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BDSM community and the release of 50 Shades adaptation in the wake of Bashara

Film version of book release 2.13.15

The Detroit Free Press today has an excellent tie-in to the release of the film version of the book 50 Shades of Grey, which is charting at number two in Amazon’s contemporary romance category this morning.

“Every time Grey’s character took a hand or a belt to Steele’s backside or bound her wrists, I thought about how he could be a Bashara in training — a younger, far more attractive version of the Grosse Pointe Park businessman sentenced to life in prison for hiring a hitman to kill his wife in 2012 because he wanted to live out his sadomasochistic fantasies unencumbered,” writes columnist Kristen Jordan Shamus.

As I worked on the upcoming book, Murder in Grosse Pointe Park: Adultery, Privilege, and the Killing of Jane Bashara(Penguin/Berkley, fall 2015), I spoke with numerous people tied to the lifestyle in and around Detroit’s BDSM and alternative lifestyle scene. All were critical of the way the lifestyle was used by the state as a motivation to murder.

“Bob’s case put the lifestyle in an unfortunate light,” Rick Falcinelli, a longtime member of the scene, told me in January after he completed his testimony in Bashara’s two-month long trial. He said critics of the lifestyle are “going to get another boost…in February with the misinterpretations of a movie version of 50 Shades of Grey.”

“Ever since the book came out, we’ve been laughing,” Falcinelli says. “It misrepresents the way people behave. The book is written for entertainment, not reality, and they write it to play to stereotype.”

Among the poorly portrayed elements is the main character, a wealthy guy named Christian Grey, who woos the lead female character.

“The book does not explain the mindset and motivation for” getting into the lifestyle, Falcinelli says.

Mindset and motivation for checking out the alternative lifestyle is explored in the Bashara book, which is slated for a September release. Why spoil the surprise?

The prosecution based much of its case on Bashara’s participation in the BDSM scene and his hopes to start a new life with his BDSM partner, Rachel Gillett. To do so with freedom, prosecutors said, he killed Jane, his wife of 26 years.




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