‘It is counterintuitive of the genre because true-crime victims are usually female’

DISTRIBUTOR Wag Entertainment
PRODUCER Wag Entertainment
LENGTH 1 x 75 minutes

A lot of true crime presents the same story,” says Wag Entertainment creative director Bridget Boseley. “The skill is trying to find new areas that feel a bit more contemporary.”

Boseley, who joined Wag two years ago with a remit to develop new genre lines for the Asacha Media Group-owned indie, has found a novel true-crime angle in ripped-from- the-headlines tale The Real Fatal Attraction, about a woman’s campaign to destroy the life and reputation of a young barrister.

“It is counter-intuitive of the genre because the victim is male,” Boseley says. “True-crime victims are usually female, and victims of female harassment are rarely represented as an issue in wider society. In this case, it was industrial-scale harassment, which raises a lot of really difficult questions about our assumptions as a society and in law.”

The single replays events that began in 2010 and culminated in the 2021 conviction of 22-year-old Anisah Ahmed for plotting to ruin the life of barrister Iqbal Mohammed. They had been having an affair before Ahmed discovered Mohammed was married.

She went to extraordinary lengths to take revenge, beginning with faking social media accounts and threatening calls, escalating to simulating revenge porn and staging a dramatic kidnap and near-fatal stabbing, which she blamed on him.

Ultimately, she made a false allegation of multiple rapes, which resulted in Mohammed’s public arrest at his Chambers and imprisonment. He was suspended from work, his wife left him, and he considered taking his own life. After the truth was revealed, Ahmed received a life sentence for perverting the course of justice, which has since been reduced on appeal.

The film primarily features interviews with Mohammed, family members, the lead police investigators and eyewitness accounts. Director John Holdsworth also employs dramatic reconstruction mixed with police recordings of Ahmed being interviewed under caution, and bodycam footage from paramedics who arrived to find her bleeding from self-inflicted wounds.

“There is some sympathy for Anisah and Iqbal is not without blame since it was he who was having the affair,” says Boseley, who is exec producer on the film. “He owns that in the story.

Real Fatal Attraction 2 low res

“What also makes this interesting is that we have an Asian guy who made his way to the top of his profession and whose family are immensely proud of him and how he faced humiliation. He felt that if he had not been a lawyer and able to use his own legal knowledge, he would be in prison today.

“So this is a story about hoaxes and manipulation that we feel is more in tune with what people want to see in the space rather than grim serial killing.”

Commissioned for streamer ITVX, the title has already had pre-sale interest, says Wag senior vice-president of sales Janice Strangward, adding that the story complements the iconic Hollywood movie.

“So many broadcasters have acquired rights to Fatal Attraction and some are creating theme nights around it,” she says. “There are so many opportunities to schedule around that franchise.”