Fierce

Former Student Accused Of Raping Daisy Coleman Speaks For The First Time Since The Tragic Suicides Of Her And Her Mother

Updated December 15, 2020.

This story is about suicide. If you or someone you know is in crisis, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255, text HOME to 741741, or visit SpeakingOfSuicide.com/resources for further help.

In 2016, Netflix debuted the heartwrenching documentary Audrie & Daisy a film that examined the tragic experiences of two high school students. Audrie Pott and Daisy Coleman were two teens at the time of their sexual assaults. Both women were subjected to cyberbullying and abuse after their assaults and forced to heal with little support. But soon after her assault, Audrie Pott was driven to suicide by hanging.

The film showed that Coleman also struggled with suicide ideation after the assault.

Four years after the film’s debut, Coleman (who had become a sexual assault victim advocate) died by suicide.

In a post to her Facebook page in August, Coleman’s mother, Melinda, shared the news: “My daughter Catherine Daisy Coleman committed suicide tonight,” Melinda Coleman wrote. “If you saw crazy messages and posts it was because I called the police to check on her. She was my best friend and amazing daughter. I think she had to make it seem like I could live without her. I can’t. I wish I could have taken the pain from her! She never recovered from what those boys did to her and it’s just not fair. My baby girl is gone.”

Matthew Barnett, 26, who was accused of raping Daisy at a party in 2012 served only four months in jail for dumping Coleman – then 14 – on her mother’s porch in freezing temperatures.

According to DailyMail, Barnett has had the gross fortune of moving on from the ordeal. He has a new girlfriend and a $55,000-a-year job as a project manager for an industrial roofing firm called Delta Innovative Services.

Barnett has never spoken to media outlets about Daisy’s rape allegations or what happened at the party years ago. But after Daily Mail found him living in a Kansas City suburb last week he broke his silence. According to Daily Mail, after being asked about how he felt about the suicides of Coleman and her mother Barnett replied “I don’t really have any comment. It’s just very sad.”

“Barnett said that although he is ‘good’, he has found the experience of being accused of rape difficulty,” according to DailyMail.com and he replied “‘I still struggle with it but I’m okay.'”

In early December Melinda Coleman also died by suicide, according to an organization her daughter co-founded.

According to reports, the heartbroken mother posted about feeling defeated in the weeks before her suicide and after her daughter’s death.

“Albany wins. I’m dead,” Coleman wrote on Facebook on Nov. 18. The comment seemingly referred to the Missouri city that the Coleman family moved to after Daisy endured bullying for coming forward with her rape allegations.

Later on December 5, Melinda Coleman further spoke of her daughter’s suicide writing “4 mos ago today my baby girl left this world with a broken heart and spirit. Out of hope and full of despair. She took all her pain and worked to help others. Many used her and stilll are stealing her pictures and quotes simply for their own gain. The narssacists and users that have nothing to say so they steal her. The line became very blurred on some “friends”, others truly loved her. More than she could see in that terrrible moment. All she could see was the continued harrassment and cruelty and the damage sustained to her poor little body. I’d like to challenge everyone to be kind and lift up others in pain, especially sexual assault survivors and those hopeless in this holiday season. Send out light and love and protect each other and I will protect and pray for anyone who needs it. Let’s make this a Daisy Day filled with light, hope and love. Let’s work toward a justice system that stops failing the victims of rape. Let’s fill today with Daisys light and  love!”

Daisy Coleman co-founded, SafeBAE (a survivor-founded and student-led national organization working to combat sexual assault among middle and high school students) announced Melinda Coleman’s death on its Instagram page.

“We are in shock and disbelief to share with our SafeBAE family, that we lost Melinda Coleman to suicide,” the SafeBAE Instagram post wrote and went on to explain that Melinda lost her husband father in a car accident when Daisy was a child, her son, Tristan from a car accident in Kansas in 2018.

At the time of her assault, Coleman was 14 years old. She was sexually assaulted by a high schooler named Matthew Barnett and was dumped outside of her home wearing only a T-shirt in the dead of winter. The documentary film said Coleman had been left behind in sub-freezing temperatures and that her hair had stuck to the ground.

Barnett was eventually subjected to a felony sexual assault charge for what he did to Coleman but the charge was later dropped.

After, Coleman became a target for bullying.

Filmmakers followed Coleman for two years watching the ways in which Coleman and members of her family were subjected to the trauma of her assault.

“I definitely feel like people have certain views and perceptions about me and about cases like this because they’re uneducated,” then-19-year-old Coleman told People in a 2017 interview. “That’s exactly why I’m going out and trying to educate people on what’s going on in our society.”

Speaking about her experience, Coleman said that she didn’t hold any animosity against her attacker. “I honestly don’t have any vindictive feelings toward him,” Coleman told People. “I feel like all of that negativity that he put onto me was passed down to him at one point, so I felt the need to stop that kind of transaction of negativity and hate… I went through a lot of years of self-loathing and asking myself, Why me? So much ‘woe is me’… I just decided one day that I was done being negative about it. I needed to forgive myself for what happened.”

In 2017, Coleman worked to help others from being subjected to sexual violence for the national campaign SafeBAE — Safe Before Anyone Else.

If you or someone you know might be considering suicide, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Or text “STRENGTH” to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741.

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All The Things We Learned From Netflix’s New “Pelé” Documentary

Entertainment

All The Things We Learned From Netflix’s New “Pelé” Documentary

Pelé / Netflix

Netflix continues to churn out powerful films in countries around the world and their latest venture, a look into the life of Brazilian footballer Pelé is another hit. Sure, Pelé may be considered the world’s best soccer player ever but his place in Brazilian history is less clear – at least according to the new doc.

