12 episodes

Coco Berthmann became internet-famous by sharing her story of surviving sex trafficking as a young child growing up in Germany. She was sheltered and supported by families in Utah, where her faith and fame intertwined. But in 2022, Coco was arrested for raising money for a fake cancer diagnosis, and people began to doubt everything that she had ever said. Is her life story truly one big elaborate lie? Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Sara Ganim and Edward R. Murrow Award-winning showrunner Karen Given investigate in Dear Media’s first true crime podcast.

Believable: The Coco Berthmann Story Dear Media

    • True Crime
    • 4.1 • 881 Ratings

Coco Berthmann became internet-famous by sharing her story of surviving sex trafficking as a young child growing up in Germany. She was sheltered and supported by families in Utah, where her faith and fame intertwined. But in 2022, Coco was arrested for raising money for a fake cancer diagnosis, and people began to doubt everything that she had ever said. Is her life story truly one big elaborate lie? Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Sara Ganim and Edward R. Murrow Award-winning showrunner Karen Given investigate in Dear Media’s first true crime podcast.

    Episode 10: Call Us Anytime

    Episode 10: Call Us Anytime

    As Coco Berthmann’s lies are exposed, survivors band together and ask why she wasn’t stopped sooner. Meanwhile, Coco makes her last appearance in court for lying about cancer, but the case against her only addressed a fraction of the money she raised. What happened to the rest of the money? And, as Coco tries to move on after her arrest, more people come forward to suggest that her lies and manipulation continue.




    If you or a loved one is struggling, help is available:

    Suicide & Crisis Lifeline: Dial 988

    National Human Trafficking Hotline: 888-373-7888

    RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network): 855-897-5910

    National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) Resources

    Mental Health Hotline: 866-903-3787




    A word from our sponsors:

    Factor: This September, get Factor and enjoy eating well without the hassle. Head to factormeals.com/believable50 and use code believable 50 to get 50% off.

    Quince: Take the drama out of planning an outfit and upgrade your closet with Quince today. Go to quince.com/coco for free shipping on your order and 365-day returns.




    Produced by Dear Media.

    See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

    • 1 hr 12 min
    Episode 9: The Cocoverse Crumbles

    Episode 9: The Cocoverse Crumbles

    In the spring and summer of 2021, Coco Berthmann seemed to be at the height of her popularity. She recorded a TEDx talk and appeared at events with Elizabeth Smart. But behind the scenes, more and more people were starting to doubt her story. Her solution? Come up with a bigger lie.




    But even as Coco announced her cancer “diagnosis” on Instagram, internet sleuths were documenting her every move. And soon, Coco would find that even her most trusted friends were starting to catch on to the truth.




    If you or a loved one is struggling, help is available:

    Suicide & Crisis Lifeline: Dial 988

    National Human Trafficking Hotline: 888-373-7888

    RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network): 855-897-5910

    National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) Resources

    Mental Health Hotline: 866-903-3787




    A word from our sponsors:

    Daily Harvest: Keep yourself and your freezer full with hassle free meals from Daily Harvest. Go to dailyharvest.com/believable to get up to 65% off your first box.

    RocketMoney: Stop throwing your money away. Cancel unwanted subscriptions and manage your expenses the easy way – by going to RocketMoney.com/believable.




    Produced by Dear Media.

    See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

    • 55 min
    Episode 8.5: Time to Call in an Expert

    Episode 8.5: Time to Call in an Expert

    From the start of our investigation, we’ve heard the same question over and over again. “Why would someone lie about these things?” This week, we attempt to find out why Coco Berthmann lies ... with Forensic Psychiatrist Dr. Sohom Das.




    If you or a loved one is struggling, help is available:

    Suicide & Crisis Lifeline: Dial 988

    National Human Trafficking Hotline: 888-373-7888

    RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network): 855-897-5910

    National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) Resources

    Mental Health Hotline: 866-903-3787




    A word from our sponsors:

    - Simply choose your meals and enjoy fresh, flavor-packed meals delivered to your door. Ready in just 2 minutes, no prep, no mess! Head to factormeals.com/believable50 and use code BELIEVABLE50 to get 50% off.

    - Stop throwing your money away. Cancel unwanted subscriptions and manage your expenses the easy way – by going to RocketMoney.com/believable.




    Produced by Dear Media.

    See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

    • 47 min
    Episode 8: All Hell Breaks Loose

    Episode 8: All Hell Breaks Loose

    Coco told a lot of lies about her connection to Celine Dion. But to everyone’s surprise, one of the things she said about Celine appears to be rooted in truth. But a conversation that was meant to be a light-hearted look into Coco’s obsession with a pop star quickly turns more serious, as we examine the human cost of Coco’s lies. Plus, thanks to some clues Coco left behind, we get our first real glimpse into her mental health.




