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Joyce McKinney looked warily at the photographer snapping her picture outside Broadway Centre Cinemas.

"You're not with the Daily Mirror, are you? The ones who robbed my house in '78?" asked McKinney, who came to the Salt Lake City theater Friday to refute parts of Oscar-winning filmmaker Errol Morris' documentary "Tabloid."

The movie tells of McKinney's life and the infamous "Case of the Manacled Mormon" — in which McKinney was accused of kidnapping an LDS missionary in England in 1977 and forcing him to have sex.

During a Q-and-A session with a surprised audience that had just seen McKinney on screen, the former Wyoming beauty queen defended her name, slammed the tabloid and mainstream reporters who she says wronged her, talked about a lawsuit against the film's producers, condemned The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and showed off her cloned pit bull, Booger Hong.

McKinney has dropped in unannounced at previous screenings of "Tabloid" across the country, including at a Q-and-A session with Morris at a film festival in New York. She visited Salt Lake City because, she said, "I wanted to see the Mormon reaction."

When the once-petite McKinney ("I used to weigh 112 pounds," she said) walked to the front of the Broadway auditorium, she asked the audience, "How many people in here think Joyce McKinney kidnapped and raped the 300-pound, 6-foot-5-inch Mormon missionary?" She counted five people who raised their hands, and then quipped, "You're Mormons, huh?"

"Tabloid" tells of McKinney's arrest in 1977, when she was accused of kidnapping LDS missionary Kirk Anderson, taking him to a cottage in Devon and tying him down with ropes and having sex with him. McKinney claims, to this day, that she and Anderson were in love and engaged to marry — and her actions in England were "a cult rescue" to save Anderson from Mormonism.

Anderson now lives in Orem, and has refused all requests from journalists — and from Morris — to talk about the incident.

"I don't have any animosity at all" toward Anderson, McKinney said.

McKinney claims the film's producers got her to be interviewed in the movie by misleading her, telling her that Morris was working on a TV series about victims of paparazzi. "I had no idea they were going to do this trashy movie," she said, adding that her family has been traumatized by the film.

Meanwhile, McKinney said Hollywood is interested in telling her story. "Kirsten Dunst is running around all over Hollywood saying 'I have to have this part!'," McKinney claimed. "I'm more a Katie Heigl type — she's an ex-Mormon like me."

If Hollywood tells her story, McKinney said, "I hope this time around, it's a love story."

Read the review

Tribune movie critic Sean P. Means' review of "Tabloid" is online •