The mother of a man killed in an incident...

LANSING, Mich. -- The mother of a man killed in an incident dramatized in the television movie 'The Burning Bed,' about an abused housewife, said today she refused to watch the program.

'I did not watch it,' Flossie Hughes said. 'I would not watch it. It was nothing like it was.'


She made the comments shortly after the Monday night broadcast of the NBC movie about the marriage and death of one of her sons, Mickey, who was burned to death seven years ago by his wife after she said she suffered years of abuse.

The wife, Francine Hughes, was found innocent of murder charges by reason of temporary insanity in 1977. Hughes died when the bed he was sleeping in was doused with gasoline and set ablaze.

'If I had thought it would have been exactly like it happened, I still wouldn't have watched it,' added Flossie Hughes in an interview with United Press International.

'I was afraid I'd get angry, upset or mad, so I watched the country music awards show.'

Francine Hughes, now 37, was unavailable for comment, but her 18-year-old son, James, had told the Lansing State Journal that he, his mother and his two sisters would watch the movie.


'I hope that if younger women watch it, they'll see what might happen to them,' he said. 'It's an everyday thing, really.'.

She recently moved back to Jackson after spending time in Tennessee with her second husband, Robert Wilson, a country musician she met six months after he was released from Southern Michigan Prison after serving 10 years of a 30-year sentence for armed robbery.

'It's all lies and everything,' a man identifying himself as Flossie Hughes' husband said in a telephone interview. 'It ain't like it happened.'

Dexter Hughes, Mickey's brother, told the Detroit News before the telecast that another brother committed suicide because of the killing.

'It was because of Mickey. Donovan (Hughes) couldn't handle it.'

Francine Hughes' attorney, Byron Greydanus, criticized the film as not being 'very accurate.'

'I would pick out Francine and the person who played myself as examples,' he said, adding that Farrah Fawcett, in the role of Francine Hughes, 'portrayed moments of resistance but was generally reticient, a weak person.'

But he said Francine Hughes 'left many times and he chased her down. She made quite a few efforts to extricate herself. It's important to know because there was no assistance for her so should could not leave.'


Francine Hughes dropped out of school when she was 16 to marry Hughes. She divorced him in 1971 but they started living together again after he was involved in a near-fatal car accident.

She was released 12 days after the innocent verdict, hailed by many feminists, when she passed a pyschiatric examination.

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