Ian Bailey has labelled a new Netflix documentary about the murder of Sophie Toscan du Plantier a “piece of self-serving, demonising propaganda.”
The new three-part film, ‘Sophie: A Murder in West Cork’ is streaming on Netflix from this morning.
The documentary features interviews with Sophie’s family, West Cork locals, those involved in the investigation and the man who quickly became the main suspect, Ian Bailey.
Mr Bailey, who has never been charged with the murder in Ireland, was found guilty in his absence by a French court in 2019 and sentenced to 25 years in prison.
The High Court last year refused to extradite him however and he has always maintained his innocence.
On Newstalk Breakfast this morning, the 64-year-old said he gave a “brief interview” to the filmmakers and has twice contacted Netflix asking for it to be removed.
“From what I have seen of it - and I have seen clips from it - yes, unfortunately, I think it is a piece of self-serving, demonising propaganda,” he said.
This is second documentary about the murder to be released in recent weeks.
Mr Bailey features heavily in ‘Murder at the Cottage: The search for Justice for Sophie’ – a five-part documentary from Irish director Jim Sheridan which is currently streaming on Sky.
“The thing about the Jim doc is that Jim undertook to make an objective documentary,” he told Newstalk.
“From all I can see from the Netflix production, there is very little objectivity in it. It is written from a biased slant.”
In the Netflix documentary, Sophie’s uncle Jean-Pierre Gazeau labels Bailey a “narcissist” who killed his niece in cold blood.
Mr Bailey has been no stranger to the media since he was first his arrested in connection with the murder – consistently taking part in interviews to proclaim his innocence.
This morning, he flatly rejected the narcissism accusation.
“No, I am not a narcissist,” he said. “A narcissist comes from the Greek myth of Narcissus who falls in love with his own reflection. I have to look at my aging, ugly mug every morning in the mirror and I can tell you I am not a narcissist.”
He also rejected the idea he has brought his notoriety on himself by constantly courting the media – insisting he was “picked out from day one” by investigating Gardaí.
“I was arrested in a very high-profile way,” he said. “My arrest was broadcast as it was happening.
“I have had 25 years of life taken away. I have lost my career as a journalist. I have now lost my partner - we had been together for 30 years - and I am now losing my home, so for anybody to suggest that is perverse.”
He said he ‘completely disagrees’ with the idea he could have avoided public attention by refusing to do any interviews.
“It has been a very difficult 25 years,” he said. “I was presented with a very difficult situation.
“My identity was released right from day one. There was no way of hiding from this and I have just dealt with it the best way I can. I continue to deal with this the best way I can.”
In an interview with John Fardy on Screentime last week, John Dower, the director of the three-part Netflix series noted that too often in true crime series, the victim gets a passing mention.
He said Sophie was “blonde and beautiful but, like all of us, incredibly complicated” and noted that it was “important to show that side of her.”
You can listen back to Mr Bailey here: