Wilbanks and Smith Make Publishing Deals

ATLANTA (AP) - One woman broke the law. The other helped catch a
suspected killer. Each now is selling her story and possibly stands
to make millions of dollars in the process.

Representatives for Ashley Smith -- the woman whose 911 call led
police to courthouse shootings suspect Brian Nichols -- and runaway
bride Jennifer Wilbanks made deals with publishing houses for their stories in the past week .

Entertainment experts say the women likely received advances of
about $500,000 for story rights that could turn into a windfall of millions of dollars should movies of their lives be made. The companies that acquired the rights have declined to release financial details of the deals.

Experts say the sky is the limit for riches when millions of
people want to know your story. In Smith's case, a book titled "Unlikely Angel" will be co-published this fall by the Zondervan and William Morrow divisions of HarperCollins.

Likewise, ReganMedia, which includes HarperCollins imprint Regan Books, announced it has acquired all media rights to the story of runaway bride Jennifer Wilbanks and that a television project is in the works.

Both women have remained relatively mum since their ordeals.
Experts say the women's handlers intentionally clamped down on
releasing more information to maximize the interest in books or
movies about them.


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