Smart: Privacy Versus Publicity; Media And Money
Elizabeth Smart's family may get $500,000
for a book deal about her kidnapping
by John Edward Gill
Money for a book about Elizabeth Smart's kidnapping ordeal could be as high as $500,000.
And the Smarts also are working with CBS on a made-for-TV movie, The Elizabeth Smart Story, scheduled to air in November, 2003, during the network sweeps period.
"No word on how much money the film project will net the family," wrote Holly Mullen recently in The Salt Lake Tribune. She attributed the book money to the Associated Press.
Mullen felt this new media attention, and others, could exploit Elizabeth Smart, the 15-year-old girl abducted from her home on June 5, 2002, and found on March 12, 2003, with her alleged abductors in Salt Lake City, Utah.
"She will not be protected from exposure to the book or movie," Mulled wrote. "No way Elizabeth will escape the spotlight. It feels like exploitation."
Bringing Elizabeth Home: A Journey Of Faith And Hope, the book written by her parents, Ed and Lois Smart, was expected to be released for sale from bookstores in the end of October, 2003. And another book, by Elizabeth's uncles David and Tom, is expected to be completed by the end of the year.
Both CBS and NBC already have aired special programs on the teenager's ordeal. CBS aired Elizabeth Smart: America's Girl on October 18 this year, while NBC's "Today Show" aired a one-hour program, A Katie Couric Special: Bringing Elizabeth Home at about the same time.
In another Tribune article, Vince Horiuchi noted that NBC spokeswoman Caryn Mautner said, "Elizabeth felt comfortable to talk to Katie and Katie was mindful of what she (Elizabeth) had been through...."
"Smart family members keep emphasizing this will be their story, not Elizabeth's," Mullen wrote, referring to those books by her parents and uncles.
But she disagreed. "Everything about those tense and tragic nine months was Elizabeth's story. The way they tell it--through their own filter--is only a literary device. Any way they slice it, it feels like exploitation," Mullen repeated.
Smart's alleged abductors, Brian David Mitchell, 49, and his wife Wanda Barzee, 57, two homeless religious zealots, are awaiting trial.
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