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George Clooney to produce docuseries on Ohio State sexual abuse scandal

According to The Hollywood Reporter, George Clooney will produce a docuseries on the allegations of sexual abuse within the Ohio State athletic department.
Credit: Photo by Grant Pollard/Invision/AP, File
FILE - In this Wednesday, May 15, 2019, file photo, actor George Clooney talks to reporters on arrival at the premiere of the television mini-series "Catch22," in London. Clooney was honored Monday, Dec. 7, 2020, by co-stars and colleagues at the annual film benefit for the Museum of Modern Art, held virtually.

One of Hollywood's most famous faces is preparing to tackle the decade-long abuse scandal at the Ohio State University. According to The Hollywood Reporter, George Clooney and Grant Heslov's Smokehouse Pictures will produce a docuseries based on an October 2020 Sports Illustrated story by Jon Wertheim, which detailed allegations of sexual abuse within the university's athletic department committed by sports doctor Richard Strauss.

"This article uncovers the most widespread sexual abuse scandal in the history of American higher education. It is a story about power, abuse, enabling and the hierarchy of college sports that had been concealed for far too long," Wertheim, who will be an executive producer of the series, said, per THR. "Because these courageous men made the decision to remain silent no longer, we can finally begin to hold the abuser, and those who were complicit in their silence, accountable for their actions — and inactions. With the help of 101 Studios, [SI owner] Authentic Brands Group and Smokehouse Pictures, their voices and stories — harrowing as they are — will be amplified."

Added Clooney and Heslov in a statement, "We're very pleased to partner with 101 Studios and Sports Illustrated in bringing this devastating and tragic story to light."

The series does not currently have an outlet for distribution.

Last year, Ohio State finalized a $40.9 million settlement with 162 survivors related to the sexual abuse allegations against Strauss. A university investigation found that Strauss abused students during his time working at OSU from 1978-1998 and that the university administration failed to appropriately respond.

Even after being released from his position in the athletic department, Strauss remained a tenured professor at Ohio State. He died by suicide in 2005.

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