1.Everyone shall possess the right to freely express and publicise his thoughts in words, images or by any other means, as well as the right to inform others, inform himself and be informed without hindrance or discrimination 2.Exercise of the said rights shall not be hindered or limited by any type or form of censorship Constitution of the Portuguese Republic, Article 37.º

Maddie's Movie: Roumours, Empty Fund and Esther resigns from board

Maddie movie planned
20 Sept. 2007

Australian actors Cate Blanchett and Russell Crowe have been tipped to star in a movie about missing English toddler Madeleine McCann.

At least two movie studios are believed to be planning dramatisations of the saga surrounding the four-year-old's disappearance from her family's holiday apartment in Portugal in May.

The Daily Express said studio executives were "beginning to whisper" about possible A-list names to play Madeleine's parents, Gerry and Kate McCann, who have been named as suspects in the case by Portuguese police.(In The Daily Express's "Day & Night" column on page 10 of the September 18 issue, the source is an unnamed "movie insider".)

"Obviously, it's not something that people are going to be making a lot of noise about yet as the investigation is still continuing – anyone who spoke publicly about such a project would come in for a great deal of criticism," an unnamed movie insider told the newspaper.

"But at least two studios are hoping to take up the tale and have started considering who they would cast.

"Two names that have been mentioned as possibles to play the McCanns are Cate Blanchett and Russell Crowe."

Madeleine: £300,000 of fighting fund has been spent on the search
27 Sept. 2007

Nearly £300,000 of the fighting fund set up to help finance the search for Madeleine and support her family has been spent so far.
This represents a little under a third of the £1,036,104 given by individuals and organisations to Madeleine's Fund, a non-charitable not-for-profit company.
The Fund's board of directors – comprising colleagues, friends and relatives – met yesterday to decide how to use the money.

The exact figures for what the donations are spent on will not be disclosed until the end of the financial year when the accounts are made public, said director Esther McVey. But the board did reveal that nearly a third of the money collected has been used. With hospital consultant Mr McCann, the family's main earner, on unpaid leave, part of the Fund has been used to meet their living costs.

Other costs incurred include the launch of the Find Madeleine campaign, advertising, legal fees and the employment of former campaign manager Justine McGuinness. Private investigators, said to be ex-military personnel, are being employed to search for the youngster outside Portugal.

London asked for more time before the McCann are charged
8 Jan. 2008

Today it was revealed that Esther McVey, one of the managers of the fund to help find Madeleine, resigned to concentrate on her role as a Conservative parliamentary candidate. Other members of the board have announced the intention to resign, but were requested to wait until contacts to replace them were finished. Around 75 % of the donations have been spent in payments to several private companies and other advisers and experts that have been helping the McCann to manage the Media campaign about Madeleine’s disappearance.

With almost no donations since the parents were named formal suspects, the fund is dwindling fast and the McCann are negotiating agreements for a movie and a book. At the same time, a new private detectives company – Hogan International - was hired, with a specific mission: to review all the police investigation and try to find “weak links”. Hogan International will also replace Metodo 3, the Spanish detectives company, at the end of their contract. (full article here)

McCanns consider film about missing Madeleine
8 Jan. 2008

Mr Mitchell said a film would be considered only if the McCanns believed it would help raise awareness of the case or if it could help fund the search for the missing four-year-old.

The spokesman would not speculate on whether Gerry and Kate would play themselves in any movie or whether their roles would be played by celebrity actors.

Mr Mitchell said: “While it may be hugely entertaining and a bit of fun to think of cast lists, we are a million miles away from that sort of thing."

The possibility of a film or television project is expected to be discussed further when directors of the Madeleine Fund meet later this week.

Mr and Mrs McCann were aware of the meeting but did not attend in person. Instead, Mr Mitchell and another representative of the McCanns met IMG at the firm’s London offices.

Mr Mitchell said it was just one of many approaches that have been made by media companies.

Maybe the McCanns should consider what the Former Home Office Minister said in this press release in 2006 about Making Sure That Crime Doesn't Pay:

Former Home Office Minister Gerry Sutcliffe said:

“It is not right that criminals can make money by selling the story of their crimes. It can cause further hurt and distress to victims and their families as well as being contrary to the principles of natural justice."

“The proposals set out in this consultation are aimed at preventing convicted criminals profiting from publications about their crimes; there is no intention to limit anyone else’s profits or prevent the publishing of books or making of films."

McCanns Ponder Film on Missing Madeleine
9 Jan. 2008
IMG spokesman Jim Gallagher confirmed that representatives of London-based Darlow Smithson, an IMG subsidiary that produces television programs, met with McCann family representatives.

