‘Dirty John’s’ Daughter Speaks Out About Their Father

"Did he have the ability to love?"

As any fan of the hugely popular Los Angeles Times podcast series Dirty John would know, John Meehan was a dangerous conman who fractured Debra Newell’s family with his cruel attempts to turn Debra against her daughters. 

The whirlwind romance of Debra Newell and John Meehan is chronicled by Los Angeles Times reporter Christopher Goffard in his podcast, and the twisted tale of the frightening John has now been made into a Bravo series starring Eric Bana and Connie Britton, which will be available on Netflix Australia

All us Dirty John fans know of the extensive harm done to Debra Newell and her two daughters, Jacquelyn and Terra, but what about John Meehan’s actual children? 

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Arlane Hart, Debra Newell and Terra Newell

John Meehan had two daughters with his first wife Tonia Sells, and despite their father’s name rising to infamy and becoming synonymous with con artistry, the Los Angeles Times reports the girls have carried on living their lives as normal. 

Emily and Abigail Meehan did not appear on the Dirty John podcast but they have already spoken about their father’s crimes on another popular true crime series, Murderish, back in April. 

Emily Meehan, who was just five years old when her parents divorced, said the Dirty John podcast forced her to re-look at the man she called her father, “I was really young. I was 5 years old when they got divorced. But after this podcast, I really asked myself — did he have the ability to love? And if he did, that would hopefully be me and my sister.”

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Emily Meehan, Tonia Bales and Abigail Meehan

Emily, who is now a nurse and runs her own YouTube channel, went on to question her father’s actions during the time her parents were separating,  “My mom went through hell in court trying to get custody, and I wonder if those intentions of his were actually to get custody, or just to even moreso drag her along. That’s always been a question of mine that unfortunately won’t be answered.”

Emily’s YouTube channel is called Em&Dex and focuses on nursing and nursing school topics, not on her father’s crimes. Emily assured the hosts of Murderish that despite the added attention, her and Abigail are doing well.

For those of you who haven’t listened to Dirty John, go ahead and treat yourself to a seriously good true crime podcast, you won’t regret it. 

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