Sunny von Bülow

PARIS: I mean, women fall for men who are wrong for them all of the time, and then they get sidetracked from their goals. They give up careers and become alcoholics and, if you’re Sunny von Bülow, wind up in a coma completely incapable of stopping Glenn Close from playing you in a movie.

Martha “Sunny” von Bülow (born Martha Crawford, 1932-2008), heiress and socialite. Her second husband, Claus von Bülow (1926−2019), was convicted in 1982 of attempting to murder her by insulin overdose, but the conviction was overturned on appeal. A second trial found him not guilty, after experts testified that there was no insulin injection and that her symptoms were attributable to overuse of prescription drugs, combined with alcohol and diabetes. Sunny von Bülow lived almost 28 years in a persistent vegetative state from 1980 until her death.

The story was dramatised in the 1990 film Reversal of Fortune, directed by Barbet Schroeder, and based on the 1985 book of the same name by Claus’ lawyer, Alan Dershowitz. The role of Sunny is played by Glenn Close in the film. Reversal of Fortune received mostly positive reviews, and still has a very good reputation as a tantalising mystery and satire on the rich.

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