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Idaho filmmaker’s premiere canceled following outcry

A local indie filmmaker’s movie premiere was canceled after public outcry over his past conduct.
Credit: Jeff Hitchcock

BOISE, Idaho —

This story originally appeared in the Idaho Press.

A local indie filmmaker’s movie premiere was canceled after public outcry over his past conduct.

Bill Doty’s film “Fugued Up!” was set to be screened at the Egyptian Theatre on May 4 — but the event was called off. 

Doty said the film was canceled because someone called the Egyptian and told them he was a “sex predator,” and protests were planned the day of the showing. 

The Egyptian did not respond to a request for comment. 

Numerous people on Facebook who are a part of the film industry in Idaho protested the premiere of Doty’s film online, citing his alleged past conduct with women as a reason the film should not be shown. Multiple women on Facebook said in their posts that Doty acted inappropriately with them and people they know. Doty has denied these accusations, and no charges have been filed in connection with them. 

Doty, 53, who is a creator and partner of the marketing agency Senestre Creative, was charged in 2017 for second-degree stalking, a misdemeanor, and video voyeurism, a felony. He pleaded not guilty. 

Doty reached a Rule 11 plea agreement, which is an agreement entered into by the parties for a specific sentence if the defendant pleads guilty to a certain criminal charge. 

He later pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of disturbing the peace and a misdemeanor charge of using a telephone to harass, threaten, or intimidate and served six days in jail. 

Doty has denied the stalking and voyeurism charges and said they were “dropped.” 

“The voyeurism charges, like I said, Idaho has weird laws so they didn’t know what to do with it,” Doty said. 

Court documents show that Doty’s former fiancee, identified as E.D., said after a turbulent relationship and breakup, Doty stalked and harassed her. Court documents also show a protective order. 

The Idaho Press does not identify victims of potential harassment. 

“The defendant then proceeded to stalk me for over a year despite me cutting off all communication on my end,” E.D.’s statement said. “I could not go more than a month without hearing from him and it was a constantly sinking, sick feeling in my stomach knowing he was not leaving me alone.” 

E.D. went on to say in the court statement that Doty kept insinuating he would distribute naked photos of her to people in his circle. 

“He then did so, verified, to two different people, although I suspect many more in his ‘network’ may have them as well,” she said in the document. 

“I never sent any nude pictures to anyone nor committed revenge porn,” Doty said. 

Catrine McGregor, a casting director and producer with Blue Banner Films LLC, said that Doty came to her years ago and sent her the script for the film. She said she liked it, and began working with Doty for production. 

Later, it came to her attention that Doty had a history with the law after a local actor brought up the charges to her. 

McGregor said Doty admitted to disturbing the peace and using a telephone to harass someone in a brief meeting with her. 

“He said ‘can we go on and make a movie?’ and I said ‘yes’. Because if I worked with people that had never had anything, I wouldn’t make a movie,” McGregor said. 

Lana Westbrook, who has been outspoken against Doty’s film being premiered due to his past, said that he had been harassing her through a website domain that Westbrook said he purchased. Westbrook dated Doty in 2012 for nearly six weeks, she said. 

The Idaho Press confirmed that the website, boisefilmfestival.com, as of Wednesday morning had a message on its main page claiming that the Boise Film Festival was “destroyed” by Westbrook because she ran off with the festival’s funding. Westbrook disputes the claim made on the site. 

On Wednesday afternoon, the website was no longer available. 

In a Feb. 2, 2016, email from Doty to Westbrook and her attorney, Doty said, “My only fault was making a website for some people who registered the film festival name because we all thought it was funny.” 

Westbrook said the domain was most likely to get her attention after years of “ignoring his advances.” 

“Seven years later, the site is back up with slanderous information,” Westbrook said on Monday. “At present, I am volunteering with a local missing child’s case and this information has impacted my PR work. I’ve been trolled on Twitter and called a fraud thanks to a sociopath who won’t leave me alone. It triggered my PTSD and caused multiple emotional breakdowns.” 

Doty said he bought it years ago, but with threats of being sued by Westbrook, he said he gave it up and it remains in the hands of someone else. 

Doty is currently on probation in the 2017 case. 

This story originally appeared in the Idaho Press. Read more at IdahoPress.com

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