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Believable: The Coco Berthmann Story
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Believable: The Coco Berthmann Story

Author: Dear Media

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Coco Berthmann became internet-famous by sharing her story of surviving sex trafficking as a young child growing up in Germany. She was sheltered and supported by families in Utah, where her faith and fame intertwined. But in 2022, Coco was arrested for raising money for a fake cancer diagnosis, and people began to doubt everything that she had ever said. Is her life story truly one big elaborate lie? Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Sara Ganim and Edward R. Murrow Award-winning showrunner Karen Given investigate in Dear Media’s first true crime podcast.

12 Episodes
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Episode 10: Call Us Anytime

Episode 10: Call Us Anytime

2023-09-2101:13:285

As Coco Berthmann’s lies are exposed, survivors band together and ask why she wasn’t stopped sooner. Meanwhile, Coco makes her last appearance in court for lying about cancer, but the case against her only addressed a fraction of the money she raised. What happened to the rest of the money? And, as Coco tries to move on after her arrest, more people come forward to suggest that her lies and manipulation continue.If you or a loved one is struggling, help is available:Suicide & Crisis Lifeline: Dial 988National Human Trafficking Hotline: 888-373-7888RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network): 855-897-5910National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) ResourcesMental Health Hotline: 866-903-3787A word from our sponsors:Factor: This September, get Factor and enjoy eating well without the hassle. Head to factormeals.com/believable50 and use code believable 50 to get 50% off.Quince: Take the drama out of planning an outfit and upgrade your closet with Quince today. Go to quince.com/coco for free shipping on your order and 365-day returns.Produced by Dear Media.See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.
In the spring and summer of 2021, Coco Berthmann seemed to be at the height of her popularity. She recorded a TEDx talk and appeared at events with Elizabeth Smart. But behind the scenes, more and more people were starting to doubt her story. Her solution? Come up with a bigger lie.But even as Coco announced her cancer “diagnosis” on Instagram, internet sleuths were documenting her every move. And soon, Coco would find that even her most trusted friends were starting to catch on to the truth.If you or a loved one is struggling, help is available:Suicide & Crisis Lifeline: Dial 988National Human Trafficking Hotline: 888-373-7888RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network): 855-897-5910National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) ResourcesMental Health Hotline: 866-903-3787A word from our sponsors:Daily Harvest: Keep yourself and your freezer full with hassle free meals from Daily Harvest. Go to dailyharvest.com/believable to get up to 65% off your first box.RocketMoney: Stop throwing your money away. Cancel unwanted subscriptions and manage your expenses the easy way – by going to RocketMoney.com/believable.Produced by Dear Media.See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.
From the start of our investigation, we’ve heard the same question over and over again. “Why would someone lie about these things?” This week, we attempt to find out why Coco Berthmann lies ... with Forensic Psychiatrist Dr. Sohom Das. If you or a loved one is struggling, help is available:Suicide & Crisis Lifeline: Dial 988National Human Trafficking Hotline: 888-373-7888RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network): 855-897-5910National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) ResourcesMental Health Hotline: 866-903-3787A word from our sponsors:- Simply choose your meals and enjoy fresh, flavor-packed meals delivered to your door. Ready in just 2 minutes, no prep, no mess! Head to factormeals.com/believable50 and use code BELIEVABLE50 to get 50% off. - Stop throwing your money away. Cancel unwanted subscriptions and manage your expenses the easy way – by going to RocketMoney.com/believable.Produced by Dear Media.See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.
Coco told a lot of lies about her connection to Celine Dion. But to everyone’s surprise, one of the things she said about Celine appears to be rooted in truth. But a conversation that was meant to be a light-hearted look into Coco’s obsession with a pop star quickly turns more serious, as we examine the human cost of Coco’s lies. Plus, thanks to some clues Coco left behind, we get our first real glimpse into her mental health.If you or a loved one is struggling, help is available:Suicide & Crisis Lifeline: Dial 988National Human Trafficking Hotline: 888-373-7888RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network): 855-897-5910National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) ResourcesMental Health Hotline: 866-903-3787Produced by Dear Media.See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.
Episode 7: No Drama Mama

