real marie adler now
Source: Beth Dubber/Netflix

The Real Marie Adler Plans to Watch Netflix's 'Unbelievable'

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Sep. 17 2019, Updated 6:25 p.m. ET

The premise of Netflix's dark crime thriller Unbelievable is just as strange as its title suggests. It begins with the violent rape of an 18-year-old Marie, who reports her rape but isn't believed by any adults, and later rescinds her report.

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But of course she was raped, and her case ends up our first entry point into a wild goose chase for a serial rapist who's been attacking women in Washington and Colorado.

If you've watched all eight episodes, and are wondering where the real Marie Adler is now, keep reading.

real marie adler now
Source: Netflix
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Where is the real Marie Adler now?

Let's begin by clearing up some misconceptions. You won't turn up many hits on Google if you type up her name for a couple of reasons. While Unbelievable stays pretty true to the Marshall Project article the series is based on, it does take some liberties when it comes to changing up some names and characters.

And while Marie came from the name used in the story, which the authors write is "her middle name," Newsweek suggests that the last name Adler "was chosen by the show's producers."

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But her story in real life is pretty much identical to what we see unfold on screen. In 2008, then 18-year-old Marie reported that she was raped for hours by a man who entered her house, where she lived alone, in the early hours of the morning. 

The Netflix show does a compelling job of portraying exactly how many times she has to recount the same horrific story in painful detail, and how inconsistencies between her narratives naturally arise from her being forced to tell the same story while emotionally exhausted and physically traumatized.

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real marie adler now
Source: Netflix

As a result of the inconsistencies, or perhaps more because Marie had been bounced around by many foster homes and wasn't the most publicly trusted source, her foster mom Judith (played by Allison Janney's lookalike, House of Cards' Elizabeth Marvel) isn't convinced she was raped and begins to plant a seed of doubt with Marie's detectives.

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It's absolutely devastating to watch, and ends with Marie taking a deal of supervised probation — and skirting a year behind bars — for her charge of filing a false report. 

Though in the end, her storyline seems optimistic. She wins $150,000 in a lawsuit and decides to start her life fresh outside of Washington. She gets in her car — Marie getting her license was a subplot throughout the series — and drives off into the distance.

The real Marie is now about 29 years old. Since she really made an effort to start a new life and put all of this behind her, she's not anywhere to be found on social media. However, she has appeared on This American Life in 2016 to narrate the events of the award-winning "An Unbelievable Story of Rape" in her own voice.

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And according to the people who penned the original long-form story, T. Christian Miller and Ken Armstrong, Marie now works as a long-haul truck driver and still keeps in touch with Ken. "She's doing well," Ken said to NPR. "One of the things that Marie told us is that after all of this happened, she didn't want to live in fear."

real marie adler now
Source: Netflix
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"These days she's a long haul truck driver," he continued. "She drives an 18-wheeler across the country. She and I speak fairly often. And it seems like every time I talk to her she's in a different state. She is strong. And she is resilient."

Marie was also on board to sell her life rights for Unbelievable and even plans on watching it, according to what Ken said to The Hollywood Reporter. "I spoke with Marie a couple weeks ago and she had seen the trailer and the word she used was that the trailer was 'phenomenal' and hard to watch," he said.

"But she decided that she did want to watch the whole series," Ken added.

Unbelievable is now streaming all eight of its episodes on Netflix. 

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