Cyntoia Brown's road to recovery includes book deal, documentary

cyntoia brown
Posted at 11:05 PM, Aug 07, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-08 00:05:39-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — All eyes are on Cyntoia Brown. Brown's journey to clemency gained national attention and the support of celebrities like Kim Kardashian and Rihanna. Her release also did the same. LeBron James tweeted about her release, saying “Cyntoia Brown welcome home!”

Brown already has a book deal lined up. "Free Cyntoia: My Search for Redemption in the American Prison System" will be published in October. Next year, Netflix will release a feature documentary about Brown.

Filmmaker Dan Birman told us in a statement: “We are pleased to be working with Netflix on a feature documentary about Cyntoia Brown. The new film builds on what we learned over the past 15 years during her fight for freedom and the events leading to her receiving clemency. We expect to complete it by the end of this year, and for it to appear on Netflix during the early part of 2020.”

While her new platform can shed light on human trafficking, it can also be overwhelming.

“It’s my biggest concern is everyone wants to talk to her,” said Derri Smith, founder of End Slavery Tennessee.

Smith met Cyntoia Brown three years ago. She's hopeful Brown will use her platform to help others in similar situations but also encourages Brown to take time to herself.

“She’s a celebrity but she needs to find out who Cyntoia is outside of prison,” said Smith.

As Brown begins this new chapter of her story, advocates remind the public its important to be kind.

“Remember the type of trauma she’s experienced and to give her the space to heal from that trauma,” said Becky Bullard, the Senior Director of Programs at the Office of Family Safety.

Brown is receiving no compensation for the Netflix documentary. It is unclear how much money she will receive for the book deal. While there is a law that bars criminals from profiting off their crimes, it does not apply in this situation here in Tennessee because the victim's family did not seek any legal action against Brown.