Netflix insider says the streaming giant DIDN’T back a film claiming Boris lied about nearly dying of Covid
- Marcus Ball, 33, has raised more than £90,000 to make The Power Of Lies
Netflix has distanced itself from a ‘vile’ documentary that says Boris Johnson lied about having nearly died from Covid.
The man behind it, Marcus Ball, 33, has raised more than £90,000 to make The Power Of Lies.
On his crowdfunding page, the arch-Remainer tells potential investors about the production firms he claims are interested, adding: ‘When we’re done we’ll be showing our film to Netflix, Submarine and WildBear Entertainment (who have all asked to see our roughcut).’
But last night a source at Netflix’s California headquarters told The Mail on Sunday: ‘That is categorically false.
‘We have not requested anything to do with this film. There are no plans to screen anything.’
Netflix has distanced itself from a ‘vile’ documentary that says Boris Johnson, pictured with Carrie Symonds, lied about having nearly died from Covid
The man behind it, Marcus Ball, 33, has raised more than £90,000 to make The Power Of Lies
As the MoS revealed last week, Mr Ball claims the former Prime Minister’s account of his illness – which left Mr Johnson fighting for his life in intensive care – was ‘a terrible lie’ designed to manipulate the public.
BBC presenter Gary Lineker immediately demanded his interview be removed from the film’s trailer after being alerted to the offensive slur by this newspaper.
READ MORE: The man accusing Boris with despicable Covid smear who spent thousands of pounds of public money in donations on himself – including £210 on cupcakes
Labour MP Chris Bryant also said he had no idea the baseless claim about Mr Johnson would be in the film when he agreed to contribute. He said: ‘I took part in an interview about lying in politics. We talked about whether there should be a new offence of lying to Parliament.
‘But we never discussed this kind of conspiracy theory, which I would have immediately dismissed.’
A spokesman for Netflix declined to comment on the record, but the MoS has been told Mr Ball’s assertion that the streaming service asked to see a rough cut of the documentary ‘just isn’t true’. ‘That is not factual,’ a source said.
Mr Ball duped Lineker into being interviewed for the film – which does not have a release date – by claiming it would focus on ‘the importance about truth in politics’.
A trailer lasting one minute and 47 seconds posted online featured a clip of Mr Lineker saying: ‘You just want the truth and the public deserves the truth.’
The trailer then cuts to lawyer Anthony Eskander, a friend of Mr Ball, who says: ‘In 2020 we were all told that the UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson had nearly died of Covid-19 in St. Thomas’ Hospital in London. And not only that, but that his doctors had prepared to announce his death.
‘But because of Marcus’s investigation, which has employed legal methods that have never been used before, it’s now been revealed that the story wasn’t true. It was a terrible lie – and in my view designed to manipulate the general public.’
A source close to Mr Johnson said: ‘This vile conspiracy theory is disgusting and an example of how totally deranged the treatment of Boris has become.’
The source added: ‘It is an insult to the wonderful NHS staff who helped save his life.’
Mr Johnson spent a week at St Thomas’ Hospital in April 2020 and was gravely ill.
As the MoS revealed last week, Mr Ball claims the former Prime Minister’s account of his illness – which left Mr Johnson fighting for his life in intensive care – was ‘a terrible lie’ designed to manipulate the public
He spent three days in intensive care and required ‘litres and litres’ of oxygen to survive Covid.
At one point, doctors discussed putting him on a ventilator and his then-fiancee Carrie Symonds, who was pregnant with their first child, believed he might die.
Afterwards, Mr Johnson said the NHS ‘saved my life, no question’.
Last night Mr Ball, who describes himself as an ‘investigative private prosecutor’, stood by his Netflix claims. When told that Netflix had denied having any involvement or interest in his project, he said: ‘Whoever has told you that is wrong.’
The history graduate was born Joshua Ball in Norwich, the son of an English teacher, but changed his name by deed poll to Marcus. A failed entrepreneur, he has a string of wound-up businesses to his name. Four years ago he raised £500,000 in donations for a private prosecution against Mr Johnson. Described as vexatious and politically motivated, it failed, reportedly leaving him facing financial ruin.
It also turned out that not all the money he received in donations went on the prosecution. He spent £333 on self-defence lessons, £210 on cupcakes for his staff and £1,250 on a deposit for a flat he never moved into. In all, £53,000 made its way into his own pocket, including, £12,065 on accommodation.
Submarine and WildBear Entertainment did not respond to requests for comment.
Marcus Ball’s oily pitch couldn’t persuade me – and I’m amazed Gary Lineker and Kate Adie fell for it, writes GUY ADAMS
BY GUY ADAMS
Why did Gary Lineker agree to be interviewed by Marcus Ball? Why did his BBC colleague Kate Adie and veteran MPs Dawn Butler and Chris Bryant co-operate with the film-maker, too?
I can offer some insight.
In May, the anti-Boris Johnson conspiracy theorist made a concerted effort to convince me, also, to take part in his nasty little film.
He first made a somewhat oily pitch via Twitter, saying he was producing a documentary ‘about lying in politics around the world and the damage it causes to society’.
Ball explained that he wanted ‘a journalist with a different view to my own’. My contribution, I was told, would provide valuable counterbalance.
Gary Lineker attendING day six of the Wimbledon Tennis Championships at All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 08, 2023
Television reporter and combat-zone veteran, Katie Adie
‘Kate Adie, Jennifer Nadel [a BBC journalist turned Green Party activist], Chris Bryant MP, Gary Lineker etc have already been interviewed,’ he wrote.
Ball further claimed that ‘Netflix had asked to see’ the documentary.
I politely declined the invitation. However, Ball wasn’t taking no for an answer.
READ MORE: Gary Lineker duped over ‘vile’ film’s lies about Boris’ Covid: BBC star forced to distance himself from documentary after we expose its smear that PM was never close to death
‘We’ll light and mic you up so well, you’ll look and sound great,’ he responded. He also offered to pay me £350.
When I again demurred, Ball asked: ‘What would make it worth it for you?’
By this point, his tone was ringing alarm bells. Why was Ball so keen for my participation? Four years ago, I’d written an article in the Daily Mail about his crowd-funded attempt to prosecute Boris Johnson over claims that he lied during the 2016 referendum campaign by saying the UK gave the European Union £350 million a week.
It was headlined ‘Remain obsessive battling to sink Bojo’.
I wrote that Ball was a Walter Mitty character who had changed his name via deed poll and set up several companies (some since dissolved) making various questionable claims on their websites.
In other words, not someone I would be happy to help with a documentary about lying.
In any case, I am fully aware of the pitfalls of pre-recorded broadcast interviews when many minutes of conversation can be reduced to a misleading soundbite.
In this case, my fears were justified – a project pitched as a documentary about ‘lying in politics’ appears to have been turned into a mendacious hit-job seeking to peddle the grotesque untruth that the then Prime Minister had lied about nearly dying from Covid.
Everyone who chose to appear in this film will be tarnished by association.
I’m glad to have avoided such a fate – but amazed that broadcasters of the standing of Gary Lineker and Kate Adie, not to mention two veteran Labour MPs, agreed to participate.
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