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‘A Friend of the Family’ is a frightening true story with an important message


The new Peacock miniseries A Friend of the Family debuts October 6 on Peacock. It’s based on the true story of the Broberg family, whose daughter Jan was kidnapped, twice, in the 1970s by a family friend.

The real-life Jan is an executive producer on show and despite some embarrassing revelations about her parents, they decided as a family to be “completely honest, vulnerable and exposed.”

“If that can help one person see the predator who lives in their family or their congregation or their neighborhood and prevent their child from suffering this kind of abuse, then it’s worth it,” she shares.

The story was the basis of the wildly popular 2017 Netflix docuseries Abducted in Plain Sight, which A Friend of the Family star Mckenna Grace tells ABC Audio she used as research to prepare for playing the teenage version of Jan, leaving her “mind boggled.”

“There’s so much that this family went through, and the fact that Robert Berchtold was just such a master manipulator and put them through so much. It was just really insane,” she recalls. “And it was incredible to see Jan’s resilience and the amazing person that she is today.”

Grace says the series reinforced for her that as a woman, you always have to be on guard, something her mother tells her constantly.

“Last night we were walking through a parking lot together and I was looking down at my phone and she was like, ‘You need to get off of your phone while you’re walking through a parking lot at night. You need to be more aware of your surroundings,"” says 16-year-old Grace.

“That’s the unfortunate situation, is that I can’t go for a walk at night by myself.”

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