The mother of Sarah Jones, the 27-year-old camera assistant killed in a train accident on-set, is furious with the Hollywood Reporter for posting a story that included excerpts from Jones' autopsy report. Elizabeth McCartha Jones wrote a furious open letter to the publication, saying she's "appalled" by the article and calling the reporter, Hilary Lewis, "callous."
The THR story promised to reveal the "grisly details" behind Jones death. It included graphic descriptions of the injuries she sustained. But there were no lingering public questions about what killed Jones: she was struck by a train. The autopsy report became public after Midnight Rider director Randall Miller and producer Jay Sedrish took plea deals on Monday, with Miller agreeing to two years in prison. But there was no particular news value in publishing a description of exactly what happened to her body.
THR was quickly hit with a whole lot of angry tweets from film industry professionals:
Today, Deadline has the open letter from Elizabeth Jones. It reads, in part:
I am totally stunned, I am totally appalled, and I am ashamed of the callous reporter who leaked the autopsy report of our daughter for the world to see. Although the grace and beauty of Sarah Elizabeth Jones outshines the deprecating words on a page, no one, NO ONE, should be so low as to think this gruesome report is newsworthy.
To the reporter, where is your own honor? Is your desire to climb the rungs of a career ladder so important that you infringe upon the privacy and civility of a family whose daughter was tragically hit by a train? Is our pain of losing a daughter not enough that you feel the need to exploit Sarah's dignity?
Shame on the tabloid that published the article, that it should be so crude and selfish for readership numbers? Does that not put you in the same category of selfishness as the movie producers who thought it was ok to steal a shot?
THR hasn't really responded to the controversy publicly, although they did post a "warning" on top of the piece about its graphic contents, plus this note indicating they'd taken out some of the more awful details.
Pretty cold comfort to her family and friends.
Sarah Jones. Image via Slates for Sarah/Facebook