Joyce “Tilly” Mitchell, the prison tailor who was jailed for helping two convicted murderers escape from a New York prison, is less than thrilled about how a Showtime series depicted the 2015 incident.
In two jailhouse interviews with the New York Post, Mitchell, 55, denied having consensual sex with Richard Matt and David Sweat and denounced “Escape At Dannemora” for sensationalizing the story. Actress Patricia Arquette portrays Mitchell in the Ben Stiller-directed miniseries.
“Ben Stiller is a son-of-a-b***h liar just like the rest of the world. He doesn’t care about the truth. All he cares about is making millions off me. He’s an idiot,” she said.
Mitchell was jailed for helping Richard Matt and David Sweat (pictured center and right) escape through a manhole at Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora in June 2015. The prison break resulted in a three-week manhunt which involved more than 1,500 officers. The search ended with Matt being fatally shot and Sweat’s capture.
Mitchell and Sweat have denied having a physical relationship. However, The Gothamist reported that she admitted to having oral sex with Sweat and Matt — and other prison employees testified that she had sex with both men.
In the series, Arquette is seen having romps with both inmates in the prison’s tailor shop closet. Mitchell claimed that would have been impossible as the small closet had an air compressor in it.
“The truth doesn’t sell…Everyone thinks I’m just a w***e who wanted it,” she told the Post.
Mitchell provided Sweat and Matt with the hacksaw blades and a drill bit they used to saw through a wall and escape. Mitchell told the Post that she bought the blades for 99 cents at Walmart out of fear, not because she was enamored by them.
“At that point, I had to do it,” Mitchell told the news outlet. “I was stupid. They took advantage of my kindness.”
On Thursday, Mitchell was released from the Bedford Hills Correctional Facility after serving more than four years. In September 2015, a court sentenced Mitchell to between 2 1/3 and seven years for promoting prison contraband.
Mitchell said she has not seen “Escape At Dannemora,” but claims she heard about it from her husband and workers at the prison she was housed at. She revealed to the Post that she plans to write a book about the ordeal.
Meanwhile, Stiller defended his depiction of Mitchell in “Escape At Dannemora.” Stiller told Deadline that he spoke with Sweat and while Sweat denied having a sexual relationship with Mitchell, he admitted that she did give him nude photos of herself.
“In terms of exploiting her; this was a story I wanted to tell in as full a way as possible and really tried to take into account the context of the world that everyone was living in,” he said. “I’m sorry she feels that way. It can’t be fun to be in prison and I don’t have any ill will towards her in particular.”
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[Featured image: Joyce Mitchell/Bedford Hills Correctional Facility; Richard Matt, David Sweat/U.S. Marshals Service]