'Dirty John': The story of the real Terra Newell and what she's doing now
Ahead of Bravo's podcast turned TV show's series finale, let's take a look at who is Terra Newell and what is she up to now
May contain spoilers for 'Dirty John'
Bravo's 'Dirty John' is a truly gripping show but what makes it really terrifying is the fact that it is all real. The Newell family has been through hell and back because of John Meehan but the one that suffered the most trauma is Terra Newell, Debra Newell's youngest daughter who was the one who ended up killing the conman in real life. Ahead of Bravo's podcast-turned-TV show's series finale, let's take a look at who she is and what is she up to now.
Who is the real Terra Newell?
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Terra is interior designer Debra Newell's daughter from Newport, Orange County. She is said to liked country music and was spiritual and adores animals. On the show, we see her much younger than she really was during the Meehan case, which was 25-years-old. Terra grew up rough - her parents got divorced when she was still a child and her mum's love life was never stable. Debra had had four divorces before she ended up marrying John. She also suffered from extreme anxiety throughout her childhood.
How did she get involved in the story?
Terra met Meehan when he and her mother met on a dating site for older singles and completely hit it off. Soon after Debra ended up marrying him. Meehan was everything Debra wanted at the time - a handsome and charming man, who was not only single but also successful. An anesthesiologist, he impressed her with his intellect, his affection and his love for charity after he told her about his extensive work with Doctors Without Borders. However, it was Terra and her older sister Jacqueline (Veronica on the show) who did not approve of him. He threatened Terra to get out of her mum's life when she found out that he wasn't a doctor. Terra was the one who figured out that this guy was lying at first (at least on the show), and she was the one who actually found proof that he wasn't who he claimed he was. John's attack on Terra was probably because of this as he could have felt that had it not been for nosy Terra, his lies would have never been revealed.
What happened that fateful day in 2016?
Meehan is said to have attacked Terra in the parking lot of her apartment building on August 20, 2016. He stabbed her with a knife repeatedly as he tried to force her into the trunk of his car. She was at the time with her Australian miniature shepherd Cash. Even though she was caught unaware, she somehow not only managed to escape John, she also managed to hurt him enough that he died in the hospital. He was trying to push me in the car, and he actually had the trunk wide open,” she said in an interview with Megyn Kelly. “I tried to get away from him, I was screaming. He put his hand over my mouth and I bit as hard as I could. … I got thrown to the ground somehow, and I just was pedal kicking trying to block the knife.”
Where is she now?
Terra seems to be living her best life as an influencer. Her social media shows no hint of the trauma that her family had to live through. She did go to therapy after the incident as she's said in multiple interviews, including the one mentioned above. Her Instagram also mentions that she has PTSD but is living life to the fullest. She loves traveling, dogs, fashion, zombies (her favorite show is 'The Walking Dead') and is still a fan of country music.
To catch the real story of Terra tune in to Oxygen's two-hour documentary “Dirty John, The Dirty Truth” that airs on Monday, January 14 at 8 pm. And for the excitement of the season finale of 'Dirty John' don't forget to watch Sunday, January 13 at 10/9c on Bravo.