Diane Schuler's husband paid for movie deal

Daniel Schuler walks with his sister-in-law Joyce after

Daniel Schuler walks with his sister-in-law Joyce after he speaks to the media in Garden City. (Aug. 6, 2009) (Credit: Howard Schnapp)

A documentary film company led by Robert F. Kennedy's youngest daughter has begun producing "an investigative film" about the Taconic Parkway crash, an arrangement that includes paying the wrong-way driver's family for materials and research, the Brooklyn company said Monday.

MF Films, part of Rory Kennedy's Park Slope-based Moxie Firecracker company, denied a New York Post report Monday that it was paying Diane Schuler's husband $100,000, calling the sum "wildly exaggerated" in a statement.

"A modest stipend was paid for activities related to the making of the film," it said. "It is not uncommon to pay for materials and research when making an investigative film."

Police said she was drunk and high when Diane Schuler, 36, of West Babylon, drove a minivan full of children 85 mph the wrong way on the Taconic Parkway and crashed into another vehicle. Eight people were killed, including four children and Schuler, police said. Only her son, Bryan, now 6, survived the July 26, 2009, collision.

Schuler's husband, Daniel, has vowed to prove his wife was suffering from a medical condition, not drunk and high. His attorney, Dominic Barbara of Garden City, said the documentary would pay for new tests and even exhume Schuler's body from its grave in Westbury. He said MF Films was establishing a trust fund for Bryan.

But MF Films denied the trust fund and said it was "far too early" to talk about exhuming the body or paying for tests. Barbara said the crew began work two weeks ago.

A project source said HBO would likely show the documentary.

The news angered the family of Michael and Guy Bastardi, the Yonkers father and son killed along with a friend, Daniel Longo, in the SUV.

"To give someone the rights to exhume your wife's body is disgraceful," said Michael Bastardi Jr.

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