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Sharon Tate’s sister hits back at film producers profiting off her murder

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Kayleigh Dray
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Sharon Tate’s sister has confirmed that she is producing her own film about Tate, which “will not violate her or exploit her death” in any way.

Sharon Tate was a critically-acclaimed actress, earning a Golden Globe nomination for her role as Jennifer North in the 1967 cult classic, Valley of the Dolls.

She was also a model, a sister, a daughter, a wife and a human being – although you probably wouldn’t realise that, considering how many films are being made about her horrific death.

Tate was murdered by members of Charles Manson’s “family” on 9 August 1969, when she was eight-and-a-half months pregnant with her first child. Which means that, yes, the 50th anniversary of her death falls next year (2019) – and, as a result, there are a whopping three films about Tate and the Manson Family murders in production.

This includes Quentin Tarantino’s untitled project, which has reportedly cast Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt as Tate’s next-door neighbours (yes, really), and a possible Margot Robbie as Tate. Then there is Hilary Duff’s portrayal of Tate in psychological horror film The Haunting of Sharon Tate, which vows to focus on her “dreams about ghosts haunting her house and foreseeing her own death at the hands of a satanic cult.”

Elsewhere, The Crown’s Matt Smith will play Charles Manson in independent movie Charlie Says, which will follow the lives of the three young women who were sentenced to death following the 1969 murders.

Understandably, Debra Tate – who famously attended almost every parole hearing related to the death of her sister – is unimpressed by the “classless” and “exploitative” way “everyone is rushing to release something for the anniversary of this horrific event”.

“These people are taking horrific situations and making them even more graphic than they were without any concern for the living victims of these crimes and I think that’s horrible and crass,” she told People.

Debra Tate and Mia Farrow leaving London’s High Court in July 2005

So, in a bid to ensure her sister’s story isn’t lost among all the gratuitous gore and Manson-lore, Debra is now producing her own movie, Tate, which stars Kate Bosworth.

“It has nothing to do with Sharon’s death,” explained Debra.

“They’re telling her story as a woman aside from the murders. Kate is going to capture Sharon’s heart, feeling and attitude.”

Hammering home this vital point, Bosworth has spoken to Deadline about making sure the movie honours Tate’s life. “From the very beginning, it has always been our intention to honor Sharon’s life,” said Bosworth. “She was a beautiful and complex woman [and] her life has for too long been overshadowed by the tragedy orchestrated by a raging psychopath.

“Now, more than ever, we feel it is important to focus on the woman – to reaffirm the voice of Sharon Tate – and to take away the megaphone from the maniac.

“It’s her time.”

Bosworth also confirmed that her husband, Michael Polish, will be directing the film.

Praising his desire to do right by Tate, she said: “Thank you […] to my husband, who stands with me, everyday, striving to bring female forward stories to the screen. 

“I love you. Simply, you are the greatest.”

Images: Rex Features

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Kayleigh Dray

Kayleigh Dray is editor of Stylist.co.uk, where she chases after rogue apostrophes and specialises in films, comic books, feminism and television. On a weekend, you can usually find her drinking copious amounts of tea and playing boardgames with her friends. 

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