Family of Jean Charles De Menezes claim Disney broke promises over 7/7 bombing drama

Jean Charles de Menezes.  (Handout.)
Jean Charles de Menezes. (Handout.)

The family of Jean Charles de Menezes have claimed Disney went back on a promise to consult them about a drama they are making about his shooting by Met officers following the 7/7 terror attacks.

His parents, Maria and Matozinhos Otoni da Silva, say they have heard nothing from the producers following a phone call a year ago when they were told they would be able to act as consultants.

They say the show will bring back painful memories of the moment their innocent son was mistakenly killed by anti-terror police at Stockwell Tube station.

Speaking on behalf of his parents, from the family's rural home near the remote town of Gonzaga, southeast Brazil, Jean Charles's brother Giovani, 52, told Mail Online: "It's going to hurt us to see those images of my brother and watch the series, it will bring back all the bad memories of that time, and the years that we've missed him being around."

He said that a promised fee for assisting on the show, which had originally been suggested, hadn't been followed up by Disney.

He added: "We don't have much, the pandemic hit us hard, and my parents' pensions are very little.

"The family is in need. They gave us a little financial help when we signed the contract but it was only a very small amount.

"Disney said they would help us, and we hope that they will come good on their promise, because the film will bring them profits.

"But we have heard nothing in a year since the phone call from the producers when they said we would be consultants. We have heard nothing since."

The drama, called 'Suspect: The Shooting of Jean Charles' which is filmed by ITV studios for the Disney+ streaming service, included a recreation of the police chase and shooting of the innocent 27-year-old.

It also features reconstructions of the 7/7 bombings across London two weeks before Jean Charles' July 22 2005 shooting which occurred when police mistakenly took him for a fugitive terror suspect.

Jean Charles' cousin Alex Pereira admitted there had been some tension between TV bosses and the family over the series.

He said: "Their attitude put me off from the start... I don't see why they need to be doing something like this now anyway. The most important thing to us is that the world knew Jean Charles was innocent and we got that a long time ago.

"It was a police assassination of an innocent man and the police themselves have basically admitted that, even though wrongly in my view no-one has ever been prosecuted.

"Anything else should just be let to lie. It pains me that ITV/Disney are raking over this again just for ratings."

Disney has been contacted for comment.

In a comment made earlier this week regarding sensitivities of the project, a spokesperson for Disney+ said: “The team producing the series has significant expertise in this type of programming, incorporating extensive in-depth research that has been approached with the utmost sensitivity and respect, and all involved are conscious of the huge responsibility that comes with telling this story.

"Throughout filming production have worked very closely with [Transport for London], police, the council, community and businesses to ensure all were aware ahead of time that filming was taking place with marshals and signage canvassing the area on the day."