Stolen By Their Father Real Story
Stolen By Their Father Real Story – In Lifetime’s gripping movie, “Stolen by Their Father,” we are introduced to a harrowing tale of a mother’s unwavering determination to reunite with her missing daughters. Directed by Simone Stock, this thrilling drama follows the life of Lizbeth Meredith, a young single mother blessed with two beautiful daughters, Meredith and Marianthi. Their peaceful lives take a heart-wrenching turn when the girls go missing after a visit to their father. Little does Lizbeth know that her ex-spouse has orchestrated their abduction and fled to Greece, his native country.
This emotional rollercoaster takes us through Lizbeth’s daunting journey as she ventures into a foreign land, determined to bring her daughters back home. The exceptional narrative and outstanding performances by the cast make us empathize with Lizbeth’s plight and leave us inspired by her incredible courage and resilience. But as we watch this gripping story unfold, a nagging question persists: Is “Stolen by Their Father” based on a true story? Let’s delve into the true events that inspired this compelling drama.
A True Story Unveiled
Yes, “Stolen by Their Father” is indeed based on a true story. The movie draws its inspiration from “Pieces of Me: Rescuing My Kidnapped Daughters,” an award-winning memoir penned by Lizbeth Meredith herself. This remarkable memoir recounts Lizbeth’s horrifying experience in 1994 when her ex-husband, Grigorios Basdaras, abducted their young daughters, Meredith and Marianthi, from their home in Anchorage, Alaska, and vanished into Greece.
The story of Lizbeth and Grigorios begins in the 1980s when they met and fell in love. On November 23, 1985, the couple tied the knot in Anchorage, Alaska. However, their marital bliss was short-lived, as Grigorios soon began subjecting Lizbeth to abuse. Fearing for her and her daughters’ safety, Lizbeth sought refuge in a women’s shelter in 1990, effectively ending their tumultuous marriage on August 14, 1991. While both parents were granted legal custody of the girls, physical custody was granted solely to Lizbeth by the State of Alaska.
As part of the custody agreement, Meredith, then four years old, and Marianthi, then six years old, visited their father every week. March 13, 1994, seemed like any other day when the girls left with their father, expecting to be picked up by Lizbeth from daycare two days later. But on March 15, 1994, when Grigorios failed to drop them off, Lizbeth’s world came crashing down. To her dismay, she was informed by the police that her ex-husband had flown out of the USA with their daughters two days prior, taking them to his native Greece.
Thus began Lizbeth’s agonizing quest to bring Meredith and Marianthi back home to Anchorage safely. Despite the girls being missing for two months, the state police department failed to add their information to the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) database, as recounted by the author in her memoir. Lizbeth decided to reach out to a local newspaper, and they published her story. This act of desperation led to an outpouring of support from her community, with fundraisers and letters to the White House rallying behind her cause.
With the financial support and even a visit to the White House, Lizbeth was finally able to travel to Greece to initiate her search for her daughters. She enlisted the help of a private investigator, eventually locating Grigorios and the girls. However, after numerous legal complications and delays, the Greek courts finally acknowledged the American custody order on December 28, 1994, allowing Lizbeth to take Meredith and Marianthi back home. Tragically, before the court’s order could be enforced, Grigorios learned of it and fled with the girls, leaving Lizbeth heartbroken and without her daughters.
In a cruel twist of fate, Lizbeth was arrested during her second trip to Greece due to legal complexities. On May 20, 1996, the Greek courts made an unexpected decision, temporarily granting custody of the girls to Grigorios. Lizbeth discovered that he had filed a petition portraying her as an unsuitable mother, leading to the change in custody. It took substantial efforts, intervention from authorities, and an enduring legal battle, but Lizbeth eventually regained rightful custody of Meredith and Marianthi.
Reuniting with her daughters in Alaska, more than two years after their abduction to Greece, marked a new chapter in Lizbeth’s life. However, it wasn’t an instant resolution. The girls had lost their proficiency in English after adapting to Greek language and schooling for over two years, requiring time to adjust back to their Anchorage environment. Over several years, they embarked on a healing journey from the trauma they endured. Today, both Meredith and Marianthi thrive in their 30s, having graduated from college and pursuing successful careers.
Lizbeth’s resilience led her to earn a Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology, dedicating her life to supporting at-risk youth and survivors of domestic abuse. In 2016, she published her memoir, a powerful narrative that resonated with readers worldwide. Eventually, Lizbeth entrusted the rights to her book to the creators of “Stolen by Their Father,” enabling her story to reach a broader audience and offer a voice to victims of similar crimes.
Elizabeth Smart, an executive producer of the movie and herself a survivor of abduction, is an advocate for missing persons and child sexual abuse prevention. She found Lizbeth’s story exceptional and courageous, making the film even more relevant for women worldwide. It’s worth noting that while “Stolen by Their Father” closely follows true events, some characters and incidents have been slightly modified to enhance the cinematic experience. In essence, it is an almost exact retelling of a true story, with a touch of fiction and a powerful message.
In conclusion, “Stolen by Their Father” is a heart-wrenching journey that reminds us of the strength of a mother’s love and determination. Lizbeth Meredith’s real-life ordeal, as depicted in the movie, serves as a testament to the resilience of the human spirit and the power of community support. It’s a story of hope and triumph over adversity that continues to inspire and resonate with audiences around the world.
Is “Stolen by Their Father” a true story?
Yes, “Stolen by Their Father” is based on a true story. It’s about Lizbeth Meredith (played by Sarah Drew), a mom who fights to get her daughters back after her ex-husband kidnaps them and takes them to Greece.
Is “Stolen” based on a true story?
Yes, “Stolen” is a true story. It’s about Katariina Rosenblatt, a survivor who escaped multiple times. She was first recruited when she was a young girl staying with her family at a hotel in Miami Beach. Katariina had a tough life and was looking for love.
Where is Lizbeth Meredith now?
Lizbeth recently moved to Chattanooga, Tennessee, after living in Alaska for over fifty years. She often chats with her grown-up daughters and their pets over video calls. After leaving a shelter for abused women, Lizbeth got a journalism degree and a master’s degree in psychology.
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