Kathy Scruggs Bio, Wiki
Kathy Scruggs was an Atlanta newspaper reporter who first reported, through a source, that the FBI was investigating hero security guard Richard Jewell in the Atlanta Olympics bombing. That sparked a media frenzy around Jewell that lasted for weeks before he was exonerated, and it’s now the subject of a new Clint Eastwood movie.
Kathy Scruggs Age
She was born on September 26th, 1958 and died on September 2, 2001, at age 42, in Cherokee County, Georgia.
Kathy Scruggs Parents, Family
According to Monroe’s article, Scruggs was from a “prominent family in Athens” Georgia. She was the daughter of Lewis Lanier Scruggs Sr., known as Bubber, who was the son of the late Lewis Lanier Scruggs and Kathleen Ball Scruggs Barnes. According to his obituary, his daughter, Kathleen Bentley Scruggs, preceded him in death.
Scruggs’ dad had a bachelor’s degree in journalism and served as an Army pilot during World War II. He founded an insurance company in Georgia. He was also the director of the Athens Chamber of Commerce.
Scruggs’ mother, on the other hand, was Nancy Bentley Scruggs, who died in 2015.
Scruggs also had a brother, Lewis Lanier Scruggs Jr. of Athens. According to Nancy’s obit, she was the daughter of the late Emma Stansell Bentley and Upshaw Cranfill Bentley. She was involved in the garden and bridge clubs and started World Wide Travel.
Kathy Scruggs AJC reporter
Kathy Scruggs was the AJC reporter who got the initial information that law enforcement was pursuing Jewell. Scruggs was known as an aggressive reporter and committed journalist who sought always to beat her competition. She has been described by one of her contemporaries as ‘irreverent and savvy.’
The headline on the original story was, “FBI suspects ‘hero’ guard may have planted bomb.” Jewell wasn’t the bomber. That was Eric Rudolph, an anti-government extremist who led police on a massive manhunt. Scruggs wrote a story indicating that the FBI was investigating Jewell. Her story had described Jewell as a “focus” of the investigation.
A 1997 Vanity Fair article by Marie Brenner described in detail how the story happened. The article contains some negative characterizations of Scruggs; It reported that Scruggs had “good contacts in the Atlanta police, and she was tough” but one former staff member called her a “police groupie” to Vanity Fair, and an editor, while praising her talents, told Brenner: “Kathy has a hard edge that some people find offensive.” The story also describes the subsequent media frenzy, which extended far beyond AJC, and the FBI’s initial pursuit of Jewell.
It says that there was a debate in the newsroom over the story and CNN had already decided to hold it. Meanwhile, Kathy Scruggs, a police reporter, “who had allegedly gotten a tip from a close friend in the F.B.I., got a confirmation from someone in the Atlanta police,” Vanity Fair reported. One controversial line reported by AJC: “Richard Jewell . . . fits the profile of the lone bomber.” The story had a double byline, Scruggs and Ron Martz.
Jewell fell under suspicion after he found a backpack that he thought had explosives in it. He was working as a security guard and ushered people out of the area. Three pipe bombs then exploded, and Jewell’s actions probably saved many lives. Suspicion later fell on him, but he was exonerated completely in the attack. Jewell sued news organizations and most settled but not AJC.
“I am not the Olympic Park bomber,” Jewell told reporters after being cleared in the case, according to CNN. “I am a man who has lived 88 days afraid of being arrested for a crime I did not commit.”
Kathy Scruggs Eastwood Movie
Kathy Scruggs’ life is portrayed – falsely, her supporters say – in Clint Eastwood’s new movie on Jewell’s life. Jewell was not the 1996 Atlanta Olympics bomber. The film is called Richard Jewell. Today, she is not here to tell her side of the story, now played on screen by Olivia Wilde. The movie’s release date is December 13th, 2019.
Scruggs has her defenders who are criticizing the Eastwood movie for falsely making it appear that Scruggs offered to have a sexual relationship with the FBI agent who tipped her off.
(GSN) The film Richard Jewell tells the story of the security guard wrongfully treated who saved thousands of lives. Kathy Scruggs, a journalist for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution was the first to publish that the FBI was treating Jewell as a suspect and not a hero. pic.twitter.com/w7wMTupDz2
— HJ (Hank) Ellison (@hjtherealj) December 12, 2019
Relative Nancy Scruggs Dyleski wrote on Facebook: “It is shocking that not one person from this film reached out to anyone in Kathy’s family even after we reached out to them on a couple of different occasions. I guess that they knew that their false narrative would have been shot down by people that actually knew her best. Shame on Olivia Wilde and Clint Eastwood, way to lie about someone that isn’t alive to defend herself. Kathy may be gone, but she is still a vibrant part of our family and we love her very much.”
Feeling quite queezy Richard Jewell movie. It’s true that journalists made mistakes. But the work of the the AJC’s Kathy Scruggs held up. And she did not sleep with her FBI source as the movie indicates. https://t.co/OZX3FPstSF
— kellymcb (@kellymcb) December 5, 2019
Kathy Scruggs Cause of Death (Suicide)
Scruggs passed away from an overdose on September 2nd, 2001 aged 42. The Washington Post reported: “Her early death was a result of a drug overdose and apparently was a suicide.”
Scruggs was found deceased “wearing an Atlanta Motor Speedway T-shirt and panties…The cause of death was acute morphine toxicity, according to the GBI medical examiner, who was unable to determine whether the overdose was intentional or accidental. The examiner also said severe coronary artery atherosclerosis might have contributed to her death. Cherokee Coroner Earl Darby said Scruggs appeared to have died peacefully in her sleep.” Heavy.com has contacted the Cherokee County coroner for more information on Scruggs’ death.
According to Doug Monroe.com, “The stress of the libel lawsuit took a terrible toll on Scruggs over the years. She didn’t go to jail for refusing to identify her source, but she was arrested twice in Buckhead on charges involving intoxication. A friend thinks she was slipped a date-rape drug in one of the incidents.”
After that, wrote Monroe, who worked with Scruggs, “Scruggs’ health declined horribly. She was hospitalized and was briefly unable to move her legs. She had intestinal surgery…She was trying to get better. But she was also under stress from financial problems as her medical bills mounted. She felt treated as a pariah in the newsroom and complained that she no longer had a desk.”
In her heyday, he added, Scruggs “was a hard-drinking, tough-talking police reporter who wasn’t afraid of anything.”