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Dirty John in the Media: Beyond the LA Times

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FYI - there will be a two hour documentary on Oxygen next Monday (January 14) called Dirty John, the Dirty Truth.

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Oxygen Media, the destination for high-quality crime programming, will premiere a two-hour documentary, "Dirty John, The Dirty Truth" on Monday, January 14 at 8:00pm ET/PT. A companion to Bravo's hit scripted anthology, the special goes beyond the articles and podcasts made famous by Los Angeles Times reporter Christopher Goffard, and traces con-man John Meehan's trail of manipulation that started long before he met Debra Newell. Through the eyes of the real people he deceived, the documentary takes a deep dive into his troubled past, his altercations with law enforcement, and features exclusive interviews with former girlfriends who speak out for the very first time.

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Debra is on Andy Cohen’s show tonight behind the bar. She said the Bravo show was not showing the ‘romance’ of her relationship with John. Omg, what is wrong with her? Connie Britton definitely nailed her demeanor. She seems tranquilized. And the breathy, baby voice. 

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3 hours ago, yourmomiseasy said:

Shit, I hate that guy (mainly because his stupid show sucks me in), but I think I might have to tivo and watch.

Well you read my mind.  I can’t remember the last time I suffered through an hour of Dr. Phil.  But I’ve set the TiVo so I guess I’m watching.

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I'm so glad that you posted about Dr. Phil.  I just set my dvr!  Usually I find out about these things after the fact, so a great big thank you!

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39 minutes ago, hoosiermom said:

If you don’t know how this ends, DON’T watch Dr. Phil today. He knew the final episode of the Bravo series was airing this coming Sunday and still happily let his guest Debra, tell the entire story. What an ass.

Thanks @hoosiermom for posting this. (I brought it over from the Chivalry episode thread.)  It may be too late for some  but may be  helpful for the ones who recorded it. 

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On 12/26/2018 at 7:29 PM, Ohwell said:

I'm assuming Debra gets a cut for this show?  She doesn't deserve a dime.

Probably not. Usually what happens is that a producer will option life story rights. There is usually some sort of one time consideration or payment for the length of the option, but not often a percentage of profits or points unless the grantee is relatively famous and that's only because the grantee has enough social capital to ask for points. However, you often don't have to option life story rights for a public figure because a decent portion of their life has already been made public and wouldn't constitute an invasion of privacy. Think of all of those garbage Lifetime movies about Brittney Spears or the Untold Story of (Insert Title of 90s Show).

https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/life-story-rights-whats-whats-103334

https://www.marklitwak.com/purchasing-life-story-rights.html

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For those of you that read the Daily Mail, they have a front page article on Dirty John with the big spoiler in the headline. So if you don't know the outcome, you might want to avoid that website today.

 

For those who do know the outcome, here's the link:

On 12/26/2018 at 8:29 PM, Ohwell said:

I'm assuming Debra gets a cut for this show?  She doesn't deserve a dime.

Why not? 

Edited by newyawk
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46 minutes ago, newyawk said:

Why not? 

Because incredibly stupid people shouldn't get paid for their incredible stupidity.  JMHO.

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I’m sure Debra and her daughter are getting paid for appearances on things like Dr Phil, etc. 

Just think of all the publicity she’s getting for her business, future book and public speaking tour. I can just picture her giving speeches at colleges. 

Edited by mythoughtis

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Oh I'm sure they are too, and I don't have a problem with the daughters getting paid.  

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It's Debra's story, her daughters' story too, none of them were criminals or grifters.  John is the only bad guy here. I see no problem with Debra and daughters all getting something from the TV movie.

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I assumed the producers optioned the rights to the podcast which given that it was peodiced by the LA Times probably didn’t pay the people they interviewed.

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On 1/12/2019 at 12:50 PM, biakbiak said:

I assumed the producers optioned the rights to the podcast which given that it was peodiced by the LA Times probably didn’t pay the people they interviewed.

True, although I wouldn't be surprised if they paid Debra/family in order to nail down exclusive access to her/her story and any additional information.  

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On 1/12/2019 at 10:39 AM, mythoughtis said:

I’m sure Debra and her daughter are getting paid for appearances on things like Dr Phil, etc. 

Just think of all the publicity she’s getting for her business, future book and public speaking tour. I can just picture her giving speeches at colleges. 

I can't picture Debra public speaking, not for lack of wanting, but because she seems so damn dim.

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The one kid's Instagram is just one promo for the show after another. The whole thing just seems slimy to me. Your mother puts you through months and months of hell, basically abandons you for her 5th/6th abusive husband, you end up killing the man while he attacks you, and now you're all smiles holding a Dirty John mug "don't forget to tune in at 10pm".

Something is wrong with this whole clan.

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6 hours ago, hottesthw said:

The one kid's Instagram is just one promo for the show after another. The whole thing just seems slimy to me. Your mother puts you through months and months of hell, basically abandons you for her 5th/6th abusive husband, you end up killing the man while he attacks you, and now you're all smiles holding a Dirty John mug "don't forget to tune in at 10pm".

Something is wrong with this whole clan.

She was severely traumatized and her entire life and goals changed because of it. She went through mountains of therapy to get to this point of being able to distance herself and engage in the story in a more practical manner. She can create an entire instagram about this story and i’ll give her several gold stars for it. She survived and she found a way to not have this completely destroy her life. Nothing slimy about Terra whatsoever, imo.

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I just downloaded the podcast from iTunes and tried to listen to the first episode. That nasal narration is just too much. I just can't. 

Edited by newyawk
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Watching the Oxygen show now. Let’s just say that the fictional Terra’s voice is a VAST improvement over the real Terra. Yikes. 

On 1/12/2019 at 1:38 PM, Ohwell said:

Because incredibly stupid people shouldn't get paid for their incredible stupidity.  JMHO.

Of course Debra made some poor decisions. But I think it’s also important to keep in mind how convincing and deceptive that sociopaths like John are. He deceived dozens of women over the years. Accomplished, successful women. They weren’t all dumb and desperate. 

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I hope that Bravo did not portray Debra's mom correctly. Otherwise, that women is delusional and awful. I wanted to hear Debra's mom say that she had to forgive so that her grandson could maintain a relationship with his only living parent. Still, that would not have made it okay but at least it wouldn't seem like men were more valuable than women in that family. 

This series was just long enough. Another episode and I would have needed a new screen for my TV. I just couldn't take it anymore. It was maddening to hear Debra's surprise at John dating so soon after their breakup. I would have been relieved that John moved his attention elsewhere. 

Terra is the hero in this story but I cannot stand to listen to her. 

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2 hours ago, Showthyme said:

wanted to hear Debra's mom say that she had to forgive so that her grandson could maintain a relationship with his only living parent. Still, that would not have made it okay but at least it wouldn't seem like men were more valuable than women in that family. 

That isn’t what happened and I don’t think either of her grandsons (there are two) have a relationship with their father. 

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4 hours ago, VagueDisclaimer said:

Still so much denial.

From having first listened to the podcast and then the Dateline interviews, *and* then watched the series and now the Oxygen special... sorry Debra, but I thought you sounded dopey and desperate all on your own and the series just nailed it.

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Looks like Debra & Terra are on the talk show circuits.  Surprise,  surprise. 

Just saw a commercial for them being on Access tonight Tues 1/15.  Its being shown on my local NBC channel at 7:30 pm.  I'm on the east coast. 

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