No Maddie Movie Planned
9 Jan. 2008

The McCann's spokesman, Clarence Mitchell, also said on Tuesday that there had been a meeting in December with the IMG film company, the firm behind the award-winning documentary Touching The Void.

He said the McCanns themselves had not attended the meeting, which discussed the possibility of making their daughter's disappearance into either a film or a TV drama.

"In this case we have had one meeting before Christmas. It was between myself, one other person and representatives from IMG."

Parents of Maddie are considering a film proposal
9 Jan. 2008

The parents of Madeleine McCann, Kate and Gerry McCann, are considering a proposal to make a film about the story of their daughter who vanished in the Algarvian town of Praia da Luz, May 3, 2007.

The confirmation was given by Clarence Mitchell, spokesman of the McCanns, who revealed that the film might be a documentary about the disappearance of the toddler. "At this moment it's only a proposal. An IMG producer came into contact with the parents of Madeleine and I had a meeting in London before Christmas. There will be decision in the coming days", he said to the Spanish newspaper El Mundo.

According to the British newspaper the Evening Standard which revealed the existence of negotiations, it is also considered a huge amount of money. According to the newspaper, the sale of the rights are vital for the fund which is around 1.6 millions of euros and which has been created to finance the campaign to find the toddler. In addition to the monthly spendings of 50 thousand pounds (67 thousand euros) for the Spanish private eyes that are following the case at the request of the parents, the advertising costs in several countries relatively to the toddler have been important.

The entertainment and media company that has made a proposal to Kate and Gerry McCann is the IMG and the project, still in discussion phase, would be a mix of a documentary and a recreation about the events in a fictional manner that have marked until now the Maddie case.

In statements to the English newspaper The Guardian, the spokesman of the family, who described as positive the meeting with the company which will allegedly produce the film, he emphasized however that there are other proposals. "We like the proposal, we thought it was fair, but there are others". The newspaper reports that the board of Madeleine's fund is due to meet this week to discuss the proposal and quotes Mitchell who admits that the money collected through the donations is exhausted. "The money is going. I would imagine we've got a few months left. It's not going to last the year unless we get more money in", said the spokesman.

In addition to a film deal, the PR responsible for the image of the McCanns said also that there is another possible deal, this time for a book.

Kate and Gerry 'plan £2m film deal' as Madeleine Fund dwindles

9 Jan. 2008

Kate and Gerry McCann could make £2million from a film deal over the story of their daughter's disappearance, it has been claimed.

Representatives of the couple have begun negotiations with the world's largest entertainment agency, IMG, over selling the rights to their story.

They hope a lucrative deal would fund the continuing search for Madeleine amid fears that the £1.2million raised from public donations will run out within months. (...)

Mr Mitchell said a book deal was also being considered "at some point down the line". He confirmed reports that one of the directors of the fund, former GMTV presenter Esther McVey, had resigned from the board, but denied it was because of any rift with the McCanns.

From Gerry's Blog:

Fund Update: Statement from the Board of Madeleine’s Fund- Leaving No Stone Unturned
09 January 2008

‘There was a scheduled board meeting of Madeleine’s Fund today. We have reached a new longer- term phase in the search for Madeleine and we have reviewed how effective our Fund has been in pursuing its objectives. We agreed to continue our funding of the investigation to find Madeleine and we have decided to look at further media opportunities to support our search. To that end, we have invited two new directors to replace the two who stepped down, for business and personal reasons, We, together with Kate and Gerry McCann, extend our thanks to Esther and Phillip for their hard work and continuing support. We welcome Edward Smethurst and Jon Corner to the board to lend their expertise in commercial law and media.”

About The Fund:

Less than two weeks (15/05/2007) after Madeleine McCann disappeared, the family and friends of the McCann family set up a company called Madeleine's Fund: Leaving No Stone Unturned Limited.

It appears the Fund is a Company Limited by Guarantee and that an application for charitable status has been refused - read the article on the Times: Tax blow for search fund.

Madeleine's Fund: Leaving No Stone Unturned Limited is NOT a charity. It is a private company and as such, the directors can pay who they like without having to follow any rules or guidelines. What donors may not fully understand is that their money has effectively little or no regulation on what or how it is spent. Yes, the company has published policies dictating how the money can be used, but the directors are not regulated by any outside body so they can create and modify any policy to suit themselves. Apart from satisfying legal requirements in terms of running a limited company, the directors and company are answerable to nobody - especially the people who donated good money to find Madeleine.


