Brooke Shields to Play Susette Kelo in New Movie

by: Anthony F. Della Pelle
12 Sep 2011

Kelo v. City of New London is moving from a court case of a lifetime to a movie on the Lifetime Channel.   The movie is based on the book “Little Pink House” about Susette Kelo and the Fort Trumbull section of New London’s fight against eminent domain for redevelopment purposes.  Susette Kelo’s story became famous the United States Supreme Court released its opinion in the Kelo case in 2005.  Actress Brooke Shields has been cast as Susette Kelo in the biopic.

The movie is the latest in a series of movies and musicals focusing on eminent domain.  “Greetings from Asbury Park” tells the real life story of a 91-year-old immigrant who is being displaced from her seaside bungalow after living there for 50 years.  “Split Ends” tells the tale of mom and pop shops who are being run out of their tiny little town through eminent domain so a new mall can be constructed in the area.

Eminent domain can only be used for redevelopment in New Jersey after a municipality designates a particular area as an area “in need of redevelopment” under the Local Redevelopment and Housing Law.  Afterwards, the municipality must then adopt a Redevelopment Plan which specifies whether properties within the area boundaries will be acquired and the use of eminent domain may be authorized.

For similar stories, please see the following:

“‘Little Pink House’ to be a Lifetime Channel Movie” at

The Kelo Story Coming Soon to the Screen“, in Robert Thomas’s Inverse Condemnation blog

“Filmmaker captures fight to save Asbury Park home” at

Musical puts the spotlight on community at Boston Globe

The Battle for Brooklyn:  Eminent Domain Abuse Gone Wild, on Reason TV

For more blog posts on the Kelo case, please see the following:

Kelo Five Years Later – It Still Matters

Seized, Stalled, and Scrapped

The author wishes to acknowledge the assistance of Cory K. Kestner, Esq., of McKirdy & Riskin, PA, in the preparation of this article.