Eoin Butler: writer, journalist and Mayoman of the Year

Tripping Along The Ledge



Remember Latif Yahia? Iraqi army captain, worked as Uday Hussein’s body double, escaped into exile, took a policeman hostage, punched a judge, torched a refugee camp, married an Irish woman, got into a beef with Michael McDowell and posted some fucking scary messages on this blog… Yeah, that Latif Yahia.

A $20m biopic based on his book I Was Saddam’s Son is about to go into production, starring Dominic Cooper (Mama Mia, An Education.) And the film’s director has a pretty colourful back story all of his own…

Mamma Mia actor Dominic Cooper is set to take on the lead role in The Devil’s Double, the true story of Latif Yahia, a former schoolmate of Uday [Hussein]’s, forced to served as the latter’s public stand-in… Director Lee Tamahori (Once Were Warriors, Die Another Day) is due to call the shots on a scheduled January shoot, and Molière actress Ludivine Sagnier looks set to sign on as Cooper’s co-star. Michael Thomas, scriptwriter for Backbeat and ancient Matthew Broderick fantasy Ladyhawke, has penned the screenplay, based on the dual tomes by Yahia, I Was Saddam’s Son and The Devil’s Double.

That’s the same Lee Tamahori, incidentally, who hasn’t made a film since being arrested for offering an undercover cop oral sex on Santa Monica Boulevard in 2006, whilst dressed in women’s clothes. (That this is actually the second instance of crossdressing in the Yahia saga is all you need to know about this utterly bizarre story…)

Meanwhile, last we heard of Dr Yahia himself he’d turned his back on Ireland for a new life and a fairer crack of the whip in Cyprus. How’s that working out? Well, according to the Cyprus Mail, he’s about to face a human trafficking charge over there:

Suffice to say Latif isn’t happy here; he loves the people, but the system – he says – has cheated, humiliated and wronged him. The bureaucracy is stifling – and racist. “Everywhere I go, they say ‘You are not Cypriot’. I say, ‘So f**ing what? This is Europe!’”. No-one seems to be accountable, no-one listens if you try to complain. A court case is pending, accusing him of human trafficking, a charge he strenuously denies. “I was in prison here for eight days,” he recalls. “I saw things, I can’t believe I am in a European country. [It’s like] I’m living in Iraq!”

Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose. Eh, Dr Yahia?

November 11th, 2009.

14 Responses to “HUMAN TRAFFICK”

  1. phil Says:

    Bit of competition Eoin, he has a blog too. And its better than yours:

    “You are where you are . . . think about it; we are determined by where we are, what we expose ourselves to, our environment. Not just our genetics. Now consider: You are what you eat. Okay now, if what you eat is not grown where you are, what are you???”

  2. El Kid Says:

    Well, the good news is I reckon he’ll wait at least until the film has gone to DVD (and Oscar season is over) before hunting you down and killing you…

  3. Eoin Says:

    @ Phil – “If what you eat is not grown where you are, what are you???” I’m going to go with “not a subsistence farmer anyway.”

    @ EK – right well that gives me a good 18 months in which to make hay.

  4. massey Says:

    Playing his wife. Niiice…

  5. Eoin Says:

    @ Massey – holy shit, that’s the gamey one from Swimming Pool, isn’t it?

  6. massey Says:

    Couldn’t tell ya mate but they’re some set of bazookas, wha?

  7. Eoin Says:

    Funnily enough, I was interviewing Donal Lunny last week. Typed up a couple of notes quickly, printed them out and ran out the door.

    Must have been the spellchecker or something, cos in the interview the bullet point read, “You’re credited with introducing the bazooka into Irish music…”

  8. sarah Says:

    Hope this guy isn’t dangerous Eoin. Cough! *—– ——-*cough!*—- —*…

  9. Eoin Says:

    I hope he isn’t too Sarah, but I’m gonna tinker with that comment now just to be on the safe side.

  10. Denise Says:

    Ludivine Sagnier was the blonde girl from Swimming Pool alright. Now that a film that could have done with a DVD commentary imho.

  11. Eoin Says:

    Agreed. Saw it in the cinema when it came out. 95% tense psychological thriller. 5% total WTF.

  12. golden graham Says:

    Bizarre altogether.Doesn’t anyone care that his story seems completely made up??

  13. Colin Says:

    @Golden Graham – Hasn’t stopped Hollywood in the past.

  14. Eoin Says:

    @ Colin – welcome back man, haven’t heard from you in a while!

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