DETROIT — Dawn Scott, the sister of "White Boy" Rick Wershe, says the new film starring Matthew McConaughey doesn't accurately portray her family.
"We were portrayed in the film as low-class dirt poor scuzz bags, I don't know what other words to use, not the way it was," Scott said.
The movie tells the life story of Wershe, a teenage drug dealer who remains behind bars after being sent to jail at 18.
Scott and her brother were raised by their dad on the east side of Detroit in what used to be a middle-class neighborhood. She says the way her grandparents, who are deceased, were depicted on the big screen hurt the most. They helped raise them and lived right across the street.
"They look like a bunch of drunks that just didn't care, wild and crazy, but they are the best people you'd ever meet," Scott said.
She also denies that her father, portrayed in the movie by McConaughey, couldn't handle his children.
"What upset me the most, he said my dad couldn't handle you kids, he had Rick sell drugs because he couldn't cut the mustard, but that's the farthest from the truth," she said.
Scott was only 17 when her brother, then 14, started dealing drugs. Scott says Wershe was an undercover informant for the FBI for between six months to a year until he was shot and severely injured.
"Here they were using a child as an under-aged informant, which I would say was against all types of laws," she said. "I did not move home until after Rick was shot, I had to move home to take care of him."
Unlike in the movie, she says her dad, who also made statements to the FBI, was outraged and wanted Rick out of the drug business when he came home with $50,000 in drug money.
"Rick refused so my dad took the money and threw my ex-husband and Rick out of the house," Scott said.
She said Wershe bought a house down the street and kept rolling. Crack cocaine was the cheap drug of choice.
"Selling drugs is like a gambler; when you win that jackpot you want more, bigger ones out there," Scott said.
Scott also says the movie strongly implies that she was a heroin addict. She says she's never used heroin.
But she also says that what the movie does get right was how "White Boy Rick" came to be.
"That's how Rick was, that's what Rick did, he did his own thing," she said.
According to Scott, the Hollywood film was born out of the media circus surrounding "White Boy Rick" that began in Detroit.
"It was like he was a rock star, it made him more than he was," she said.
Scott says she and her family signed two different movie contracts years ago but refused to sign a third for this version of the movie. She says she and her family were never consulted for the film and never received any payment for their life rights.
Now, after supporting her brother during his life behind bars for 25 years, she's hoping when he's released in 2020 they can heal from old family feuds and live as brother and sister again.