Sophie Brunet, a French-born film and TV editor has been under the spotlight for her uncanny fondness with the famous novelist and convicted murderer, Michael Peterson. It seems arguably bizarre that Sophie fell in love with Michael while working on a French docuseries based on his life while he was still serving in jail. But is Michael Peterson still with Sophie Brunet? Unfortunately, no.
Let’s find out what exactly happened between them.
Thanks to a bunch of docuseries and memoirs, the whole world knows that Michael spent 16 years in prison after being proven guilty of murdering his wife. Kathleen, his wife was found dead on the staircase of their house. Based on several evidences and witness reports, he was convicted and sentenced to a lifetime without the possibility of parole. However, he never gave up and kept seeking justice.
It wasn’t long after the murder when several media outlets showed interest in covering Michael’s story. In fact, his case gained widespread attention due to the documentary series “The Staircase,” directed by Jean-Xavier de Lestrade in 2004. This is when Sophie Bruent came into Michael’s life. She was a part of the documentary crew and as she began working on it, things changed completely.
Sophie was somehow intrigued while watching and editing Michael’s trial videos. It made her reach out to him via a letter while he was still in prison. She basically offered to send him some books for reading. This started a long chain of letter exchanges and in-person meetings between them. They didn’t realize when love started sprouting between them, fostering an emotional connection.
The reason why Sophie was attracted to Michael in the first place is that she felt that he was wrongfully convicted. She didn’t want his life to be ruined forever due to injustice. Therefore, she connected with him.
From what we have read in Michael’s memoirs and watched in the 2022 miniseries, The Staircase, Sophie was indeed a real friend to Michael. Their relationship somehow brought light to Michael’s dark life.
Sophie had also been involved in Michael’s case and helped him secure an appeal based on the owl theory. She believed that Kathleen might have died due to an owl attack, as some lacerations could be seen on her scalp. She never even once gave up on him.
Although her efforts failed, there came a time when Michael was finally a free man. He basically submitted the Alford plea, after which he was acquitted in 2017.
So after coming out of 16-year-long imprisonment, Michael gave his life another chance. Sophie and Michael started living together in Paris. However, their fantasy was short-lived. Soon, Michael realized that he could not live away from his children and that it wasn’t the life he wanted. He was basically 73 years old at that time and according to him, neither he could speak French nor he could afford to live in Paris. So he chose to stay behind where his children are.
It wasn’t different for Sophie either. She also realized that this wasn’t what she wanted or maybe it just didn’t turn out to be the way she expected.
According to some reports, Sophie Brunet revealed that “Michael was not the man he had pretended he wanted to be. Or he changed too much during the long justice process. Today I feel incredibly lucky that I have a new, very happy life in Paris. Maybe getting out of my life was eventually the best gift Michael could give me”.
So – Michael and Shopie parted away, realizing that they were not fit for each other.