Episode 7: No Drama Mama

2023-08-2453:0410

The investigation returns to Germany to answer more questions about Coco’s childhood. This time, we focus on Coco’s accusations against Sebastian, a therapist who Coco says held her hostage and abused her for two years. Spoiler: As near as we can tell, Sebastian never existed. But to our surprise, there is another therapist who seems to have acted unethically, if not illegally, in Coco’s care. If you or a loved one is struggling, help is available:Suicide & Crisis Lifeline: Dial 988National Human Trafficking Hotline: 888-373-7888RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network): 855-897-5910National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) ResourcesMental Health Hotline: 866-903-3787A word from our sponsor:Upgrade your closet this summer with Quince. Go to Quince.com/COCO to get free shipping and 365-day returns on your next order.Produced by Dear Media.See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.
Episode 6: On the Record

Episode 6: On the Record

2023-08-1752:213

Coco Berthmann’s student visa is set to expire, and she’s desperate to stay in the United States. So… her story grows. Again. Coco meets with a best-selling author to talk about collaborating on a book. She tries to convince journalist Chris Hansen to make a documentary criticizing a major anti-trafficking organization… with her as a central character in the film. And she files rape charges against a well-known anti-trafficking advocate.But in the middle of all this, the word gets out: Coco Berthmann is not who she claims to be.If you or a loved one is struggling, help is available:Suicide & Crisis Lifeline: Dial 988National Human Trafficking Hotline: 888-373-7888RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network): 855-897-5910National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) ResourcesMental Health Hotline: 866-903-3787A word from our sponsors:- RocketMoney: Stop wasting money on things you don't use. Cancel your unwanted subscriptions and manage your money the easy way by going to rocketmoney.com/believablerocketmoney.com/believable. - Daily Harvest: We all deserve easy mornings. Let Daily Harvest give you one less thing to worry about. Go to dailyharvest.com/believable to get up to $65 off your first box.Produced by Dear Media.See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.
As Coco’s popularity grows, so do her lies. One of Coco’s videos captures the attention of conspiracy theorists, who spread it all across the globe. And Coco learns, the more outrageous her content, the more attention she gets. Behind closed doors, child sex trafficking organizations in Utah are beginning to question Coco’s story. But they’re still supporting her in public … and profiting from her celebrity. If you or a loved one is struggling, help is available:Suicide & Crisis Lifeline: Dial 988National Human Trafficking Hotline: 888-373-7888RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network): 855-897-5910National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) ResourcesMental Health Hotline: 866-903-3787Produced by Dear Media.See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.
To try to get to the truth of Coco Berthmann’s past, the investigation turns to Germany. Coco’s mother provides evidence to contradict many of Coco’s most horrific stories. But it’s clear that people were concerned about Coco’s welfare from the age of 12, when she first started showing signs of abuse. And even her mother believes that something must have happened to her. The investigation zeroes in on her mother’s former boyfriend, a man named Gregor. If you or a loved one is struggling, help is available:Suicide & Crisis Lifeline: Dial 988National Human Trafficking Hotline: 888-373-7888RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network): 855-897-5910National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) ResourcesMental Health Hotline: 866-903-3787A word from our sponsors:Stop throwing your money away. Cancel unwanted subscriptions and manage your expenses the easy way – by going to RocketMoney.com/believable.With Factor, you can rest assured you're making a sustainable choice. Head to FACTORMEALS.com/believable50 and use code believable50 to get 50% off.Produced by Dear Media.See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.
By the summer of 2019, Coco Berthmann has gone public with her story. She's regularly invited to appear on podcasts and to speak at anti-trafficking events. One organization even flies her to Miami to give the keynote address at a star-studded benefit for survivors. But privately, Coco's story just isn't adding up. She shows all the outward signs of having lived through trauma, but she keeps getting caught in lies that have nothing to do with her larger story of abuse and survival. And those closest to her are struggling to figure out what actually happened during Coco's childhood. Plus, an unexpected call from Germany changes the course of the investigation.If you or a loved one is struggling, help is available:Suicide & Crisis Lifeline: Dial 988National Human Trafficking Hotline: 888-373-7888RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network): 855-897-5910National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) ResourcesMental Health Hotline: 866-903-3787Produced by Dear Media.See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.
