New Lifetime Movie Paints Menendez Brothers as Victims Driven to Murder by Years of Abuse
"Menendez: Blood Brothers" premieres June 11 on Lifetime.
A new Lifetime movie is taking a fresh look at the notorious Menendez brothers, nearly 30 years after the California siblings gunned down their own parents.
Read: Lyle Menendez Breaks His Silence, 26 Years After He and Brother Erik Were Locked Up in Murder of Parents
Menendez: Blood Brothers, which premieres later this month, portrays the young men as victims of an abusive father and indifferent mother.
In 1989, Erik and Lyle Menendez sprayed their parents with bullets while the couple watched TV inside their affluent Beverly Hills home.
The brothers were later convicted of murder after a sensational trial that gripped the nation.
The new film, however, takes a more sympathetic view, characterizing the brothers not as cold-blooded killers, but as victims pushed to the brink after years of emotional and sexual abuse.
Actor Benito Martinez plays millionaire businessman Jose Menendez, the father of the two songs.
“He was a beast," he told Inside Edition. "He was a monster. He was so wealthy and so demanding, the way he raised his boys created a very dangerous atmosphere in the house and that played out."
Lyle Menendez is now 48 and his brother is 46. Both remain behind bars in separate California prisons.
At their trial, the jury rejected the brothers’ claim that they were abused, choosing instead to side with the prosecution's contention that the two men murdered their parents for the money.
Hole singer Courtney Love, wife of the late Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain, plays their mother, Kitty Menendez.
Read: Could a New California Law Bring a New Chapter in Menendez Brothers' Killings?
“When you look at the number of times she was shot, there was a level of rage there,” she said. “They went to the car, got more ammunition and shot her again. They hated him so much but really, really hated her.”
Nico Tortorella plays Lyle. He told Inside Edition that he actually feels sorry for the man he portrays.
“Do I feel sorry for Lyle and Erik? Yes,” he said. “These kids went through hell with Jose. Murder is not the answer to anything, but these kids went through hell."
Menendez: Blood Brothers premieres June 11 on Lifetime.
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