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Fact Check-Anne Heche’s movie ‘Girl in Room 13’ not about Jeffrey Epstein

The storyline of ‘Girl in Room 13,’ a Lifetime movie starring late actor Anne Heche, is not connected to late financier Jeffrey Epstein, a spokesperson for the cable channel told Reuters. The false connection was made online after the actor died following a car crash.

“So actress Anne Heche, who died in a fiery car crash, was working on a movie titled "The Girl In Room 13" about the Jeffrey Epstein ring,” reads a tweet that has been retweeted over 4,000 times (here).

The claim has also been shared on Facebook (here) (here) (here) (here).

“Interesting! Maybe she found out something thru research?” one user commented.

“Another one offed for getting too close to the truth,” a second wrote.

Heche’s Mini Cooper sped out of control, plowed into a house and burst into flames on Aug. 5 and she was taken to hospital with severe injuries.

The 53-year-old actor had been legally dead since Friday, though still with a heartbeat, and was kept on life support until Aug. 15 to preserve her organs so they could be donated, her representatives said (here).

Lifetime has described the movie ‘Girl in Room 13’ as “inspired by actual events” (here) (here), but there is no evidence the plot is connected to the late disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein.

Following his arrest on July 6, 2019, Epstein pleaded not guilty to sex trafficking charges involving dozens of underage girls at his mansions on Manhattan’s Upper East Side and in Palm Beach, Florida. He had escaped federal prosecution by pleading guilty in 2008 to Florida state prostitution charges, an agreement now widely considered too lenient. Epstein was found dead in his jail cell on Aug. 10, 2019 (here).

Contacted by Reuters, a Lifetime spokesperson confirmed the movie was inspired by true events but not by the Jeffrey Epstein case.

Motel Productions Inc, the company that produced the film for Lifetime did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.

According to a press release published on June 9 by Lifetime’s parent company A+E (here), the film examines the story of a woman named Grace – Heche’s daughter in the plot – who was held captive in a hotel room with the aim to sell her into human trafficking.

A trailer of the film, set to premier on Sept. 17, is viewable (here).

Amy Winter, executive VP and head of programming at Lifetime, was quoted by Deadline as saying the film sought to “bring attention” to the issue of human sex trafficking. “We hope that this film reached you and that you are just as inspired as Anne was to help us with our mission to stop violence against women.” (here).

Reuters found no mention of a character resembling Epstein in available reporting about the movie, which received media coverage before and after Heche’s crash. See examples by Deadline ((here), The Wrap ( here) and ET Canada (here).

VERDICT

False. There is no evidence that Lifetime’s movie ‘Girl in Room 13’ – starring late actor Anne Heche – is about late disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein. A spokesperson for Lifetime told Reuters that the film was inspired by true events but not by Epstein’s case.

This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Read more about our work to fact-check social media posts here .

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