    If you or a loved one is struggling, help is available:

    Suicide & Crisis Lifeline: Dial 988

    National Human Trafficking Hotline: 888-373-7888

    RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network): 855-897-5910

    National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) Resources

    Mental Health Hotline: 866-903-3787




    Produced by Dear Media.

    See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

    • 46 min
    Episode 7: No Drama Mama

    Episode 7: No Drama Mama

    The investigation returns to Germany to answer more questions about Coco’s childhood. This time, we focus on Coco’s accusations against Sebastian, a therapist who Coco says held her hostage and abused her for two years. Spoiler: As near as we can tell, Sebastian never existed. But to our surprise, there is another therapist who seems to have acted unethically, if not illegally, in Coco’s care.




    If you or a loved one is struggling, help is available:

    Suicide & Crisis Lifeline: Dial 988

    National Human Trafficking Hotline: 888-373-7888

    RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network): 855-897-5910

    National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) Resources

    Mental Health Hotline: 866-903-3787




    A word from our sponsor:Upgrade your closet this summer with Quince. Go to Quince.com/COCO to get free shipping and 365-day returns on your next order.


    Produced by Dear Media.

    See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

    • 50 min
    Episode 6: On the Record

    Episode 6: On the Record

    Coco Berthmann’s student visa is set to expire, and she’s desperate to stay in the United States. So… her story grows. Again. Coco meets with a best-selling author to talk about collaborating on a book. She tries to convince journalist Chris Hansen to make a documentary criticizing a major anti-trafficking organization… with her as a central character in the film. And she files rape charges against a well-known anti-trafficking advocate.




    But in the middle of all this, the word gets out: Coco Berthmann is not who she claims to be.




    If you or a loved one is struggling, help is available:

    Suicide & Crisis Lifeline: Dial 988

    National Human Trafficking Hotline: 888-373-7888

    RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network): 855-897-5910

    National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) Resources

    Mental Health Hotline: 866-903-3787




    A word from our sponsors:

    - RocketMoney: Stop wasting money on things you don't use. Cancel your unwanted subscriptions and manage your money the easy way by going to rocketmoney.com/believablerocketmoney.com/believable.

    - Daily Harvest: We all deserve easy mornings. Let Daily Harvest give you one less thing to worry about. Go to dailyharvest.com/believable to get up to $65 off your first box.




    Produced by Dear Media.

    See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

    • 49 min

Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5
881 Ratings

881 Ratings

whats jojo wearing ,

Pretty Good

Knowing nothing about Coco, I found this an interesting pod. The production quality was pretty good overall. Unlike other reviewers, I didn’t mind the AI and understood why they needed to use it. There are some major points where the journalist is unprofessional in my opinion and that detracted from the quality overall. I’m shocked others involved in the production allowed anything with Gregor and his wife to be in it after how he was treated. The way the decade old plus dismissed accusations were revealed to those in his current life because of the lack of an envelope or her ability to find someone in Germany was shockingly distasteful. Especially when Coco has told so many lies about so many others. Instead of straightforward journalism where the listener can decide - production at times deviates into accusation filled side conversations with each other where they ask and then answer oddball questions like why the police didn’t make Coco get mental health treatment when investigaing fraud. As if the police would be able to decide and enforce anything like that.

mperez0716 ,

Bingeworthy then falls off

It was fast paced and bingeworthy until about episode 5, then chaotic and fell off. I lost track of where we were going with this story, no real timeline. I'm sure the reporter feels the same about all her work, waste of time.

ZuzuBrandom ,

Wanted Better

Was intrigued and entertained up until it became political. The references to conservatives making them sound extreme was off putting, biased, and ill informed. The “journalists” letting another “journalist” use their podcast as a platform to disparage an activist and then offering her opinion as well was disgusting.

Other Problems:
1) I don’t need to be reminded every 5 minutes that you used an AI generated voice.

2)Did you actually see “Sound of Freedom”? Or talk to Timothy Ballard.

It’s journalism like this that has caused such a rift between our two party system.

Top Podcasts In True Crime

You Probably Think This Story’s About You
Larj Media
Drowning Creek
Wavland
Scamanda
Lionsgate Sound
Crime Junkie
audiochuck
Dateline NBC
NBC News
Morbid
Morbid Network | Wondery

You Might Also Like

Exposed: Cover-Up at Columbia University
Wondery
Unrestorable
iHeartPodcasts
The Girlfriends: Our Lost Sister
iHeartPodcasts & Novel
Something Was Wrong
Broken Cycle Media | Wondery
Betrayal
iHeartPodcasts and Glass Podcasts
Scamanda
Lionsgate Sound