'A Friend of the Family' Victim Speaks Out as Peacock Show Trailer Drops

Peacock's latest true crime show, A Friend of the Family, has a unique perspective as the show is being produced by Jan Broberg, the victim of the crime described in the story.

The limited series depicts the harrowing events that befell the Broberg family, whose daughter Jan was kidnapped and sexually abused by a man, Robert "B" Berchtold, who they had believed was a "friend."

On Thursday, August 18, a trailer was released for the drama, which stars Anna Paquin, Jake Lacy, Colin Hanks, Hendrix Yancy, and Mckenna Grace, amongst others.

'A Friend of the Family' Victim Speaks Out as Peacock Show Trailer Drops

Broberg shared a statement in a press release about the new show and its teaser trailer, as did show creator Nick Antosca.

Broberg urged viewers not to see her family as "stupid or careless" while they watch the show, which is a dramatization of her family's encounter with Berchtold, who kidnapped her twice and also sexually abused her.

In her statement about the show, Broberg said: "A Friend of the Family tells our family's story and my story. We were a loving, trusting, educated family. We were not stupid or careless. So how could this happen in our neighborhood, where we knew everyone, and everyone was a friend?"

"The truth is that most predators are not strangers but people we know — people who can build trust, create special friendships, and separate family members psychologically." Broberg continued.

A Friend of the Family
McKenna Grace as Jan Broberg in "A Friend of the Family." The real Jan Broberg is a producer on the show and she shared a statement in a press release urging viewers that her family were not "stupid or careless." Peacock

"As little girls, we talked and we listened around the dinner table every night. Mom and Dad were always there. We were so safe, so loved, so carefree," Broberg said. "Then, in 1972, we met the nicest new family at church, with children who matched us in age. A deep friendship ensued. Over several years, our families did hundreds of activities together: church parties, family dinners, boating and snowmobile trips, sleepovers, game nights, movies and barbecues."

"Then on a normal afternoon, the father kidnapped me — and from age 12 to 16 I was sexually assaulted and severely brainwashed by this man who I trusted," she added. "This story will make you talk, shout, cry — and it will make you angry. Good."

"The team of writers, actors, designers, directors and producers led by Alex Hedlund, Eliza Hittman, and Nick Antosca have captured the heart of how good people can be manipulated and their children victimized," Broberg said. "Our story is relatable because so many families have direct experience with this sort of abuse. I hope that our story will start conversations — because secrets live in darkness and silence."

'A Friend of the Family' Creator Nick Antosca Shares Thoughts on the Show

Showrunner and executive producer Antosca also shared a statement about the true crime show, which premieres on October 6.

"It's easy to judge the Broberg family's story from the outside," Antosca said. "Sometimes when people first hear it, they get defensive: How could these parents have let this happen? I'm not like them.

"That's understandable. It's a surreal story. When I first heard it, I empathized with the family's vulnerability, and I felt like I understood their story from the outside.

"But it stayed with me, and I wanted to understand from the inside — to know what their lives felt like, to live in each family member's experience, to see how they were caught in such a bizarre web, and help audiences understand too.

"I hope people will come away from the series with a deeper understanding of the family and say: In that time, in that place, they were like me. They made terrible mistakes, but they loved their kids. And a master manipulator took advantage of them."

"The series exists outside the typical categories of genre. It's a thriller built around obsessive relationships, a family drama, and a nightmarish coming-of-age story," Antosca continued. "In the course of working on this story and talking with others who have worked on it, one thing has become clear: It's more relatable than it first seems. The Brobergs' story is an extreme point on a continuum that many people have been on."

"The other reason I couldn't stop thinking about this story is that, after all of it, the Broberg family grew stronger. They loved and forgave," Antosca said. "This is a horror story that's also about survival. And part of what makes the story so exceptional isn't how strange it is, but the fact that the Brobergs told it at all.

"It was a wrenching, complicated story to work on. In addition to the thousands of pages of trial transcripts, FBI notes, interviews, and childhood diaries that we were able to draw on, we have had the privilege of working with Jan Broberg herself.

"We could not and would not tell this story without Jan and her family's blessing and participation. Thank you for watching."

A Friend of the Family premieres on Peacock on October 6.

Specialists from the Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network (RAINN) sexual assault hotline are available 24/7 via phone (1-800-656-4673) and online chat. Additional support from the group is also accessible via the mobile app.

A Friend of the Family
Anna Paquin as Mary Ann Broberg in "A Friend of the Family," which premieres on Peacock on October 6. Peacock