It's February 2017, years before Coco Berthmann goes public with her story. She's a 23-year-old German au pair, living in Las Vegas. And she travels to Utah for college classes that are a requirement of her visa. There, she meets an instructor we’re calling Emily. The two quickly develop a Facebook friendship. Coco opens up about the abuse she endured back home in Germany. And Emily shares her faith, as a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Coco tells Emily how Celine Dion’s music helped her survive 15 years of unimaginable abuse. And soon, the story takes a surprising turn. Coco is invited to perform with Celine on stage and join her European tour. Only…was she?If you or a loved one is struggling, help is available:Suicide & Crisis Lifeline: Dial 988National Human Trafficking Hotline: 888-373-7888RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network): 855-897-5910National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) ResourcesMental Health Hotline: 866-903-3787Produced by Dear Media.See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.
Coco Berthmann’s star is rising. She's young and pretty. And her eagerness to talk about the abuse she endured makes her a rarity in the anti-child sex trafficking space. For a while, it seems like Coco is everywhere, sharing her story of survival at international conferences, on podcasts and to her tens of thousands of social media followers. But in January of 2022, Coco shares some distressing news: She’s been diagnosed with a rare cancer. Her odds of survival are not good.Just weeks later, Coco is arrested and charged with communications fraud. And people start asking – was anything Coco said actually true?If you or a loved one is struggling, help is available:Suicide & Crisis Lifeline: Dial 988National Human Trafficking Hotline: 888-373-7888RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network): 855-897-5910National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) ResourcesMental Health Hotline: 866-903-3787A word from our sponsor:Stop throwing your money away. Cancel unwanted subscriptions and manage your expenses the easy way – by going to RocketMoney.com/believable.Produced by Dear Media.See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.
Coco Berthmann became internet-famous by sharing her story of surviving sex trafficking as a young child growing up in Germany. She was sheltered and supported by families in Utah, where her faith and fame intertwined. But in 2022, Coco was arrested for raising money for a fake cancer diagnosis, and people began to doubt everything that she had ever said. Is her life story truly one big elaborate lie? Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Sara Ganim and Edward R. Murrow Award-winning showrunner Karen Given investigate in Dear Media’s first true crime podcast.New episodes drop on Thursdays.If you or a loved one is struggling, help is available:Suicide & Crisis Lifeline: Dial 988National Human Trafficking Hotline: 888-373-7888RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network): 855-897-5910National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) ResourcesMental Health Hotline: 866-903-3787Produced by Dear Media.See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.
Comments (9)

HaulAway

Dr. Sohom sounds a lot like Martin Freeman.

Jan 4th
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Podcastfeind

You cannot “order” someone to inpatient treatment unless they meet state guidelines for involuntary commitment. In most states there must be clear evidence that a person is an imminent danger to self or others. This can be frustrating but it’s meant to safeguard people’s rights.

Nov 29th
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Nov 16th
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Aug 22nd
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Aug 22nd
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Janet Stratman

Enjoyed the rather strange podcast until you brought politics into the fray. Why would you bring Donald Trump into this? Done!

Aug 15th
Reply (1)

insanecatparty

I really like this podcast, but I'm having a hard time supporting a podcast that uses an AI voice instead of voice actors. it's ethically weird and all the disclaimers about it are nice, but don't make me feel any better about the decision to use AI instead of paying someone for their work.

Aug 7th
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