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'One of the most unsettling’ true crime docs viewers have ever watched has finally come to Netflix

'One of the most unsettling’ true crime docs viewers have ever watched has finally come to Netflix

Louis Theroux has executively produced the new documentary

Warning: this article contains discussion of sexual assault some may find distressing

Netflix has released a new true crime documentary that has been executively produced by Louis Theroux - but viewers have warned it's among 'the most unsettling' they've ever seen.

Directed by The Swell Season’s Nick August-Perna, this new documentary recalls the case against Anna Stubblefield, a former philosophy professor whose relationship resulted in a criminal conviction.

In 2009, Stubblefield, then 41, met Derrick Johnson, then 30, a non-verbal man with cerebral palsy, through the latter’s brother, John Johnson.

John was enrolled on one of Stubblefield’s courses at Rutgers University in Newark, New Jersey and was soon approached his professor about his brother’s condition.

Derek Johnson (left) is the subject of a new true crime documentary. (Netflix)
Derek Johnson (left) is the subject of a new true crime documentary. (Netflix)

According to a 2015 article in The Times, both of the teacher’s parents held Ph.D.s in special education and had worked extensively with people with disabilities.

Seemingly following in her mother and father’s footsteps, Stubblefield offered to help Derrick with his communication skills and he soon began taking a class at university.

The educator, who was married at the time, claims what transpired between her and Derrick was a consensual sexual relationship.

However, his mother, Daisy Johnson, says her son was incapable of engaging in physical or emotional intimacy.

This new documentary chronicles the relationship between Stubblefield and Derrick and the conflict that led to a criminal trial and a felony conviction.

If your interest is piqued, then you can watch the trailer for the doc on, Tell Them You Love Me, below:

Tell Them You Love Me, which is described by Netflix as 'scandalous', explores 'the controversial relationship between a professor and a nonverbal man that leads to a trial over race, disability and power'.

After initially pleading not guilty to charges, Stubblefield was convicted of aggravated sexual assault in 2016 and was sentenced to 12 years in prison.

In 2017, an appeals court overturned her conviction and ordered a retrial.

A year later, Stubblefield pleaded guilty to ‘third-degree aggravated criminal sexual contact’, but claimed in the Tell Them You Love Me doc that she was ‘not guilty of a crime’.

One viewer said the doc was 'unsettling' to watch. (Netflix)
One viewer said the doc was 'unsettling' to watch. (Netflix)

Following the Theroux-produced true crime offering landing on the streaming service, viewers have been having their say across social media.

One user of X (formerly known as Twitter) took to the platform and said: “Tell Them You Love Me might be one of the most unsettling documentaries I’ve ever watched on Netflix," calling it 'insane'.

A second user commented: “Just watched Tell Them You Love Me, and I really want to have a conversation about it. I’m so conflicted because I can see both ends of the spectrum.”

A third person said it made them feel 'very uncomfortable'.

Tell Them You Love Me has to be one of the most disturbing documentaries on Netflix.” someone else said.

Featured Image Credit: Netflix

Topics: Film and TV, Entertainment, Netflix, True crime, Crime