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Katherine Heigl to Star in Movie Version of ‘Escape’

posted by Donna Freitas

katherineheiglpicic.jpgCarolyn Jessop has become a familiar face on many a news channel and the talk show circuit, with the eerily timely release of her memoir “Escape” in fall 2007, which chronicles her life growing up (and leaving) the FLDS Church–the very same sect whose YFZ ranch (run by the now infamous Warren Jeffs) was raided by Texas law enforcement officials in early April and has been a constant in the news ever since.
Now a movie is planned on Jessop’s life starring the beautiful Katherine Heigl–herself a lapsed Mormon. Heigl also plans on producing the film.
Variety reports:
“Katherine Heigl will star in and produce the feature film adaptation of ‘Escape,’ the bestselling memoir of Carolyn Jessop, whose testimony helped convict polygamist sect leader Warren Jeffs. Relevant Entertainment and Como Court Prods. acquired the book. Michael Menchel and Cat Williams will produce with Heigl and her Abishag partner Nancy Heigl. Jessop was born into the Fundamentalist Church of Latter Day Saints sect. At 18 she married a man 32 years her senior; at 35, she fled with her eight children.”
I am a great admirer of Heigl, especially after her critical comments to Vanity Fair about starring in “Knocked Up”–which she called sexist–and how the vulgar humor and treatment of women made her uncomfortable on the set. It was refreshing to see an actress be so honest, especially about a project that launched her into the spotlight. I am hoping she can treat this new project with the sensitivity it requires.



  • Eileen

    The “Mormon” church believes in obeying the laws of the land; hence, Mormons have one, and only one spouse. The movie you are promoting is not about Mormons, formally known Latter Day Saints; the movie is about people who left the Mormon faith, but how captialize on use of the name, which causes harm to true Mormons and Mormonism.
    This is from an individual who is not a member of the LDS/Mormon family.

  • Jill

    Your title is very misleading. I was hoping to hear about a great new movie which protrays the LDS faith honestly.
    I am a member of the LDS (Mormon) faith. I’m really upset that you would use the word “Mormon” for the FLDS or Fundamentalist Latter Day Saints. We are not (and if I could underline “are not” I would) part of the same religion in any respect.
    We Mormon’s are nothing like the FLDS faith. We do not force our young girls to marry creepy old men. We do not tell our young men that they can’t even think of falling on love with someone until the “church” approves it. We do not live on the outskits to keep our lifestyle secret.
    How sad!!! How sad that you used this forum to smear the Mormons. Next time, check your information twice before you write something so NOT TRUE!!!

  • Greenman

    Jill, Eileen and others…. like it or not there are several differant LDS denominations: The LDS church Jill is a part of, the FLDS Church from the story, The Community of Christ (formerly the Reorganized LDS Church)and at least a dozen other small groups, some polygamous and some not. Most polygamous groups are much less dictatorial than the FLDS. Since no one uses “Mormon” as part of their official names they each have as much right to call themselves Mormon or be called Mormon by BeliefNet or anybody else.
    Jill, no one compared your church to the FLDS Church, but you’re right you have much more freedom than the FLDS church members. Don’t worry about the use of the name Mormon. By now people have a good idea of the truth. And if they don’t it’s because they want to be confused!
    Hugs all around,
    Greenman

  • Steven G. Bone

    I am a member of the LDS church. Even though not very active in it, I was amazed that the proper research was obviously not done by your staff in posting this information. Trying to think of a comparison between LDS (Mormons) and FLDS (Fundamentalist) is to say a bicycle tire and a Space Shuttle tire are the same. The only thing that is the same about them is that they are tires. Mormons, Catholics, Baptists, Methodists, all other faiths in the world and FLDS’s are the same – we are all believers in something.
    Katherin Heigl is a talented actress and I am sure in her research of the FLDS and her role – she got the differences correct and I do hope she gets to show her knowledge.
    If you look closely the proper denominational names are: Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and FLDS. That should have given the staff here a HUGE CLUE. There is a large difference in trying to draw this comparison or identity comparison and what the true reality is.

  • Mike

    The proper denominational names are:
    The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and
    The Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.
    They have a lot more in common than their differences: Joseph Smith, Brigham Young, The Book of Mormon, Temples, Priesthood Authority, etc. etc.
    Since Ms. Heigl is a member of the first group, that should help her in preparing for the role.

  • Mia

    Beliefnet, You offer so much good. Please make sure you check your facts before you publish. Isn’t that a cardinal rule of good journalism?
    The nickname ‘Mormon’, is used often for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. The FLDS and Re-organized Church/The COmmunity of Christ, are not affliated with the Mormons.
    They are their own church, with their own beliefs. Much like all the other churches, many may have branched off from the Catholics. Please keep your articles truthful.
    You are Beliefnet aren’t you? Isn’t that something that is important to you?
    If you could please write a comment for all to see, explaining the differences, there are many who would appreciate it.
    Keep up the good and faithful work. We all need a lot more positive.
    Keep it real…

  • LDS Art Collector

    Great Post

  • Bud

    The LDS Church continues to revere Joseph Smith, whom LDS and non-LDS scholars agree had 33 wives (1/3rd of whom were teens and 1/3rd of whom were already married to other men). Publicly he denied that he was involved in polygamy at the same time that privately it was indeed happening. The Church also reveres Brigham Young (with its flagship university named after him) who had 40+ wives. It is also well documented that both Smith and Young periodically used their positions of ministerial authority to direct followers, in the name of God, to heed their instructions or suffer damnation. It can be convincingly argued that Smith and Young had much more in common with Warren Jeffs than with modern LDS leaders.

  • eb

    As an EX member of the Mormon CULT, with 40 years of research into Mormon brainwashing and its mind control techniques, I must point out that there is virtually NO difference in the mainstream Mormon “church” and its splinter groups such as the FLDS. Both are founded on polygamy–the FOUNDERS of the CURRENT Mormon cult (which wrongfully calls itself a”church” but is actually a CULT), WERE polygamists! As ANY OF THOSE OF US FORTUNATE TO ESCAPE MORMONISM KNOW, WE WERE SUBJECTED TO SEVERE BRAINWASHING AND MIND CONTROL WHEN WE WERE “UNDER”. It’s nice that the beautiful Ms. Heigl is a FORMER or LAPSED Mormon. Let’s hope she does another movie exposing MORMONISM, not JUST FLDS, as that is like putting out a fire in a wastebasket when the building next door is burning down! At IHVMC, we see hundreds of victims and get letters containing tragic stories from Victims of Mormonism every month. We at IHVMC witness firsthand– and see the lives Mormonism has wrecked. Carolyn Jessup and the FLDS are just small potatoes… Hollywood, do one on the MAINSTREAM MORMONISM–now THERE’S your movie. Expose THEM, boys!! — BM, Director of the International Headquarters for Victims of the Mormon Cult

  • http://videosfacilitator.blogspot.com Ray Cronin

    Incredibly great writing. Really..

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