Patricia Heaton is reportedly developing a new drama based on the Miami Herald articles that exposed billionaire Jeffrey Epstein as a paedophile.
Epstein was first convicted of procuring a girl below the age of 18 for prostitution in Florida in 2008, and was sentenced to 18 months in prison.
Herald investigative journalist Julie K. Brown pursued the story, and last November published three articles featuring the testimony of other alleged victims, claiming he was a serial abuser who had used his wealth and power to escape justice by gaining a lenient plea deal.
A source told Variety the Everybody Loves Raymond star is attached to produce a dramatic project based on the Perversion of Justice series of articles that exposed the full extent of the allegations against the financier.
Following Brown’s investigation, Epstein was arrested on sex trafficking charges last month, but was found dead in his cell at the Metropolitan Correctional Center (MCC) in New York City on Saturday.
Sources told the publication that Todd Hoffman, the chief executive of Storied Media Group, which represents the film and TV interests of the Herald’s parent company McClatchy, is also producing.
Insiders also said that Chris Gerolmo, best known for penning Gene Hackman and Willem Defoe’s Oscar-nominated 1988 crime thriller Mississippi Burning, will adapt the articles into a script. It is not known if the new project will be a film or TV series.
The Epstein case will also be the subject of a new Lifetime network documentary series titled Surviving Jeffrey Epstein.
U.S. Department of Justice officials have announced the investigation into the billionaire’s crimes will continue despite his death, and they will pursue any alleged co-conspirators. The case has drawn intense media scrutiny due to Epstein’s past connections to powerful figures including U.S. President Donald Trump, former U.S. President Bill Clinton, and British royal Prince Andrew.