An arrest has been made in connection with the incident that shut down the Baltimore production of Apple TV+’s upcoming Natalie Portman project, Lady in the Lake. However, questions about inconsistencies in the story about just what happened on the set remain.
The Baltimore Police Department told Yahoo Entertainment on Tuesday that officers were called to the set of the Endeavor Content production at approximately 4 p.m. on Aug. 26 “concerning a crew member.”
“Preliminary information reported that a crew member had received a verbal threat of violence from an individual, who he alleged also brandished a firearm,” the department had said in a statement. “At that time, filming was halted out of an abundance of caution.”
After investigating, detectives determined “that a local street vendor was upset that he had not been compensated by the production for lost business, since he could not operate his clothing business while the crew was filming at that location.”
Officers later identified the vendor as Keith L. Brown, 43, of Pikesville, Md., whom they arrested Aug. 29 on narcotics charges.
“Brown informed detectives that he had talked with a crew member and a security manager and was awaiting paper work to receive compensation for lost business on Aug. 26,” the department explained.
Detectives continue to interview people during their ongoing investigation.
When the production shut down on Friday, police had said that producers were threatened by locals who wanted $50,000 in order for filming to continue.
“The leaders of the production decided to err on the side of caution and reschedule the shoot after they found another location,” department spokesperson Chakia Fennoy told the Los Angeles Times.
According to the incident report provided by the police on Tuesday, they were called after a crew member reported that individuals had brandished a gun at another of the workers, a driver, while demanding money in order for them to continue filming. While the crew member initially said he had seen the gun, he later said only the driver had seen it. Someone else, with the on-set security team, first said the perpetrators wanted $4,000 but then said it was $50,000. An officer later determined that the victim’s “recollection of the incident changed during the investigation.”
Endeavor Content did not immediately respond to Yahoo Entertainment’s request for comment.
However, on Monday, the company gave a statement to The Hollywood Reporter:
“Friday afternoon, on the Baltimore set of our production Lady in the Lake, prior to the arrival of the cast and crew … a driver on our production crew was confronted by two men, one of whom brandished a gun directed at our driver, and then they fled the location. We are working with the Baltimore Police Department as the investigation is ongoing. The safety and security of our crew, cast and all who work across our productions is our highest priority, and we are thankful no one was injured. Production will resume with increased security measures going forward. It has been a privilege filming Lady in the Lake in Baltimore, working with its vibrant community across many areas.”
Lady in the Lake is a limited series based on Laura Lippman’s 2019 crime novel of the same name, which is inspired by two disappearances in 1960s Baltimore. Portman plays Maddie Schwartz, a bored housewife who chooses to leave her husband to become a crime reporter.