Movie about Orange County "Black Widow" Premieres

By: Lisa Ferrari
By: Lisa Ferrari

The names are different, but the story will be familiar to many people in our area.

"Widow on the Hill," a Lifetime television movie based on the true story of Donna Somerville, an Orange County woman who was accused of poisoning her husband premiered Monday night, Jan. 24.

Actor James Brolin plays Hamilton, Donna's husband. He told CBS 19 that playing the character wasn't much of a stretch.

“I'm sort of an easygoing person and I think Hank was easy going and sort of loving life and that each day is going to come out right. And in other words it's not a character role for me like going into the Regan’s last year not knowing how in the world I could possibly deliver this,” said Brolin

Although the movie was shot in Canada, Brolin was in the Charlottesville area recently.

“Manassas, I bought an airplane there three years ago and then flew it back and then we took a boat trip around the bay which is so beautiful all of the little towns around the bay are so gorgeous and original, aren’t they? No fast foods. And you know the way I like to do it is just have my truck and just slip into these little towns and just enjoy them for what they really are and go to the cafes that everyone has been going to for 50 years and nothing much has changed I loved it a lot,” said Brolin.

The sensationalized trial in Orange County drew much interest this summer with testimony about Donna Somerville's extramarital affairs and the results of a delayed autopsy requested by Hamilton's daughters.

Donna Somerville was acquitted in June of all charges in her husband's 2001 death.
She is awaiting the outcome of a $15 million civil suit brought against her by her step daughters.


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