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Is Obsessed a True Story?

December 26, 2020
3 min read

Haven’t we all been in situations where we know that we are absolutely right? Not an iota of doubt but 100 percent sure of something? Well, what if two people feel the exact same way but stand on two sides of the same fence- who would you believe? When a situation like this is taken to the court of law, it definitely catches everyone’s attention. ‘Obsessed’ is a thriller drama by Lifetime that revolves around Ellena Roberts (Jenna Elfman) and David Stillman (Sam Robards), who present contradictory narratives in court. This gripping story definitely makes us wonder if it is true. Let’s clear those doubts, but first, here is a little brief about the film.

Plot Synopsis

Sara Miller (Kate Burton) is an attorney who goes to a jail cell in Chicago to meet her client, Ellena. There is no doubt that Ellena is a clever and charming woman, but as she recounts the details of her relationship with Dr. David Stillman, something does not add up. Stillman stands his ground and sticks to his version of the story, which has nothing in common with Ellena’s. As Sara prepares to defend her in court, she uncovers some disturbing facts.

Is Obsessed Based on a True Story?

Yes, ‘Obsessed’ is based on a true story. The film is based on a real-life case involving a medical writer, Diane Schaefer, and a surgeon, Dr. Murray Brennan. In 1991 in New York, Diane was charged with harassment and sentenced to two years in prison. She would write long and copious letters to Dr. Brennan and believed that she was having an affair with him. In court, she even shared the details of their “passionate affair” as she gave out names of specific restaurants where they went for romantic dinners, the conversations they had, trips they took together, and even the people they met on those trips! Naturally, hearing the specific details, most people would think that Dr. Brennan denied the affair to protect his public image.

However, Brennan stated that Schaefer followed him everywhere from 1982 to 1990, showing up unexpectedly on the same flights and even for conferences in different parts of the world. She would try to get into the same cabs as him and left inappropriate messages on the hospital answering machine. Schaefer started calling his friends and showing up at his place, dressed provocatively. She really crossed the line when she threatened to kill him.

Naturally, none of this will make sense unless one understands what Erotomania is. Erotomania or de Clérambault syndrome is a mental health condition where a person is delusional and believes that someone is in love with them when they actually are not. Usually, the person at the receiving end of the unwanted attention is a stranger, a figure of authority, and may even be a famous personality.

Some of the famous people that have been the targets of a person with Erotomania are Jodie Foster, Theresa Saldana, and Rebecca Schaeffer. In fact, Saldana was stabbed by Arthur Jackson, who wanted to be “reunited” with her in heaven. Rebecca Schaeffer was shot to death in 1989 by Robert John Bardo, who claimed to love her even after killing her and described his feelings for her as “uncontrollable.”

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