TV AND FILM

Netflix 'Unbelievable': Where Is The Real Marie Adler Today?

Date January 14, 2020 12:16

Have you watched Netflix 'Unbelievable'? If yes, did you know that the episodes were based on a true story? Netflix’s series is a dramatization of a heartbreaking but real story. The series describes the nerve-racking ordeal young woman Marie Adler had to come through after she reported her rape. As it turns out, Marie is the real-life woman’s name and the same name that was used in the true-crime article, revealing her story.

Netflix 'Unbelievable' starts with the brutal crime: 18-year-old Marie was raped. The teenager reports her rape but no one believes her. Can you imagine such a horrible situation? Later the girl has to revoke her report. It is so unfair, isn't it?

The rape was real, and her case just began a hunt for a rapist who's been assaulting women in Washington and Colorado. All eight episodes are worth watching, but what about the real Marie Adler? Where is she now and does she like the episodes? Let's find out.

Netflix 'Unbelievable': Where Is The Real Marie Adler Today?Netflix 'Unbelievable': Where Is The Real Marie Adler Today?Netflix 'Unbelievable': Where Is The Real Marie Adler Today?©Unbelievable(2019) /Netflix

Where is the real Marie Adler now?

Although, Netflix 'Unbelievable' is based on her real story, there are some tiny misunderstandings. You won't find a lot of information about Marie Adler if just google her name. First of all, it is all about privacy, as the real Marie Adler wants to keep a low profile for obvious reasons. While 'Unbelievable' follows the Marshall Project article the show is based on, there are several differences when we are talking about some characters and names.

While the name Marie appeared from the name used in the story, which the authors suggest is "her middle name," Newsweek insists that the last name Adler "was chosen by the show's producers."

However, the girl's story in real life is almost identical to what we can see on screen. According to the article, Marie had a troubled childhood as her parents didn't care about her. The teen met her biological dad only once and at the same time she isn't close to her biological mother as she the mom usually "left [the girl] in the care of her boyfriends."

Marie's childhood years weren't happy as she had to move around to different foster homes and she had to go through sexual and physical abuse. Marie once revealed that when she was a teen she was on "seven different drugs. And Zoloft is an adult drug — I was on that at eight."

According to the article, her early years were just horrible:

[Marie] does not know if she attended kindergarten. She remembers being hungry and eating dog food. She reports entering foster care at age six or seven.

When the girl was 18, she joined a special program called Project Ladder, intended to help teenagers get on their feet, as it can be hard to live on your own after spending many years in foster care. It was her chance to start a new life. Marie started to live independently: she moved into a small residence monitored by the program. It was the apartment in Lynnwood, Washington, where the tragedy occurred. One day in 2008, Marie reported that she was raped for several hours and the rapist was a man who got into her home in the early morning.

Netflix 'Unbelievable': Where Is The Real Marie Adler Today?Netflix 'Unbelievable': Where Is The Real Marie Adler Today?Netflix 'Unbelievable': Where Is The Real Marie Adler Today?©Unbelievable(2019) /Netflix

The Netflix series does a fantastic job of reproducing precisely how many times she has to recall the same terrible story in detail: she has to recount again and again and it is really painful to watch. We can notice that inconsistencies between her narratives are the result of the procedure. The girl is forced to tell her story while being emotionally and physically traumatized.

As a result, most adults don't believe her. Marie's story is full of inconsistencies and her past arouses suspicion. Marie had been bounced around by several foster homes and wasn't the most trusted source at that moment. Even her foster mom Judith isn't convinced she was raped and starts to plant a seed of doubt with the detectives.

The story continues with Marie taking a deal of supervised probation for her charge of filing a false report. And it is absolutely heartbreaking to watch. However, Marie's story ends optimistically. The young woman wins $150,000 in a lawsuit! She gets in her car and it symbolizes the beginning of her new life.

Today, the real Marie is 29 years old. The woman really started a new life outside Washington and put her past behind her. She keeps a low profile and you won't find her on social media. Once, Marie has appeared on This American Life in 2016 to discuss the award-winning "An Unbelievable Story of Rape." She wanted to tell her story in her own voice.

According to the authors of her story, T. Christian Miller and Ken Armstrong, Marie works as a truck driver and still keeps in touch with Ken. Once Ken said to NPR:

She's doing well. One of the things that Marie told us is that after all of this happened, she didn't want to live in fear.

What the real Marie Adler thinks about Netflix's 'Unbelievable'

However, let's come back to the series. Does the real Marie Adler like the show? What do you think? According to the authors of the story, the woman feels comfortable about the series. Ken Armstrong wrote:

Two weeks ago I got a call, from Marie. She told me she had just watched the series. Watching it was hard, she said. 'I did cry quite a bit,' she said. But she had decided she wanted to and was glad that she did. She called the show 'excellent.'

While the real Marie Adler approved the show, there is one particular episode that she drew attention to. The scene occurs in the first episode when Marie was under real pressure, talking to the police. Ken Armstrong wrote:

I asked Marie if I could share her thoughts on Twitter. She said that would be fine. She brought up one scene in particular—in the first episode, in which she’s confronted by police and recants. Marie has told me before that it can be a struggle for her to put her feelings and thoughts into words. In that scene, she said, Kaitlyn Dever captured her struggle. 'It was, like, perfect,' she said.

Netflix 'Unbelievable': Where Is The Real Marie Adler Today?Netflix 'Unbelievable': Where Is The Real Marie Adler Today?Netflix 'Unbelievable': Where Is The Real Marie Adler Today?©Unbelievable(2019) /Netflix

According to the series, it was not just the police who didn't believe her. Her former foster moms weren't convinced too. Moreover, they shared those suspicions with the detective examining the case. On the real Marie’s reaction to those scenes, Ken Armstrong wrote:

The series shows how two of Marie’s former foster moms doubted her account. Both later apologized to her. Marie forgave both. She kept ties with both. After finishing the series, Marie called both, to reassure them: The show doesn’t demonize you. She encouraged both to watch.

He added:

And watching the last episode, watching the re-creation of the Colorado detectives closing in, provided Marie something she didn’t expect. 'Seeing him get put away, that was closure for me,' she said.

It is great to know that the real Marie Adler liked the series and the show didn't re-traumatize her. Sometimes that is not always a good idea to show a real-life story on-screen. But in this case, it seems to be acceptable. Maybe it even helped the real Marie Adler feel better. And what do you think?

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