June 22, 2021

Dirty John Season 2 Cast vs. Real Life

3 min read

Dirty John is returning for a second season and bringing along a new cast of true-crime characters. The latest installment doesn’t continue the story of Connie Britton and Eric Bana as ill-fated married couple Debra Newell and John Meehan. Instead, Dirty John: The Betty Broderick Story stars Amanda Peet as the titular former socialite who is convicted of murdering her husband Dan (Christian Slater) and his second wife following a tumultuous divorce. Set in 1980s San Diego, the eight-episode series will dig into what went wrong between the Betty and Dan, who were married for more than a decade and had four children. Ahead of the series premiere on USA Network, here’s how the cast compares to their buzzy real-life counterparts.


Amanda Peet as Betty Broderick

Peet (A Lot Like Love, Togetherness) plays Betty Broderick, who shot her ex-husband and his second wife, Linda, in 1989. While testifying during her murder trial, Betty alleged that she hadn’t meant to kill the couple—she brought the .38-caliber revolver to get Dan’s attention. She also testified that Dan had psychologically abused her during their marriage and manipulated the justice system during their divorce proceedings. After a 1990 mistrial, Betty was found guilty on two counts of second-degree murder in 1991. She’s currently serving 32 years to life in prison and was most recently denied parole in 2017.


Christian Slater as Dan Broderick

Betty’s ex Dan is played by Slater (Mr. Robot, True Romance), a San Diego lawyer who was married to and shared four children with Betty before beginning an affair with his legal assistant, Linda. After his 1985 divorce filing, he and his soon-to-be ex-wife embarked on a five-year uncoupling slog the L.A. Times later branded “the worst divorce case in San Diego history.”


Chris Mason and Tiera Skovbye as Young Dan and Betty

Before Betty and Dan were part of one of the most high-profile murder cases of all time, they were just an average couple. Dirty John season 2 will delve into their days of marital bliss before the killing. Skovbye (Riverdale) and Mason (Pretty Little Liars: The Perfectionists) will play the younger versions of the couple, who married in 1969. Betty and Dan were together until 1985 and shared four kids before their divorce in ’89.


Rachel Keller as Linda Kolkena

Dan’s legal-assistant-turned-second-wife Linda is played by Keller (Fargo, Legion). Long before Rachel made things official with Dan, Betty suspected an affair between the pair. Betty’s hunch was correct and Dan married Linda on April 22, 1989, shortly after his divorce was finalized.


Missi Pyle as Karen Kintner

Pyle (Galaxy Quest, Gone Girl) will play the fictional role of Karen Kintner, according to Deadline. She’s reportedly a “charismatic and funny wife and mother and integral part of Betty’s friend circle, whose own past marriage woes give Betty hope.”


Emily Bergl as Marie Stewart

Bergl (Shameless, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel) will play a fictional role as well. According to Deadline, Marie is one of Betty’s only fellow divorced friends. The outlet describes the character as, “Kind, smart, and having been through it herself, she implores Betty to take her divorce seriously.”


Holley Fain as Evelyn Crowley

Deadline reports that Fain (Grey’s Anatomy, Gossip Girl) will play another confidant of Betty’s. Evelyn is described as a “kind and supportive friend” who is married to one of Dan’s law colleagues.

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