthor In 'Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice' Watch: First Trailer For Arnold Schwarzenegger's Zombie Pic 'Maggie' With Abigail Breslin Watch: First Trailer For Arnold Schwarzenegger's Zombie Pic 'Maggie' With Abigail Breslin Idris Elba Replaces Jamie Foxx In Harmony Korine's 'The Trap,' Al Pacino, Robert Pattinson, James Franco Also Join Idris Elba Replaces Jamie Foxx In Harmony Korine's 'The Trap,' Al Pacino, Robert Pattinson, James Franco Also Join Watch: Explore The Loneliness Of Sofia Coppola's Films With This Supercut Watch: Explore The Loneliness Of Sofia Coppola's Films With This Supercut 10 Terrible Films Starring Great Actors 10 Terrible Films Starring Great Actors Watch: Tom Hanks Acts Out His Filmography In 7-Minutes On 'The Late Late Show' Watch: Tom Hanks Acts Out His Filmography In 7-Minutes On 'The Late Late Show' Watch: Trailer For 'Fifty Shades Of Grey' Unrated Blu-Ray Edition, Will Also Feature An Alternate Ending Watch: Trailer For 'Fifty Shades Of Grey' Unrated Blu-Ray Edition, Will Also Feature An Alternate Ending New Directors/New Films Review: Jia Zhang-ke Produced 'K' Is A New Take On Franz Kafka's 'The Castle' New Directors/New Films Review: Jia Zhang-ke Produced 'K' Is A New Take On Franz Kafka's 'The Castle' The 25 Best Animated Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Animated Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Films Of 2015 We've Already Seen The 25 Best Films Of 2015 We've Already Seen Best Of 2014: The 15 Best Movie Soundtracks Of 2014 Best Of 2014: The 15 Best Movie Soundtracks Of 2014 The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season From Worst To Best: Ranking The Films Of Hayao Miyazaki From Worst To Best: Ranking The Films Of Hayao Miyazaki All The Songs In 'Pitch Perfect' Including La Roux, David Guetta, Azealia Banks, Nicki Minaj & More All The Songs In 'Pitch Perfect' Including La Roux, David Guetta, Azealia Banks, Nicki Minaj & More

When Subject Becomes Plaintiff: Joyce McKinney Sues Errol Morris Over ‘Tabloid’

Photo of Drew Taylor By Drew Taylor | The Playlist November 4, 2011 at 1:06PM

Well, she’s been threatening it for months now (but with her, how do you know what she’ll actually do?), but it’s actually come to pass: Joyce McKinney, the subject of Errol Morris’ outstandingly odd “Tabloid,” is suing the director for, among many other things, “likeness, defamation, misrepresentation, fraud, intentional infliction of emotional distress and breach of contract.” “Tabloid” is the story of McKinney’s life, specifically an incident in 1977 when she flew to England to retrieve her boyfriend, who was on missionary work for the Mormon church and who claimed, later, that he had been kidnapped and raped by McKinney. The story became a sensation in England, where it was dubbed the “Manacle Mormon” story or, more luridly, the “Sex in Chains” scandal (McKinney reportedly restrained her boyfriend).
0

Well, she’s been threatening it for months now (but with her, how do you know what she’ll actually do?), but it’s actually come to pass: Joyce McKinney, the subject of Errol Morrisoutstandingly oddTabloid,” is suing the director for, among many other things, “likeness, defamation, misrepresentation, fraud, intentional infliction of emotional distress and breach of contract.” “Tabloid” is the story of McKinney’s life, specifically an incident in 1977 when she flew to England to retrieve her boyfriend, who was on missionary work for the Mormon church and who claimed, later, that he had been kidnapped and raped by McKinney. The story became a sensation in England, where it was dubbed the “Manacle Mormon” story or, more luridly, the “Sex in Chains” scandal (McKinney reportedly restrained her boyfriend).

While the film does make McKinney out to be something of a loon, she’s given virtually the entire film’s running time to tell her side of the story (and from what we understand, some of the really outrageous stuff, things that would make her look really bad, was left on the cutting room floor), with the movie giving a “Rashomon”-like view of the case with several other interviewees who were involved. McKinney claims that she was initially approached to be involved in a Showtime series that would “clear her name” in connection with the scandal, and while the movie was initially thought of for a larger piece, we can’t imagine Morris making a claim like that at the start of an interview.

McKinney is also claiming that two people working for Morris (Ajae Clearway and Mark Lipson) stole personal items and other material that was used for the movie, and, more bizarrely, alleges that Lipson promised to save one of McKinney’s service dogs that was set to be put to sleep at a pound, but then did nothing, taunting her about the dog’s death after it happened. Jesus.

What’s really interesting is the suit describes an event last year that we actually attended. During last year’s screening of “Tabloid” at the NYC DOC film festival, we would hear periodic catcalls from the audience – things like “Liar!” and “Untrue!” After the movie, during the Q&A with Morris, McKinney stood up, to rapturous applause, and began to make her way down to the stage, with (presumably) one of the cloned dogs from the documentary. When she got to the stage, she was initially met warmly, and hugged Morris. Then things got ugly: McKinney started spouting conspiratorial nonsense about the dangers of the Mormon church and how Morris had unfairly portrayed her. It was amazing how quickly the crowd turned on her, and how Morris let her say her piece, even as she became more agitated (and her cloned dog peed on the stage).

The suit claims that she flew to the screening to see the film for the fist time and afterwards became “distressed” at “having been deceived.” She's also as recently as July, been attending screenings with Morris. McKinney is seeking unspecified compensatory punitive and other damages as well as civil penalties, attorneys’ fees, and court costs. “Tabloid” was just released this week on DVD. Make of that what you will. [Deadline]

This article is related to: Errol Morris, Tabloid


The Playlist

The obsessives' guide to contemporary cinema via film discussion, news, reviews, features, nostalgia, movie music, soundtracks, DVDs and more.


Check out Indiewire on LockerDome on LockerDome

E-Mail Updates