Filmmakers David Tryhorn and Ben Nicholas spent hours in Pelé’s company interviewing him on everything from a childhood spent in poverty to his numerous affairs and his controversial relationship with the authoritarian regime that ruled Brazil during his playing career. Here are some of the key takeaways from this must watch documentary.

Pelé was criticized for not taking a political stance during Brazil’s authoritarian regime.

In 1964, the Brazilian military staged a coup, which led to a dictatorship being established in the country that lasted until 1985. The military government relied on torture and repression to maintain power.

In the film, Pelé is asked whether he knew about these practices at the time.

“If I were to say now that I had never been aware of it, that would be a lie,” he says. “There was a lot we never got to find out, but there were many stories too.”

However, the film paints him as taking a neutral stance throughout, never criticising the regime. Former team-mate Paulo Cezar Lima – aka Caju – doesn’t forgive him.

“I love Pele but that won’t stop me criticizing him. I thought his behavior was that of a black man who says ‘yes sir’,” said Caju. “A submissive black man. It’s a criticism I hold against him until this day, because just one statement from Pelé would have gone a long way.”

The government may have interfered with the Brazilian team.

A dejected Pele leaves the field at Goodison Park after being beaten 3-1 by Portugal, 1966.

The film paints a picture of how national team’s exploits were used to launder the reputation of the military regime during the 1960s. Before the 1970 World Cup, a journalist and friend of Pelé’s describes how it became very important for the regime’s international image that Brazil win the World Cup again. And that meant Pele had to play.

“Winning the World Cup became a governmental matter,” Kfouri says. “The team staff were almost entirely made up of military personnel.”

Manager Joao Saldanha appears to have been fired in the lead-up to the 1970 World Cup for criticizing the Brazilian president, telling a reporter: “I don’t pick his ministers and he doesn’t pick my team. That way we understand each other well.”

Pelé wanted to quit after the 1966 World Cup.

Credit: Pelé / Netflix

In the 1966 World Cup, Brazil was considered a favorite to win, having won the competition four years earlier in Chile. However, there was a massive shock when they were knocked out in the group stages.

“Getting knocked out of the World Cup in England was the saddest moment of my life,” Pelé says. In the film, he tells a reporter: “I don’t intend to play in any more World Cups, because I’m not lucky in them. This is the second World Cup where I have been injured after only two games.”

He played one more World Cup – the 1970 tournament in Mexico, which Brazil won. He’s still the only player to have won three World Cup trophies.

And he admits it was hard for him to stay faithful.

Stores of Pelé’s alleged infidelities and wild romances were common in the tabloids. By 1958, he was a global icon and football’s first millionaire while still only a teenager. And his fans followed him everywhere so it’s hardly a secret that Pelé did not show the same faithfulness to everyone in his life as he did to his club Santos.

At one point in the film, a journalist asks Pelé whether he found it difficult to remain faithful with the amount of women flirting with him.

“In all honesty, it was,” he says, “I’ve had a few affairs, some of which resulted in children, but I only learned about them later. My first wife knew all about it, I never lied to anyone.”

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Netflix Is Turning “I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter” Into A Movie With America Ferrera As Director

Entertainment

Netflix Is Turning “I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter” Into A Movie With America Ferrera As Director

JC Olivera/WireImage

Netflix has been churning out tons of content over the past year, giving us many of our favorite binge worthy shows of the pandemic. From Tiger King and Selena: The Series to The Queen’s Gambit and Bridgerton, we’ve all been spending a lot more time with the TV screen thanks to Netflix.

Well, now, we’ll all have yet another reason to spend just a little more time in front of the screen thanks to an upcoming project Netflix is working on alongside Ugly Betty’s America Ferrera. The team are turning the iconic novel I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter into a movie with Ferrera in the director’s chair. And she’ll be bringing some of her crew from Gentefied. This is a mashup we can’t wait to see!

America Ferrera will step into the director’s chair for a Netflix project.

Emmy and Golden Globe winner America Ferrera is set to make her feature directorial debut with an adaptation of the New York Times bestselling novel, I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter by author Erika Sánchez, who will serve as a co-producer on the film.

“Years ago, I fell in love with Erika L. Sánchez’ stunning novel, I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter,” said Ferrera. “The depth, wit and searing intelligence of her writing, and her young Latina heroine, struck me to my core and left me wanting so much more. I am truly honored and humbled to direct Linda Yvette Chávez’s beautifully adapted screenplay. The opportunity to direct the work of these two incredibly talented Latina writers is a dream come true. I can’t wait to share this film with the many fans of the novel, and to introduce this funny, profound, and resonant story to the world.”

It’s America Ferrera’s first time directing a feature film but she is no stranger to being a director for TV, having helmed episodes of the hit series Superstore before.

Released in 2017, the story follows Julia Reyes, a first-generation American-Mexican.

Released in 2017, the story follows Julia Reyes, the precocious and strong-willed teenaged daughter of first-generation Mexican immigrants. She often clashes with her more traditional parents, who wish she were more like her sister Olga, the platonic ideal of a Mexican daughter. However, when Olga is killed in a tragic accident, it is up to Julia to hold her family together.

She’ll also be working alongside fellow crew from Gentefied.

Not only is the project featuring the novel’s author, Erika Sanchez, as a co-producer but the film’s screenplay was adapted by Linda Yvette Chavez –the co-creator behind the Netflix series, Gentefied. It’s so incredible to see a powerful, female-driven team leading up such an important project.

Although Netflix has not yet revealed details about the cast, crew, or release date, America’s fans are excitedly awaiting her new project.

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