Netflix acquires rights to Cyntoia Brown documentary

Netflix has acquired the rights to the Cyntoia Brown story, the company announced on Monday.

Netflix has acquired the rights to the Cyntoia Brown story, the company announced on Monday.

The feature will draw from Me Facing Life: Cyntoia’s Story, the Daniel H. Birman documentary, and Birman will serve as director of the Netflix film, according to Rolling Out.

Brown was 16 years old when she was arrested and charged with murdering Johnny Michael Allen, a 43-year-old man who paid Brown to have sex with her. Brown was tried as an adult and sentenced to life in prison in 2004 – a sentence that was commuted earlier this year. Brown is expected to be released from prison next month.

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During trial, Brown testified that after Allen purchased her for sex, she began to fear him because of his erratic behavior. She said she robbed him because she also feared having to return empty-handed to her pimp, whom she called “Cut Throat.”

Netflix has had a run of socially conscious films, most recently Ava Duvernay’s “When They See Us,” which told the story of the five wrongfully convicted children in the Central Park Five case.

Before Brown’s sentence was commuted, she faced spending another 36 years behind bars before becoming eligible for parole. She has already served 15 years.

Her case made national news and prompted pleas from several celebrities, most notably Rihanna, Kim Kardashian West and Ashley Judd before a clemency hearing. In January, Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam granted Brown clemency.

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In 2017, Kardashian-West tweeted: “The system has failed. It’s heart breaking to see a young girl sex trafficked then when she has the courage to fight back is jailed for life! We have to do better & do what’s right. I’ve called my attorneys yesterday to see what can be done to fix this. #FreeCyntoiaBrown

The Netflix feature will provide detail into Cyntoia’s life in prison. The documentary will follow Cyntoia until her scheduled August 2019 release, according to Rolling Out.