Sophie Toscan Du Plantier podcasters sue Netflix as ‘cold case’ murder review begins

The Netflix documentary Sophie: A Murder in West Cork drew complaint from Ian Bailey after its launch in June of last year
Sam Bungey and Jennifer Forde

Sam Bungey and Jennifer Forde

Patrick O'ConnellSunday World

The producers of a hit podcast on the Sophie Toscan Du Plantier murder are suing Netflix – the streaming service that also produced a documentary on the murder.

Sam Bungey and Jennifer Forde issued High Court proceedings on June 23 against Netflix Worldwide Entertainment and Lightbox Media – the company behind the Sophie: A Murder in West Cork series.

Court documents show that Bungey and Forde – whose West Cork podcast was described as the definitive non-fiction podcast about the murder of Sophie Toscan du Plantier – are represented in the case by solicitors Johnsons of Harbourmaster Place in Dublin.

Johnsons Solicitors is a long-established firm founded in 1898 with a strong reputation for dispute resolution, media and defamation.

Contacted this week, Sam Bungey refused to be drawn on the grounds he and Forde are alleging in their civil suit.

His response to our queries was: “No comment. We can’t comment at all at this time.”

The Netflix documentary on Sophie drew complaint from Ian Bailey after its launch in June of last year.

Bailey – who co-operated with Jim Sheridan’s unrelated documentary Murder At The Cottage – described the Netflix documentary on Newstalk as a “a piece of self-serving, demonising propaganda”.

News of the looming court battle comes as gardai this week announced the Garda Serious Crime Review Team “will now conduct a full review of this case”.

Ian Bailey was convicted of the murder in his absence by a court in Paris in May 2019.

The three-judge court imposed a 25-year sentence. He had no legal representation for the case, did not attend the court and described it at the time as a “farce”.

He has always denied any involvement in Ms du Plantier’s death.

And, speaking this week, he welcomed the decision to carry out a full review of the case.

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