HBO’s Staircase: Sophie Brunet’s romance with Michael Peterson

Within the new HBO Max dramatic collection “The Staircase,” a French documentary movie crew arrives in Durham to chronicle the homicide trial of Michael Peterson, accused of killing his spouse, Kathleen, on a staircase of their house in December 2001.

The movie crew, embedded with Peterson and his authorized staff, ships digital tapes again to France, the place the footage is edited into an 8-part documentary collection additionally referred to as “The Staircase.” (It will ultimately develop to 13 components).

The editor of “The Staircase” documentary, Sophie Brunet, is formally launched to the HBO viewers in Episode 4: Widespread Sense.

Brunet, performed within the collection by Juliette Binoche, performs an important position in Peterson’s life — and now that the HBO collection has gone there, right here’s extra about her and her relationship with Michael Peterson.

Brunet and ‘The Staircase’

The Information & Observer first reported on Brunet in June 2018, when Netflix launched all 13 episodes of “The Staircase” documentary.

Brunet seems to have had a couple of romantic relationship with Peterson, starting by way of e mail correspondence someday after his 2003 conviction, persevering with after his launch in 2011, and ending in 2017, about three months after his Alford plea within the case.

The documentary director, Jean-Xavier de Lestrade, confirmed to a French information group in Might 2018 that Brunet fell in love with Peterson whereas engaged on the “Staircase” undertaking.

“This is likely one of the unbelievable issues that occurred throughout these 15 years. Life is admittedly filled with surprises. They’d an actual story, which lasted till Might 2017. However she by no means let her personal emotions have an effect on the course of modifying,” de Lestrade advised L’Specific.

Sophie Brunet, editor of “The Staircase” French documentary collection, speaks on the FIPA Pageant in 2018. YouTube

Brunet could be seen in a video posted to YouTube in February 2018 discussing “The Staircase.”

She will also be seen in Episode 10 of “The Staircase” documentary, which was filmed in 2011, when Peterson was launched from jail after being granted a brand new trial. She is seen as soon as in a courtroom scene, sitting with Peterson’s household, and briefly at a celebration the night time he was launched from jail.

What Michael Peterson says about his relationship with Brunet

Peterson advised The Information & Observer in 2019 that in his first letter from Brunet, she advised him that she knew he was harmless as a result of she knew him higher than anyone besides his household, as a result of she had watched lots of of hours of him on movie.

“I do know you’re harmless, it was a fantastic injustice,” Peterson remembers from Brunet’s letters.

Peterson mentioned Brunet started sending him books in jail and the 2 made plans to reside in Paris as soon as he was free.

And he did go to Paris after his launch, he says, however realized he couldn’t reside there.

“I don’t communicate French, I’m too previous, I couldn’t afford to reside in Paris, and my kids and grandchildren reside in America,” Peterson says within the video.

Peterson mentioned he spent three days with Brunet in Paris and Normandy, and Brunet advised him if he couldn’t “commit to like with me on a regular basis, let’s finish it.”

Peterson: “It was a fantastic blow to each of us, for which I really feel not guilt, however sorrow. I couldn’t give her what she actually wanted and deserved, and that may be a full-time accomplice residing along with her in Paris. And she or he mentioned to me, ‘So that you’re going to be content material simply being an previous grandfather?’ However I didn’t say to her, ‘, yeah, that works tremendous for me.’”

Juliette Binoche as Sophie Brunet, from the trailer for “The Staircase” on HBO Max. HBO Max display screen seize

Extra about Sophie Brunet

Brunet continues to work as a movie editor, together with two latest initiatives with “Staircase” director Jean-Xavier de Lestrade: The HBO authentic drama “Laetitia” and the miniseries “The Inside Recreation.”

She can be an editor on the acclaimed French movie “Blue is the Warmest Color” and on the true-crime documentary “Darkish Secrets and techniques of a Trillion Greenback Island: Garenne.”

Extra on HBO’s ‘The Staircase’

For full protection of HBO Max’s “The Staircase” and different background on the dying of Kathleen Peterson and the homicide trial of Michael Peterson, go to: newsobserver.com/subjects/staircase

Comply with extra of our reporting on Staircase: Kathleen Peterson’s dying and Michael Peterson’s homicide trial

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Brooke Cain is a North Carolina native who has labored at The Information & Observer for greater than 25 years. She is the service journalism editor and writes about TV and native media for The N&O’s Happiness is a Heat TV weblog.

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