Family of Jean Charles de Menezes accuse Disney of ‘breaking promises’ and slam drama recreating his death in 7/7 aftermath as being ‘just for ratings’
The family of Jean Charles de Menezes have slammed Disney over breaking promises to them over the recreation of their son’s tragic shooting by Met Police officers at Stockwell tube in the aftermath of the 7/7 terror attacks.
The Brazilian’s parents Maria and Matozinhos Otoni da Silva say they have heard nothing from the producers following a brief phone call a year ago when they were told they could have input on the reconstruction as consultants.
Instead, the elderly couple say this promise has not been followed up, they have had no opportunity to give their view on how their son’s killing is depicted.
And they are consequently concerned that the show – which has already caused outrage for its recreation of the blown up double decker bus from the 7/7 bombings – will bring back painful memories of the moment their innocent son was mistakenly killed by anti-terror police.
Speaking on behalf of his parents from the family’s rural home near the remote town of Gonzaga, southeast Brazil, their son and Jean Charles’s brother Giovani, 52, said: ‘It’s going to hurt us to see those images of my brother and watch the series, it will bring back all the bad memories of that time, and the years that we’ve missed him being around.’
The family of Jean Charles de Menezes (pictured) have slammed Disney over breaking promises to them over the recreation of their son’s tragic shooting by Met Police officers at Stockwell tube in the aftermath of the 7/7 terror attacks
Maria and Matozinhos Otoni da Silva (pictured) say they have heard nothing from the producers following a brief phone call a year ago when they were told they could have input on the reconstruction as consultants
On behalf of his parents, Jean Charles’s brother Giovani, 52, (pictured) told MailOnline: ‘It’s going to hurt us to see those images of my brother and watch the series, it will bring back all the bad memories of that time, and the years that we’ve missed him being around’
He said that they hadn’t had any input into how Jean Charles’s death was recreated – and that a promised fee or assisting on the show hadn’t been followed up.
He continued: ‘We don’t have much, the pandemic hit us hard, and my parents’ pensions are very little.
‘The family is in need. They gave us a little financial help when we signed the contract but it was only a very small amount.
‘Disney said they would help us, and we hope that they will come good on their promise, because the film will bring them profits.
‘But we have heard nothing in a year since the phone call from the producers when they said we would be consultants. We have heard nothing since. We know nothing about the controversy around the programme.’
The drama, called ‘Suspect: The Shooting of Jean Charles’ which is filmed by ITV studios for the Disney+ streaming service, included a recreation of the police chase and shooting of the innocent 27-year-old while the tube station was still open.
It also featured highly-realistic sets linked to the 7/7 bombings across London two weeks before Jean Charles’ July 22 2005 shooting which occurred when police mistook him for a fugitive suspect.
Jean Charles’ cousin Alex Pereira admitted that there had been some tension between TV bosses and the family over the series.
He said: ‘Their attitude put me off from the start. They basically said, ‘We’re doing this with or without you so it will go ahead whether you come on board or not.
‘I said I’d do it for money because I have a family to look after and asked for £20,000.
Disney has recreated infamous London 2005 bus bombing for its new streaming series. The drama features graphic scenes depicting the aftermath of the bus bombing in London’s Tavistock Square, showing the blood-soaked aftermath where 13 victims lost their lives
The new drama Suspect recreates the moments leading up to of Jean Charles de Menezes’s shooting by the police on the London underground. The family claims they hadn’t had any input into how Jean Charles’s death was recreated – and that a promised fee or assisting on the show hadn’t been followed up
READ MORE: Moment innocent Jean Charles de Menezes was mistakenly shot dead by police is recreated for Disney + drama
‘They started haggling and trying to get us to do it for next to nothing.
‘Some of my relatives eventually accepted £10,000 each to act as consultants but I decided I wanted nothing to do with it. Their approach to us seemed very high-handed.
‘I don’t see why they need to be doing something like this now anyway. The most important thing to us is that the world knew Jean Charles was innocent and we got that a long time ago.
‘It was a police assassination of an innocent man and the police themselves have basically admitted that, even though wrongly in my view no-one has ever been prosecuted.
‘Anything else should just be let to lie. It pains me that ITV/Disney are raking over this again just for ratings.
‘And the idea that they’re recreating violent scenes that we as Jean Charles’ loved ones never had to witness for ourselves thankfully is very traumatising.
‘I can imagine what the 7/7 survivors and the relatives of people who lost their lives in those bombings are going through as well.
Jean Charle’s brother Giovani said the family hasn’t seen the images showing an actor playing the part of Jean during filming last month.
He said he knew nothing about the outrage expressed by survivors and families of victims of the 7/7 bombings at the highly realistic sets, including replica of the No 30 double decker bus blown up in Tavistock Square, complete with blood splattered across pavements.
CCTV footage shows Jean Charles de Menezes at Stockwell tube station in July 2005 moments before
Armed police are pictured outside Stockwell tube station following the death of Jean Charles de Menezes in July 2005
Online support groups for survivors of the four suicide bombings have been adamant no-one contacted them before filming started and criticised Disney for a ‘lack of respect’ to the 52 killed and hundreds wounded in the terror attacks.
Giovani said: ‘We don’t know anything that’s been happening there. We just authorised them to tell Jean’s story, that’s all.
‘It’s also going to hurt us to see those images of my brother and watch the series, it will bring back all the bad memories of that time, and the years that we’ve missed him being around. But despite the pain that it will cause us we still want people to know the real Jean and know the real truth.
‘It’s been 18 years now and it feels like finally we’ll be able to tell my brothers story without anyone trying to change it.’
Giovani said they were contacted just over a year ago by representatives of Disney, who in a phone call assured them they wanted to tell the whole truth about how Jean arrived in the UK, and the circumstances that led to his death.
In the same phone call the family signed off their rights to photos of Jean and provided so far unreported details about his life.
He said: ‘They explained that they wanted to tell all of Jean’s story, from growing up in the sticks, going to work in Sao Paulo, how he arrived in London right up until the end of his life, the whole truth without anything left out.
‘They told us everything they were going to put in the film, and asked us things like what he was like as a child. And they asked if there was anything that was missing that we’d like to include.
Giovani, who moved in with his parents after their health deteriorated, said the family have been stung before when another feature film in 2009 film which he claims was full of inaccuracies and which ‘denigrated my brother’s name’.
Giovani said his parents (pictured in 2005) were contacted just over a year ago by representatives of Disney, who in a phone call assured them they wanted to tell the whole truth about how Jean arrived in the UK, and the circumstances that led to his death. In the same phone call the family signed off their rights to photos of Jean and provided so far unreported details about his life
British-Brazilian movie Jean Charles, directed by BAFTA winner Stephen Frears, used actual friends and family of the Brazilian for many of the roles.
He said: ‘We allowed them to do that because we thought it would tell the truth, but instead they denigrated my brother’s name.
‘We read the script and we asked that for lot of the stuff was taken out, but at that time we weren’t prepared for that kind of thing and we let it go ahead, and it was really badly made. It followed the police’s version, not the truth. We think they were afraid of upsetting the police in London. It was very difficult for us.
‘We thought the film would bring the family some money, but once it was released they didn’t pay anything, and they just disappeared.
‘But we believe it will be different with Disney. They are a good and well-known company so won’t do the same this time.’
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