My Wife’s Hidden Lover: Is it Inspired by a Real Life?

With Damián Romay occupying the director’s chair, Lifetime’s ‘My Wife’s Hidden Lover’ is a thriller film that centers around an unhappily married woman named Phoebe who indulges in an extramarital affair with a young man named Lucas. After convincing her lover to move into her attic to stay close to her, the two love birds spend some quality time together when Phoebe’s husband is at work. One day, when she finds Lucas’ dead body in the attic, she is almost certain that her husband must have found out about her affair and killed him.

Phoebe is convinced that her husband is keeping it a secret from her intentionally, just to continue mentally torturing her. The suspense movie consists of impressive onscreen performances of Abigail Hawk, Donny Boaz, and Marc Herrmann. It explores certain outlandish yet true-to-life themes and elements that make the viewers wonder if the Lifetime production is a true tale or not.

My Wife’s Hidden Lover Is Inspired by a True Story

Yes, a few elements of ‘My Wife’s Hidden Lover’ are loosely inspired by true events. The screenwriter, Lucy Foster, possibly took inspiration from the real-life case of Walburga “Dolly” Oesterreich, a married woman who kept his lover hidden in the attic of her house. Lucy then supposedly dramatized the story to give it her own twists and turns. At the young age of 17, Dolly married Fred William Oesterreich who worked at the textile mill. Immensely popular, she was also rumored to have quite a few lovers, whom she invited into her house when Fred was at work. When she was 33, a 17-year-old sewing machine repairman named Otto Sanhuber came into her life and thus, began an intense love affair that would continue into the next decade.

As the affair between Dolly and Otto intensified further, the latter moved into Oesterreich’s attic to remain close to his married lover. Dolly made sure to feed him food and supply books, a lamp, and writing materials to keep him busy. Remaining silent in the attic during the night, Otto used to emerge to perform housework and be with Dolly during the daytime when Fred used to be in the mills. This entire angle of Dolly convincing Otto to stay in her attic is one of the elements that is parallel to a part of the plot of ‘My Wife’s Hidden Lover.’

While the true case of Dolly and Otto results in the tragic death of the husband Fred, the Lifetime film shows the fake death of the lover in the attic as the husband tortures her wife, pretending to have no knowledge of her affair. Since there are some striking similarities between the characters and the plot of the movie and the actual people of the real case, it would be safe to say that ‘My Wife’s Hidden Lover’ is somewhat rooted in reality and is far from being totally fiction.

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