Laurel Hester selflessly protected the people of New Jersey for 24 years as a detective lieutenant with the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office. In 2004, while still on the force, she was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer. Her dying wish to pass on her pension benefits to her registered domestic partner, Stacie Andree, was repeatedly denied by the Ocean County Freeholders.
The heartrending story of Hester and Andree and their fight for equal rights is now a major motion picture, Freeheld, starring Academy Award-winner Julianne Moore as Hester and Academy Award-nominee Ellen Page as Andree.
“When I read the plight of Laurel Hester…I was really surprised and kind of shocked,” says producer Cynthia Wade. “I realized instantly this was going to be my next passion project.”
Wade produced and directed an earlier documentary about the two women, also titled Freeheld, which won an Academy Award for best documentary short in 2008.
READ THE FULL STORY: Pension Fight Inspires Film (New Jersey Monthly)