GREELEY, Colo. — Less than two years after the horrific killings, the Lifetime Channel is set to premier a movie depicting the deaths of Shanann Watts and her two daughters, Bella and Celeste.
That movie, titled “Chris Watts: Confessions of a Killer,” will debut on Lifetime on Jan. 25.
Wednesday, attorneys representing Shanann’s parents spoke on their behalf at a Greeley press conference, citing major concerns with how the production was handled.
“We did not discover it was being made until everybody else did on Aug. 21,” said Steven Lambert. “The family had to find out after the fact that the production had gone through without any sort of input.”
Lambert, an associate attorney with law firm Grant and Hoffman, says the family offered to give insight into what happened.
“When you involve victims and the people who knew victims best, it makes it a lot easier to make a portrayal of somebody,” said Lambert. “When something like this comes up and the power is completely taken away, it does hurt them and it does to a certain extent make them angry.”
Lifetime and its parent company A&E did not return emails Wednesday.
Lambert says the family was caught off guard by previews for the movie at home over the holidays.
“It’s been hard for them because they’ve been seeing those depictions, those advertisements, during the holiday season,” said Lambert. “And they want people to know that at least from the trailers they’ve seen, it’s not an accurate portrayal of their daughter, of their grandchildren, or even of Chris Watts himself.”
Shanann’s family has also been dealing with harassment online, according to their attorneys.
Some of that involves T-shirts, coffee mugs and other memorabilia with “Remember Shanann,” with some thinking the family is profiting from it. Lambert says that couldn’t be further from the truth.
“They are not affiliated with that,” he said. “They’re not making a profit off of any of that, and they would encourage people to not endorse in that type of behavior.”
As for the movie, Shanann’s family remains undecided on if they’ll tune in.
“We are not sure at this point if they’ll watch it,” said Lambert.