‘Staircase’ Editor Was Romantically Involved With Film’s Subject, Michael Peterson, Says Director

Jean-Xavier de Lestrade says editor Sophie Brunet “never let her own feelings affect the course of editing”

Sophie Brunet, an editor for Netflix’s “The Staircase,” was romantically involved with Michael Peterson, the subject of the docuseries, director Jean-Xavier de Lestrade said in an interview. But he added that it didn’t affect the narrative.

Lestrade told the French news weekly L’Express that Brunet had a relationship with Peterson while working on the series. He was responding to a reporter’s comment that Brunet “fell in love (‘qui est tombée amoureuse’)” with Peterson.

“This is one of the incredible things that happened during those 15 years. Life is really full of surprises. They had a real story, which lasted until May 2017,” Peterson replied. “But she never let her own feelings affect the course of editing.”

He did not say how long Brunet and Peterson were romantically involved, or delve into other details about the relationship. Netflix and What’s Up Films, which produced the “The Staircase,” did not immediately respond to TheWrap’s request for comment. Peterson’s attorneys, including David Rudolph (who is featured prominently in the series) also did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

“The Staircase” covers the mystery surrounding the death of Kathleen Peterson in 2001. The documentary was originally released shortly after Peterson was convicted of the crime in 2004. A new version that Netflix released Friday includes three additional episodes to follow the case through its entire 15-year lifespan.

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