Eleventh Hour Films has announced that journalist-turned-screenwriter J.W. Lee will be writing their limited drama series ‘Hunting Ghislaine’, inspired by the true crime podcast, with Sophie Johnston attached as Story Producer.

Lee is under commission to SVoDs and PBS platforms both in the States and the U.K. As a journalist, she worked in TV and print for broadcasters and outlets including WSJ, PBS, CBS, Time, CNN and New York Magazine. Johnston started her career producing documentaries before crossing over to work in scripted. She joins the team as Story Producer, having worked on dramas including The Crown, The Trial Of Christine Keeler, and The Little Drummer Girl.

J.W. Lee says “U.S. v. Ghislaine Maxwell” will be well documented. I’m excited to dig into where it all began. 90’s New York – the world, the society, the characters. What do Ghislaine and this case tell us about who we were then, and who we are now?”

Sophie Johnston says, “How did a vivacious international socialite end up in disgrace in a New York detention centre? Ghislaine has been called so many things – “Chameleon”, “Daddy’s Girl”, “Monster” – what could be the dramatic truth?”

Paula Cuddy, Creative Director, Eleventh Hour Films, says “I’m thrilled to be working with Jiwon and Sophie on a scripted response to the Ghislaine story – to invent a different perspective on the story and its players”

Earlier this year it was announced that Eleventh Hour Films had secured the screen rights to produce a limited drama series drawing on the true crime podcast ‘Hunting Ghislaine’, co-commissioned by Global, the Media & Entertainment group and The Story Lab.

Launched in November 2020, written and presented by award-winning investigative journalist and author John Sweeney (BBC Panorama, The Observer), the six-part podcast tells the story of Ghislaine Maxwell, the daughter of disgraced billionaire media tycoon Robert Maxwell and former partner of notorious convicted paedophile Jeffrey Epstein.

As Epstein’s girlfriend, his alleged pimp and partner in a series of sex crimes Ghislaine has remained in the shadows. When Epstein’s life began to unravel, Ghislaine vanished, only to reappear when she was arrested by the FBI last year. She denies six charges of enticing girls for sex with Epstein and perjury.

Her trial began in New York on Monday 29th November. The trial is ongoing.

Jon Creamer

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