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Everything to Know About the Real ‘Dirty John’ From Bravo’s New Drama

By Amber Garrett

Bravo’s new scripted drama Dirty John premieres this month, starring Eric Bana as the titular con artist with Connie Britton as the well-off interior designer who falls for him. If the title sounds at all familiar, that’s because this show is based on a popular podcast by the same name. 

And that podcast is totally true, though the events are so dramatic it sounds like fiction. Los Angeles Times reporter Christopher Goffard wrote extensively on the story after it broke and eventually turned it into the seven-part series co-produced by the Wondery network.

Whether you’re already a big Dirty John fan or want an overview before diving into the new series, here’s everything you need to know about John Meehan, aka "Dirty John," and the women whose lives he devastated Oh, but beware there are MAJOR SPOILERS ahead!

Source: Getty Images

Connie Britton with Debra Newell.

What is Dirty John about?

55-year-old John Meehan seemed nearly perfect when successful entrepreneur Debra Newell connected with him on a dating app for singles over 50. Unfortunately, Debra, who had been married and divorced four times before meeting John, didn’t have the best track record for finding quality men. But this guy seemed different.

He told her he was an anesthesiologist, that he worked in Iraq with Doctors Without Borders, and even got a few scars from his time there. He was a terrible, sloppy dresser, but with a résumé like that and his chiseled good looks, Debra was immediately smitten.