Seattle, WA (The Hollywood Times) 1/31/18 – What you’re about to read about is a twisted tale built around lies, insanity, more lies, and deadly consequences…
The story is about Benita Alexander, an Emmy winning producer formerly with NBC. She began to follow a ground-breaking surgeon who delved into the arena of regenerative medicine – Paolo Macchiarini – The Doctor; was fascinating. He worked all over the world, speaks 6 languages, and has a reputation of being a charming bad boy…
Benita Alexander and Paolo in Venice, Italy. Benita Alexander arranged to meet for the interview…
When he walked in and turned the corner, she was immediately smitten – the second her eyes locked, there was this spark… He fell for her the moment he saw her… He too, was smitten – the chemistry was electric…
Instead of me telling you, the reader about the documentary, I’ll let you read directly from Benita the results of the interview. She’s a wonderful, powerful and determined Lady who’s story will make you happy, sad, cringe, and cry for what Benita endured but more importantly, for what the families of this man had done, not only to Benita but the families he engaged with.
This is her story and you can watch it on Investigation Discovery on February 14th, 2018 8/7c.
PETER BORREGGINE: Benita, after watching this, I became immersed in your story, felt what you did and now, after all this, I need to ask you this question first: How do you feel, right now?
BENITA: Working on the deeply personal film “HE LIED ABOUT EVERYTHING” was extremely difficult in many ways. As I traveled the world to meet with other people who have been betrayed by Paolo – doctors, scientists, colleagues, and especially the families of his patients – I was very disturbed by the extent of the damage his egregious lies have caused. Far too many people have been hurt and my often emotional interactions with them only reinforced my strong belief that it is important for me to tell my story and expose his lies.
THT: What are you doing now? Are you happy? How’s your life going?
BENITA: I am happy, thank you. I work at Efran Films as VP of Production, where I manage a wide variety of interesting digital and television projects and am surrounded by a team of talented people who have been extraordinarily supportive. I’ve gone back to all the things that make me happy and I am more grateful than ever for my special bond with my beautiful daughter, who is remarkably smart, resilient and insightful. Watching her grow into a strong, determined young woman fills my heart with pride and joy.
THT: I see in you, what I feel and have gone through in my life with seeking justice regarding my disability with the Veterans Administration. It took me 22 Years and a letter to former President Obama to get what I needed. Are you going to continue your relentless pursuit for justice until you get the result you believe is right? What if you never do? How will you feel in either case?
BENITA: I’m sorry to hear that you’ve had to endure something so difficult Peter, but I’m glad to know that you refused to give up. For me, this is about exposing the truth. Almost as soon as I uncovered Paolo’s truly elaborate web of lies, my thoughts quickly turned to the terrifying thought that if this world-renowned surgeon was lying to me in such an outrageous way, then he was almost certainly lying to the medical community as well, and people could be dying because of it. My heart was completely broken and I had given up my career and I had pulled my daughter out of her school because I thought we were moving to Spain. On top of that, I was criticized and called stupid, and I lost friends who didn’t understand because they didn’t know the whole story. But the fact that this man was still practicing medicine was the only thing that mattered. I knew I could not allow this to be swept under the rug – even with all the recent exposure about his misrepresentations in science and medicine, he has still been able to work. And there are still people who don’t understand that in spite of his charm and brilliant intellect, this is a man who is a pathological liar. That’s why I’m so determined to speak up and use my story as a tool to expose the truth.
THT: What are your future goals for your life now? Can you put this behind you if the outcome isn’t what you expect?
BENITA: I am already putting this behind me. HE LIED ABOUT EVERYTHING exposes the truth about Dr. Paolo Macchiarini, and that’s what I hoped it would do. My goals now are really pretty simple – to focus on my daughter, my work and being happy. I still believe in love and I hope to have that in my life again someday too.
THT: Can you tell our readers the lessons learned here and how you can counsel them to make sure what you’re doing with this documentary, to “never” experience what you have?
BENITA: When I first began telling my story publicly, I was touched by the number of people who reached out to tell me how brave they think I am, and how inspired they are by the fact that I found the courage to come forward. That support helped carry me through the difficult and emotional journey of reliving the whole saga in order to make the film. I can promise you that speaking up is not easy, I’m pretty humiliated by it all and reliving all of this is horrible. But I have made a conscious decision to tell my story in raw, open detail because I believe it’s my personal responsibility. It is difficult to offer specific advice other than to say that if things are nagging at your gut, try not to let love blind you to those things. But it’s also important to know that if something bad does happen, you can’t beat yourself up – there is absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to be loved, or having hope. You can survive, and even become stronger and more resilient as a result.
THT: Finally, I want to thank you for the privilege and honor to do this for you and promote your experience. I commend you for your drive and determination. What one thing can you tell our readers that will make a difference in their lives?
BENITA: Thank you, I truly appreciate the support. I think part of the reason Paolo was able to continue pulling the wool over so many people’s eyes for so long was because people just didn’t want to believe that this so-called super surgeon wasn’t who they thought he was and who he portrayed himself so convincingly to be. For the scientists, doctors and institutions who had vouched for him, supported him, collaborated with him, or financed him, it was embarrassing to admit that they’d been swept up in his web of lies too. There was no reason to doubt him. He was considered one of the top surgeons in the world, he had worked at prestigious institutions, including the institution that awards the Nobel Prize in medicine. He’d published in the most esteemed medical journals and had been profiled by numerous journalists who thought they were sharing the groundbreaking work of a famous doctor – lauded by esteemed scientists and doctors all over the world. But he was a pathological liar and we were all fooled and sometimes, the best thing you can do is exactly the opposite of what the resulting humiliation makes you want to do. It would have been much easier for me to try and shove my painful ordeal under the rug and move on with life. It isn’t easy to admit that I was fooled and it hasn’t been easy to tell my story, but I know it’s the right thing to do, especially if it stops Paolo from hurting someone else.