The Staircase: Who is Michael Peterson’s ex-girlfriend Sophie Brunet and where is she now? | Explainer

HBO Max Series The staircase is trendy everywhere, with Colin Firth, Toni Collette and Juliette Binoche some of the featured Hollywood names.

The fictional series is based on the very true story of Michael Peterson, a local novelist and columnist who was tried and imprisoned for the murder of his wife, Kathleen. His conviction was later reduced to intentional homicide after he accepted a plea from Alford in 2017, protesting his innocence while giving the court enough evidence to convict him of the offence.

The story is told in the acclaimed Netflix documentary of the same name by French director Jean-Xavier de Lestrade, which took 15 years of filming to accurately tell the still winding and perplexing story of Michael Peterson and his family.

In the latest episodes, HBO The staircase offered insight into not only Peterson’s relationship with his wife, but also with a mysterious Frenchwoman named Sophie Brunet.

So who exactly is Sophie Brunet, played by the Oscar-winning actress? Juliette Binoche?

READ MORE: Five things to know about Odessa Young, the Australian actress who stars in The Staircase

Juliet Binoche plays Sophie Brunet, the French girlfriend of Michael Peterson in the new detective series
Juliette Binoche stars as French editor Sophie Brunet, who dated Michael Peterson, the man at the center of the murder trial documentary series she was working on. (HBO Max)

READ MORE: The Staircase: Remarkable turnaround in man’s fate to overturn murder conviction

Who is Sophie Brunet?

In 2018, director of the original The staircase Documentary Jean-Xavier de Lestrade shocked the world when it revealed that Michael Peterson had been in a relationship with documentary filmmaker Sophie Brunet during filming.

In an interview with the French publication The Expressde Lestrade said: “This [Michael and Sophie’s relationship] is one of the amazing things that happened in those 15 years.”

“Life really is full of surprises,” he said. “They had a real story that lasted until May 2017. But she never let her own feelings affect the course of the edit.”

At the time, Sophie was a recognized freelance editor and worked on several productions. Her career would have started in the early 90s, where she worked on various documentaries, mainly French, as an editor.

In 2012, she worked as an editor on the famous French film Blue is the hottest color.

READ MORE: Inside the turbulent life of Princess Charlene of Monaco

Sophie Brunet was editor-in-chief of Netflix docuseries
The real Sophie Brunet: According to the director of ‘The Staircase’, Brunet and Peterson had a ‘real story’ that ended in 2017. (YouTube / FIPADOC)

How did Sophie Brunet meet Michael Peterson?

In an interview with vanity loungeMaggie Cohn, the co-showrunner of the HBO Max series revealed that Brunet and Peterson’s relationship actually started with Brunet sending her a series of letters.

As Cohn points out, Brunet had looked at footage of him and decided to reach out. She hadn’t yet met Peterson at the time.

“For me, it was a huge surprise,” Cohn says. “Not that it could happen, but that it happened in the staircase, which is a documentary already so full of twists and turns.”

When Peterson went to prison in 2003, Brunet sent him books, which became the starting point for their relationship.

READ MORE: Maria Thattil on what the ‘Happily Ever After’ fairy tale got love wrong

Michael Peterson, left, reacts after being found guilty of murdering his wife in October 2003. Right is his lawyer David Rudolf.  Novelist and former mayoral candidate Michael Peterson has been found guilty of murdering his wife, whose body was found in a pool of blood at the bottom of a flight of stairs in their home.  His conviction was later overturned.
Michael Peterson, left, reacts after being found guilty of murdering his wife in October 2003. To his right is his lawyer David Rudolf. (PAA)

How long have Sophie Brunet and Michael Peterson been dating?

It’s unclear when the couple’s romantic relationship began, but after meeting in 2001, it finally ended in May 2017.

In a 2019 interview with The News and the Observer, Peterson explained how things fell apart.

“We planned to live in Paris. Then I went there and realized, no, I can’t,” he said.

“I can’t live in Paris. I don’t speak French. I’m too old. I couldn’t afford to live in Paris and my children and grandchildren were in America,” he recalls.

“She [Sophie] said, “Well, if you can’t commit to loving me all the time, let’s get it over with,” and it was a big blow for both of us. I couldn’t give her what she really needed and deserved.”

READ MORE: What happened between actor Colin Firth and his wife Livia Giuggioli?

Colin Firth plays Michael Peterson in the series. (Frenzy)

Did Sophie Brunet and Michael Peterson get married?

The couple never married and neither questioned whether marriage was already on the cards.

Where is Sophie Brunet now?

Brunet still works as an editor, mainly of French productions.

Some of his notable projects include the HBO original series by Jean-Xavier de Lestrade Laetitia, dark secrets of a trillion dollar island: Garenne, the real thing and The inner game. She also often gives talks with students to talk about her area of ​​expertise.

For a daily dose of 9Honey, Subscribe to our newsletter here

The flashback shows a prominent politician as a child

Leave a Comment