The battle of truth versus fiction in Clint Eastwood
’s “Richard Jewell
” intensified Thursday as screenwriter Billy Ray shot back at Kevin Riley
, the editor of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Riley, who has criticized the movie for suggesting that reporter Kathy Scruggs traded sex for news tips while reporting on the investigation into the 1996 Atlanta bombing, has lawyered up in preparation for a defamation lawsuit. Ray is calling that threatened suit a “distraction campaign” to divert attention from what he claims is the paper’s sloppy reporting on the case that led to the shattered reputation of Jewell, a security guard who was treated as the prime suspect in the case.
Scruggs was one of the reporters who named Jewell as a suspect in the bombing. Jewell was innocent, but the newspaper’s report helped put Jewell’s life under scrutiny for an extended period of time, prompting him to file