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Monday 4 December 2023 Dublin: 5°C
PA Ian Bailey has asked Netflix to remove his interviews.
Ian Bailey

Netflix won't delete Ian Bailey interviews from Sophie Toscan du Plantier documentary

The latest documentary, Sophie: A Murder in West Cork, will be available from today on Netflix.

NETFLIX has confirmed that it will not delete Ian Bailey interviews from its new documentary on the murder of Sophie Toscan du Plantier.

Bailey told The Journal that he has written twice to Netflix and has requested that the interviews be removed from their broadcast.

The three-part documentary is set to stream from this morning on the platform.

Du Plantier was a French television and film producer who was beaten to death outside her holiday home near Schull, west Cork, in 1996.

Sophie: A Murder In West Cork was filmed in Ireland and France and features interviews with residents of Schull, members of the press and Sophie’s family including her son, Pierre-Louis Baudey.

ian-bailey-court-case PA Pierre-Louis Baudey-Vignaud will appear in the documentary. PA

It is the second documentary in recent weeks on the unsolved murder. Irish filmmaker Jim Sheridan has also released, on Sky television, his five-part examination of the case Murder at the Cottage: The search for justice for Sophie.

Speaking to The Journal yesterday Ian Bailey said that he had requested the removal of his interviews as he believed that the Netflix documentary was a one-sided telling of the story.

He said that he is “totally sympathetic to the French family” but claimed they bought into a “false narrative”.

“I was aware right from the outset that there was a degree of light feckery going on with the Netflix project which has been made really at the family’s behest, with the family as part of production.

“I always suspected. I was hoping I might be wrong, but I suspected that it would be a piece of self-serving unobjective demonising propaganda.

“And I’ve seen bits and pieces of it and I’ve had reports of the programme, and all I’ve been told about it, and unfortunately I’m right it will be a piece of self-serving demonising propaganda,” he said.

Netflix has said that “the series will bring together, for the first time, the views of her [Sophie's] family with Ian Bailey, the man at the centre of the investigation”.

Image from iOS Courant / YouTube Sophie Toscan du Plantier who was found murdered near Schull, west Cork on December 23, 1996. Courant / YouTube / YouTube

Bailey said he had no response to his letters to Netflix.

“I haven’t had any replies and if they don’t, they don’t – then que-sera-sera. Maybe my team of solicitors and barristers that I have to call on and I’ll possibly refer it to them.

“And in the meantime, everybody’s lives down here have been really messed up by this dirty rotten stinking lie that was perpetuated from day one that I had something to do with it, it’s affected so many people in [sic] so many victims at different levels, Jules (Thomas his former partner), the victim’s family, myself, Maria Farrell (a State witness who claimed gardaí forced her to identify Bailey), the community,” he said.

Bailey said he had watched Sheridan’s Sky television documentary but that it had upset him so much that he could not bear to watch the rest of the series.

“Well, I watched episodes one and two. It made me cry. It really upset me. I found it so sad for the victim, for Jules, for myself, and they made me cry and I’m not watching anymore,” he added.

The former journalist, who in recent years studied law in University College Cork, said the documentaries had added to his stress levels and said that his relationship with Jules Thomas had dissolved.

“The combination of this is I’ve lost everything that I held the value of. I lost my career. I’ve lost 25 years of legitimate expectation.

“And now, Jules has decided our journey together has ended. She wants me out of her place and it is her place.

“I’m making moves, I’m trying to find a place but it’s very difficult.

“And I am dealing with all this proverbial while, while all of this other stuff’s going on to do with Netflix and things. Nobody would want to be in my shoes or sandals I can tell you, I can tell you that,” he added.

Bailey, originally from Britain, was arrested by gardaí and questioned in relation to the murder but he was never charged. He was convicted by a French court in his absence following a campaign by Sophie’s family.

The Irish High Court has refused to allow his extradition to France.

A spokesperson for Netflix said there will be no changes to its documentary and that Bailey had signed a form giving it permission to use his interviews.

In an interview with the Irish Times, director of the series John Dower said that he wanted to avoid cliché when telling Sophie’s story.

“We are making this film with the family, we are not making it for the family, they have no editorial control over it but we were making it with their point of view in mind and that becomes clear particularly in the final episode,” he said.