What Michael Peterson Is Up To Now After HBO’s 'The Staircase' & The Death Of Another Spouse

He feels "pimped out" by the new HBO series.

Georgia Staff Writer
​Michael Peterson with his lawyer during his trial.

Michael Peterson with his lawyer during his trial.

The Staircase | Netflix

HBO's thrilling true crime series The Staircase has captivated audience members across the globe as it follows the life and trial of Michael Peterson after the suspicious death of his second wife Kathleen Peterson in 2001.

But the series' chilling events have left some viewers wondering, "Where is Michael Peterson now?"

Despite being convicted of murdering his wife in 2003 and being sentenced to life in prison, he was released on bail in 2011 and granted a retrial after it was found that crucial testimony from Duane Deaver, a blood-splatter analyst, was deemed inadmissible.

In 2017, Peterson took an "Alford Plea" and plead guilty to voluntary manslaughter, and was sentenced to seven years and a month behind bars, which he had already served in the eight years following his first trial.

Following his release, Peterson broke up with long-time girlfriend Sophia Brunet, who played a critical part in the HBO series. The pair met when Brunet was an editor on the original Netflix documentary The Staircase about Peterson, while he was behind bars.

Their relationship lasted until May 2017, when the pair separated prior to Brunet moving to Paris.

"We made plans to live in Paris. Then I went and realized, no, I can't. I can't live in Paris. I don't speak French. I'm too old. I couldn't afford to live in Paris and my children, and grandchildren were in America," Peterson told The News & Observer.

Following the split, Peterson moved back in with his first wife Patricia "Patty" Peterson, who supported him throughout his trial and incarceration.

The two lived together as "companions" according to their son, Clayton, from 2019 until July 2021, when Patty died of a heart attack.

These days, Michael Peterson is still living in Durham, NC, writing and maintaining his innocence. He has written and published two memoirs about his trial and life after prison. In October of 2022, he will be turning 79 years old.

He recently made headlines for expressing his disapproval of HBO's The Staircase, saying he felt "pimped out" by directors.

“We feel that Jean pimped us out — sold OUR story to Campos for money — what word other than pimped describes what he did? There are egregious fabrications and distortions of the truth in the HBO series, well beyond what may be considered ‘artistic’ license," he wrote in an email to Variety.

Narcity reached out to Michael Peterson for comment on his new life as a free man.


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