EXCLUSIVE: Talos Movies, the production company behind the series including HBO Torn up and Discovery + Methamphetamine Queen, is to explore the University of Liberty sexual assault scandal in new unscripted series.
The company has signed an exclusive deal with the women at the center of the case and the series will document their fight for justice in The Liberty University Project (w / t).
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Liberty University, founded by Southern Baptist preacher Jerry Falwell Jr., has been at the center of numerous cases of alleged sexual assault over the past two decades, where the university has taken no meaningful action against the alleged perpetrators and has sought to dismiss victims’ claims.
It comes after ProPublica reported that students were discouraged from reporting sexual assault, with some reporting rapes saying they could be punished. Senators Tim Kaine and Mark Warner have called for an investigation.
The producer has partnered with Tom arnold, who narrated the story of the third season of the podcast series Gangster capitalism, which told the story of the rise and fall of Falwell Jr.
Falwell Jr. resigned from college after it emerged that he regularly watched his wife have sex with another man – a man he had invested in a hotel program.
Twenty-two former students have come together in a court case holding the university accountable for its inaction and pushing for a fundamental change in the culture and institutional policies that allowed this alleged abuse to occur. In their lawsuit, the women claim Liberty University put them at risk in part because its code of conduct emphasizes sexual purity. They argue that the educational institution’s rules on sexual behavior created a culture that fostered sexual violence and even punished women for reporting it.
The Liberty University Project (w / t) will follow the legal record of women and explore the darker side of the influence and power wielded by the University.
The series will be produced by Arnold and Talos Films co-founders Elli Hakami and Julian P. Hobbs.
Chelsea Andrews, who was originally known as “Jane Doe 7” in the lawsuit, said: “When I was on the Liberty University campus, I was the star student activist and president from the 3-term class. In my senior year I was raped. The safety of the victimized students at Liberty University has been my number one concern as I show up now – from writing a petition to “Advocate General in May to be part of the first cohort of the trial. This documentary will ensure that my assault and this moment of justice is not covered up.”
Heather Wendel, ‘Jane Doe 13’ in the lawsuit, said: “It has been 12 years since I started my journey from burning to ashes to find inner peace. The culture of purity requires that you remain “untouched”; once gone, you have no value. I finally have my voice and know my worth as a woman – but these things were stolen from me by my abusers, and then again by those entrusted with my safety. I’m making this documentary to start a transformation on every college campus, across the country, so that the kids who come after me don’t suffer or struggle like I did, and still do. I am doing this to help create a better, more secure future that empowers people.
Talos Films’ Elli Hakami added, “Talos is honored to document this group of brave women who have gone public despite the trauma they have suffered, as they not only fight for justice for themselves, but also attempt to force Liberty University to change its policies and ensure that no other woman is subjected to similar abuse and cover-ups. “
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