LOS ANGELES - The Brian Banks movie has hit the big screens but there’s nothing like hearing from those who lived this heartbreaking chapter. Banks and his family were bright smiles at the Long Beach premiere of the new movie based on his life. In our 2103 interview, it was raw and real.
Banks was jailed in 2002 for a sex crime that never happened. Banks was a 16-year-old football star when a classmate accused him of rape. He was sent to prison for five years and on parole for another five. He fought those ten years to prove his innocence. That came in 2012.
His story made national news as the California Innocence Project was able to clear his name. In our 2013 interview one year later Banks called that exoneration a new beginning. He could visit his mother's Long Beach home without being on parole, without being registered as a sex offender.
With a wrongful conviction, the whole family suffers. This movie was their reality. We witnessed a raw moment six years ago with little brother Brandon. He remembered getting phone calls from colleges wanting to recruit his brother for football. In tears, Brandon said in 2013, "I had dreams too."
Despite all those lost years, Banks was able to play an NFL pre-season. He wrote a book, does public speaking, and continues to work with the California Innocence Project.
At the premiere, Brandon was beaming as his big brother walked the red carpet and the cast, as well as childhood friends, turned out in support.
Banks is played by actor Aldis Hodge in the movie. Actress Sherri Shephard plays Banks' devoted mother Leomia Delaney. Greg Kinnear plays Justin Brooks.