Back in 2021 Michael and Lauryn Bosstick (the Dear Media founders), interviewed a human rights advocate named Coco Berthmann. She was big on social media, tugging at our heart strings with her harrowing story of surviving sex trafficking and battling stage 3 cancer.
Lauryn and the rest of the world were originally so moved by her message. Why? Because Coco Berthmann had (has?) such a passion for both protecting children from human trafficking and helping victims of sex crimes. However . . . (and this is a big however) not everything in Coco Berthmann’s self-professed biography is 100% true. Here’s the tea:
Coco Berthmann Full Story
Coco Berthmann claims that as a young child growing up in Germany, she was sex trafficked for the first 15 years of her life by none other than her parents. At 15, she finally had enough and Berthmann told Michael and Lauryn that she took a few things from her childhood home and ran away. She was in Germany where her abuse continued for two more years at the hands of a boyfriend before she escaped again to the U.S. Here, her parents pursued her by sending men to the United States to kill her.
In America, Coco healed from her dark past and decided to help the world by sharing her story of survival, getting a law degree, becoming a human rights advocate, and even starting a scholarship fund specifically for trafficking survivors. Coco Berthmann was, in a word, INSPIRATIONAL.
Then, Coco was everywhere on social media. She was on the Him & Her Podcast as mentioned and even had a TED x Talk produced by BYU. This girl really seemed like she pulled herself out of the worst of the worst and was finally living a life she deserved!
Then, in January 2022, the Salt Lake City resident reported that she was fighting another impossible obstacle: Stage 3 Mantle Cell Lymphoma. (Seriously, how much can one person endure?) She told her followers she was seeing specialists in Alaska and Chicago in an attempt to fight this aggressive cancer. And, in private, she expressed serious financial concerns to her friends regarding the cost of treatment.
In response, a GoFundMe was created and over $10,000 was raised. However, this is when things got dicey . . . Coco Berthmann caught the attention of the police who questioned everything she’s said about her life.
Why Was Coco Berthmann Arrested?
Coco Berthmann (28) is charged with communications fraud for faking her entire cancer ordeal. The police were obviously tipped off and when they started to investigate, the fake cancer diagnosis seemed super obvious. They did ask for proof and an interview. But, Berthmann gave the names of her Chicago and Alaska doctors and said she was too weak to come in. When police investigated the doctors, one said they’d never treated her. And the other? He said he was helping her with PTSD, not cancer. Woops.
The allegation is that this fake cancer diagnosis was all about cashing in and making a profit. Of course, this brings into question EVERYTHING Coco Berthmann has ever said. Seriously, what the heck is true and what is a lie? How are we supposed to feel knowing she helped so many women . . . but also knowing she scammed thousands? We’re all confused.
Coco Bethmann Update
If you want more on the Coco story, you’ve got to listen to the new true crime podcast from Dear Media called Believable: The Coco Berthmann Story. It breaks down the entire story from beginning to end and gives you all the deets on this CRAZY scamfluencer drama. You’ll find the true story is even more captivating than the lie.
Coco Berthman’s story is inspirational and controversial—and you need to hear it all.
Alright, Dear Media fans, tune into Believable: The Coco Berthmann Story now on Spotify, Apple, or wherever you listen to your favorite podcasts. And, if you want more true crime goodness, tune into Creeps and Crimes! Or, if crimes are a little heavy but you like influencer drama, check out our reality TV podcasts. Oh, and our series Bone, Marry, Bury is a fictional crime tale that’ll have you rolling (and binging every episode).
Seriously, at Dear Media we have something for everyone!! Just browse the list of shows, pick your fave, and slip on your TSC “Mommy’s Busy” sweatshirt, because you’re having a treat yo’self day with ice rolling, your favorite drink, and a new bingeable podcast.