Is Lies and Deceit Based on a True Story?

Created by Curro Novallas, ‘Lies and Deceit’ is a Spanish thriller series that follows Laura Munar, a high school literature teacher who accuses Xavier Vera of raping her after intoxicating her with drugs. Vera, a renowned surgeon, dismisses the allegations that are raised by Laura and takes the stand that he is innocent. The series progresses by depicting both sides of the case while unveiling the mystery behind Laura’s accusations, exploring the lies and deceit which unfold in between.

Set in the island of Mallorca, the series is a highly potent thriller that explores the controversial circumstances of rape allegations in Spain through the particular case of Laura and Vera. Laura’s determination and the legal battle she fights against Vera’s resolute stance on his innocence make one wonder about the origin of the show. If you are curious whether the show is based on reality, we have got the answers for you!

Is Lies and Deceit Based on True Story?

No, ‘Lies and Deceit’ is not based on a true story. The show is a remake of ‘Liar,’ a British series created by Harry Williams and Jack Williams. Harry and Jack confirmed that they didn’t base the narrative of the original show on any true incident, even though they added that they were inspired by the number of rape cases and allegations that got reported during their writing process. Creator Curro Novallas, who co-directed ‘Lies and Deceit’ with Norberto López Amado, adapted ‘Liar’ to a Spanish setting for the streaming platform Atresplayer Premium.

Even though it is a fictional account, ‘Lies and Deceit’ does portray the predicaments that arise when rape cases and allegations are brought before a court in reality. In the series, Laura’s accusations against Vera lead to a difficult legal battle as the case is basically viewed as one’s word against the other. Similar situations do ensue in reality, especially in Spain, where women’s rights activists have raised their voices against the law that requires an act of violence or intimidation to consider sexual abuse as rape.

In fact, coincidentally, a case similar to Laura’s did happen in Spain that enraged the conscience of Spanish society in 2019, prior to the release of the Spanish adaptation. A 14-year-old girl accused five men of raping her, who, like Vera, denied the accusations against them. After a tumultuous legal battle, a Barcelona court ruled out rape, since the men were not violent and the girl was drunk and unconscious. Instead of a prison sentence between 15 and 20 years for sexual assault, the equivalent of rape in Spain, the accused were given a lesser sentence of 10 to 12 years for sexual abuse.

Considering the number of cases that get reported and brought to trial all over the world, the aforementioned case is not a one-off. The loopholes in the law and the perspective of laws in patriarchal societies, irrespective of a specific country, have questioned the integrity of victims like Laura for a long period of time. The show, like the original show it is adapted from, aims to bring out this pattern of injustice in the mold of an adrenaline-pumping thriller. Due to the way the show is conceived, ‘Lies and Deceit’ can only be identified as a fictional account, though the questions it raises are pointed towards the harsh truths pertaining to our societies.

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