You are currently viewing Sunny and Claus von Bülow: this fascinating affair that inspired the film with Glenn Close and Jeremy Irons

Arte is broadcasting Le Mystère von Bülow this Sunday, January 23, from 8:55 p.m. A feature film with Glenn Close and Jeremy Irons in the main roles, and inspired by an incredible true story.

Released in 1990, The von Bülow Mystery is broadcast this Sunday, January 23, from 8:55 p.m., on Arte. A feature film that allowed the actor Jeremy Irons to win the Oscar for best actor, thanks to his interpretation of Claus von Bulow, accused of attempting to murder his wife in order to recover his fortune. An incredible affair, drawn from a true story, and told in the book Reversal of Fortune : Inside the von Bülow Case, by Professor Alan Dershowitz in 1985.

A little step back in time. Martha Crawford von Auersperg, commonly referred to as “Sunny”, was theone of the richest heiresses in the United States. On June 6, 1966, she married Claus von Bülow, a British playboy of German-Danish origin. The couple decides to quickly settle in a villa in Newport, Rhode-Island.

But after years of marriage, their romance is faltering, and the couple is considering divorce. On December 27, 1979, a first alert occurred. Sunny fails to wake up. She will finally regain consciousness only a few days later in the hospital. But almost a year to the day later, on December 22, 1980, the heiress is discovered inanimate in his bathroom, due to an overdose of insulin, before being transported again to the hospital where she will end up sink into a deep coma from which she will never wake up.

Sunny von Bülow dies after 27 years in a coma

In July 1981, un grand jury inculpe Claus von Bülow. He accuses her of having poisoned his wife in order to inherit his fortune. As proof, a kit and syringes were indeed found at their home. Claus von Bülow is finally convicted nine months later, then sentenced to 30 years in prison in May 1982. The man decides to appeal the decision, before being released on bail of 1 million dollars. In April 1984, assisted by a new lawyer, Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz, he manages to overturn the sentence by the Rhode Island Supreme Court. In June 1985, after a new trial, Claus von Bülow was acquitted by the court of Providence.

For his part, Sunny von Bülow, after spending more than 27 years in a coma, is died of cardio-pulmonary arrest on December 6, 2008 in a retirement home in Manhattan, New York.

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