Olivia Wilde has already addressed certain controversy surrounding Richard Jewell’s depiction of late Atlanta Journal-Constitution journalist Kathy Scruggs, expressing displeasure in the way her character has been “minimized” by critics to a single scene. The moment in question, per Deadline’s report of a complaint from the AJC, appears to insinuate that “Scruggs exchanging sex for a leading tip from an FBI agent played by Jon Hamm.” (There’s also been a notable lack of scrutiny towards Hamm or his character Tom Shaw, whose purported relationship with this particular reporter would have been pretty unethical. Color us surprised.) The AJC’s current editor, Kevin Riley, has now threatened to take legal action against the film and its director, Clint Eastwood. Yesterday, Wilde took to Twitter to clear up confusion surrounding her earlier remarks.
“Contrary to a swath of recent headlines, I do not believe that Kathy ‘traded sex for tips,’” Wilde clarified within the thread of tweets. “The perspective of the fictional dramatization of the story, as I understood it, was that Kathy, and the FBI agent who leaked false information to her, were in a pre-existing romantic relationship, not a transactional exchange of sex for information.” She also made sure to remind everyone that she was not responsible for the final edit of the film.
Richard Jewell is based on a the true story of a guard who was heralded for saving lives during the 1996 Atlanta Olympics bombing but, as the AJC originally reported, was soon after considered a suspect by the FBI. Both Jewell and Scruggs have since died.