TV - Movies
Is Gordy's Attack
In Nope Based On
A True Story?
By MAE HARRINGTON O’NEILL
In Jordan Peele’s “Nope,” former child actor and current theme park owner Ricky “Jupe” Park once starred in a sitcom featuring a live chimpanzee named Gordy. One day, Gordy snapped and brutally mauled Jupe’s young co-star Mary Jo Elliot, an event which bears striking (but perhaps coincidental) parallels to a devastating true story.
In 1995, Sandra and Jerome Herold paid a Missouri-based breeder $50,000 in exchange for Travis the chimpanzee, raising him from infancy. Similar to Gordy in “Nope,” he became something of a celebrity, but he started showing signs that he wasn’t as tame as he seemed: he bit a woman in 1996 and jumped out of his owners’ car at an intersection in 2003.
In February 2009, Charla Nash, a friend of Sandra Herold, arrived to help care for Travis, but he brutally attacked her before being shot and killed by the police. Charla suffered extreme and extensive injuries to her face and hands, but she received a successful face transplant in 2011 and has become an advocate for stricter legislation regarding the sale of exotic animals.