EXCLUSIVE: A two-part Netflix documentary from Louis Theroux’s production biz will tell the story of the victims of a prolific UK cyberstalker and how they ultimately helped bring him to justice.
Dropping on Netflix globally on February 21, Can I Tell You A Secret? will tell the harrowing real-life story of the victims of serial cyberstalker Matthew Hardy. Told using testimony from the women, it will detail the terrifying and sustained online harassment they endured and how his crimes tore lives apart.
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In January 2022, Hardy was jailed for nine years, the longest sentence ever doled out in the UK for online stalking. The court heard how he would create fake social media accounts before contacting people with the beguiling message, ‘Can I tell you a secret?’ He went on to send messages to victims and their friends and family that sowed discord and created heartache, frequently with horrible consequences.
The doc will detail the police investigation and how his victims helped authorities snare the online abuser.
Can I Tell You A Secret? is the first Netflix commission for Mindhouse, the production company founded by documentarian and presenter Theroux, Nancy Strang and Arron Fellows. Theroux is well-known for fronting films and series about cultural figures and issues, and his prodco is forging a reputation for making the kind of complex and engaging docs that cover the same intriguing and knotty ground.
The new two-parter is made by Mindhouse in association with UK newspaper the Guardian.
The series director is Liza Williams (The Yorkshire Ripper Files) and director is Tash Gaunt. Executive producer for the Guardian is Lindsay Poulton, with original reporting by Sirin Kale, the newspaper’s feature writer who has covered Hardy’s crimes in depth and fronted a Guardian podcast of the same name.
Strang will exec produce for Mindhouse with Aloke Devichand, the filmmaker and former head of docs for Netflix in Asia who joined the indie last year.
“Hardy’s long campaign of harassment has had a lasting and profound impact on the women he targeted,” said Strang. “I hope their testimonies will shed light on the reality of online stalking and change the conversation about what constitutes harm in a digital age.”
The Mindhouse co-founder added: “Big thanks to Netflix for trusting us with this as our first commission. It’s been a pleasure working with them to help bring this remarkable story to a global audience.”
Mindhouse’s shows include Sky doc Lockerbie, BBC and CNN co-pro Columbia: The Final Flight (working title), BBC sports docs Gods of Snooker and Gods of Tennis, and Sex Actually with Alice Levine. The firm’s next doc, Tell Them You Love Me, launches on Sky in the UK on February 3.
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