A FRIEND OF THE FAMILY is based on the harrowing true story of the Broberg family, whose daughter Jan was kidnapped multiple times over a period of years by a charismatic, obsessed family “friend.” The Brobergs – devoted to their faith, family, and community – were utterly unprepared for the sophisticated tactics their neighbor used to exploit their vulnerabilities, drive them apart, and turn their daughter against them. This is the story of how their lives were permanently altered – and how they survived.
The limited series stars Anna Paquin (Flack, The Irishman, True Blood), Jake Lacy (The White Lotus, Being the Ricardos), Colin Hanks (The Offer, Impeachment: American Crime Story), Lio Tipton (The Edge of Sleep, Why Women Kill), McKenna Grace (Ghostbusters: Afterlife, Handmaid’s Tale) and Hendrix Yancey (George & Tammy, Unbelievable).
The real life Jan Broberg who is also a producer on the series had this to say:
“I am Jan Broberg, and “A Friend of the Family” tells our family’s story and my story. We were a loving, trusting, educated family. We were not stupid or careless. So how could this happen in our nieghborhood, where we knew everyone, and everyone was a friend? The truth is that most predators are not strangers but people we know – people who can build trust, create special friendships, and separate family members psychologically.
As little girls, we talked and we listened around the dinner table every night. Mom and Dad were always there. We were so safe, so loved, so carefree. Then, in 1972, we met the nicest new family at church, with children who matched us in age. A deep friendship ensued. Over several years, our families did hundreds of activities together: church parties, family dinners, boating and snowmobile trips, sleepovers, game nights, movies and barbecues. Then on a normal afternoon, the father kidnapped me – and from age 12 to 16 I was sexually assaulted and severely brainwashed by this man who I trusted.
The story will make you talk, shout, cry – and it will make you angry. Good. The team of writers, actors, designers, directors and producers led by Alex Hedlund, Eliza Hittman, and Nick Antosca have captured the heart of how good people can be manipulated and their children victimized. Our story is relatable because so many families have direct experience with this sort of abuse.
I hope that our story will start conversation – because secrets live in darkness and silence.”