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A true-crime podcast examining the life and times of Ghislaine Maxwell is being adapted for TV.
The rights to Hunting Ghislaine, from Brit radio station LBC and radio and outdoor media giant Global, has been picked by Sony Pictures Television-backed Eleventh Hour Films, with plans to turn it into a limited scripted series.
Launched in November 2020 and written and presented by award-winning investigative journalist and author John Sweeney (BBC’s Panorama, The Observer), the six-part podcast was co-commissioned by Global and The Story Lab, part of dentsu. It tells the story of Maxwell, the daughter of disgraced billionaire media tycoon Robert Maxwell and former partner of notorious convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein.
As Epstein’s girlfriend, his alleged pimp and partner in a series of sex crimes Ghislaine has remained in the shadows. When Epstein’s life began to unravel, Ghislaine vanished, only to reappear when she was arrested by the FBI last year. She denies six charges of enticing girls for sex with Epstein and perjury.
The podcast draws testimonies from those that knew Ghislaine and her father, alongside a host of experts and fellow journalists, with Sweeney delving into Ghislaine’s past and her role in the Epstein scandal in a bid to understand the real individual.
“John’s compelling podcast Hunting Ghislaine puts Ghislaine Maxwell centre stage, unravels her story and asks what went wrong for the girl who seemingly had it all,” says Paula Cuddy, creative director and executive producer for Eleventh Hour Films. “Set in a richly glittering international world, dark secrets are revealed and always in the shadows looms the formative relationship between a daughter and her father. It has all the hallmarks of a premium drama — and with John alongside our partners at Global and The Story Lab we look forward to delivering.”
Added Sweeney: “The grim shadow Robert Maxwell cast over people, above all his favourite child, Ghislaine, has long fascinated me. It was a privilege to be able to tell that story to listeners for Global and The Story Lab, working with Chalk & Blade. I could not be more thrilled that a company with the profile, expertise and stellar slate of Eleventh Hour Films now want to make a TV series based on our podcast.”
Paula Cuddy, Eve Gutierrez and Jill Green will executive produce for EHF alongside Chris Baughen for Global and Robbie Ashcroft for The Story Lab. John Sweeney will act as series consultant and executive producer.
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