1. Peter Hubner; a retired hospital consultant;
2. Brian Kennedy, a retired head teacher (Family member - Kate's great uncle);
3. John McCann *, a medical representative (Family member- Gerry's Brother);
4. (former) Esther McVey, managing director of a public relations & communications company;
5. Doug Skehan, clinical director in cardiology at Glenfield Hospital(Colleague of Gerry's - his head of department at the hospital and close friend);
6. (former) Philip Tomlinson, a retired solicitor and former coroner in Leicestershire;
7. Michael Linnett, a retired accountant;
8. (new) Edward Smethurst *, McCann legal co-ordinator ( Smethurst is their lawyer paid by the other Brian Kennedy: millionaire - Check Note);
9. (new) Jon Corner *, Independent Film Producer (Family friend and godfather to twins);

The Fund’s lawyers are Bates Wells Braithwaite, 2-6 Cannon Street, London, EC4M 6YH. www.bateswells.co.uk.

Auditors are Haysmacintyre, Fairfax House, 15 Fulwood Place, London,WC1V 6AY. www.haysmacintyre.com.

Bankers are National Westminster Bank plc., 3rd Floor, Cavell House, 2A Charing Cross Road, London, WC2H 0NN www.natwest.com.

* appeared in the BBC's PANORAMA: The Mystery of Madeleine McCann

Note: Mr Kennedy said “In light of the quite literally incredible accusations against Gerry and Kate McCann, which are clearly exacerbating their emotional torture, I felt compelled to offer, along with other like-minded businessmen, financial support and the full logistical support of the Latium team.”

The Latium Group, which includes the Wilmslow-based business dealing in plastics, glass processing, kitchens and home improvements, is owned by Mr Kennedy.
The owner of Sale Sharks rugby club is worth an estimated £250 million and involved in a number of businesses with an annual turnover of £500 million.
He bought the Everest double glazing business in 1999 for £47 million and then sold his stake in the company for £63 million in 2003.
The father of five was brought up a Jehovah’s witness and divides his time between his house in Congleton in Cheshire and a home in Spain.
His support has boosted the McCann’s legal team.

Who is Esther McVey?

Esther McVey was educated at Belvedere School Liverpool before going to Queen Mary and Westfield University London to study law then City University to do a post graduate course in Radio Journalism before working in the media both as producer and presenter, hosting shows such as GMTV, BBC1's The Heaven and Earth Show , Holiday and BBC1's How do they do that? Channel 4's legal series ‘Nothing But The Truth' BBC2's award winning current affairs programme Reportage… BBC1's Holiday Show as well as consumer series the Really Useful Show and Buying Properties Abroad Series among others….

Esther has debated at Oxford University and even performed The Vagina Monologues at the Empire Theatre Liverpool…. Had her own talk show on Radio 5

Esther McVey is managing director of Making It (UK) Ltd with offices in Liverpool and London.

Making It specialises in communications, public relations, media training and presentational skills.

Esther is a consultant to several tv companies and works with Sky news, ITV and BBC has her own column locally in the Echo .

Esther is also on the board of directors for a national radio station.

Esther's main political interests are crime, transport, health and quality of Life.

Esther is patron of Wirral Holistic Therapeutic Cancer Care as well as patron of Full of Life a charity for disabled children and their families. She's an ambassador for Action Medical Research a charity that funds medical research. As well as being on the board of Obsidian College and an active member of NCH, hosting their 2003 Merseyside and Cheshire Young Achievers Award on the 4th Nov.

Esther has also recently worked with the Daily Post on their Flight Path Campaign which aimed, successfully, to get a flight path between London and Liverpool primarily to boost the overall economy for the Merseyside area which obviously includes Wirral West.

Esther and The McCanns

Esther McVey was one of the Madeleine fund’s first six directors. As their spokeswoman, she said: “I’m a small cog in a giant machine,” says Esther, who adds: “I knew Kate from the year we were at North East Tech, before I went off to do law and she went off to study medicine at university.

“We had a brilliant year and we were good mates. I lived in Aigburth, Kate lived in Allerton and we knocked about together.”

Esther McVey, having resigned as a director of the Fund, appears to have wiped traces of her support of the McCanns and the campaign to find Madeleine from her Blog.

Esther's blog for May 2007 (http://esther2009.wordpress.com/2007/05) there's no mention of Madeleine but in the same page archived at http://web.archive.org/web/200.....mcvey.com/ there's a blog post about Madeleine.

One question: Who is going to own the rights to the film, the McCann family or the fund?

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