Watch CBS News

'Spotlight' Success Empowers Survivors Of Boston Clergy Sex Abuse Scandal

BOSTON (CBS) -- "Spotlight"'s Best Picture win at the Academy Awards Sunday night was met with emotion and approval by survivors of the Boston clergy sex abuse scandal.

A scene from "Spotlight." (WBZ-TV)

"I gave out a little 'whoop!' and was just smiling, clapping and shed a couple tears," survivor Alexa MacPherson said.

MacPherson was sexually abused by a priest in a Boston parish starting when she was just three years old.

She says "Spotlight," the Hollywood film based on the Boston Globe investigation into the Catholic clergy sex abuse scandal, has empowered victims just like her.

"More people realize what we've been through and that these documents really existed, that the church did actively participate in this cover up and they still protect these pedophiles," MacPherson said.

Boston attorney Mitchell Garabedian, who has represented more than 2,000 clergy abuse victims, says "Spotlight" has given more victims the strength to come forward.

Garabedian claims he has been contacted by more than 50 new victims since the release of the movie.

"Now they are regaining the dignity that they lost as children when they were sexually abused by a priest," he says.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.