The Washington Post

Lee Daniels to direct film based on life of football player Brian Banks

(Getty Images)

Brian Banks, who spent five years in prison after he was falsely accused of rape and kidnapping when he was 16, will have his life story told in a movie directed by Lee Daniels, whose last picture was “The Butler.”

According to Entertainment Weekly, the film is tentatively called “The Brian Banks Story,” though it does not have a script yet.

Banks was one of California’s top high school football players and planned on attending USC in 2002 when classmate Wanetta Gibson accused him of dragging her into a stairway at school and raping her. The district attorney in Long Beach, Calif., offered him a plea deal: plead guilty and spend 18 months in prison, or plead innocent and risk a sentence of 41 years to life if found guilty. After being told that he had only 10 minutes to decide — and being told by his defense attorney that he had little chance of winning the trial — he pleaded no contest to the charges and was given a six-year sentence.

After he served five years and was released, Gibson met with Banks and admitted that she made up the whole story, a confession that Banks recorded. In 2012, a Superior Court judge in Long Beach overturned his conviction.

Last year, Banks played in the preseason for the Atlanta Falcons, though the linebacker was cut before the regular season began.

After spending the first 17 years of his Post career writing and editing, Matt and the printed paper had an amicable divorce in 2014. He's now blogging and editing for the Early Lead and the Post's other Web-based products.



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