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The Daily Dish Dirty John

Who Is Tonia Meehan? This Is Why Dirty John Execs Wanted Fans to Meet John Meehan's First Wife

Before John Meehan married Debra Newell, there was another Mrs. Meehan.

By Megan Segura

If there's one thing fans learned from Episode 3 of Bravo's Dirty John, it's this: Debra Newell wasn't the only one. While the limited series has been following the story of John Meehan (Eric Bana) conning his way into Debra's (Connie Britton) life, things shifted in the third episode when viewers met John's first wife. During the latest installment of Dirty John After the Episode, the show's execs explained why they chose to bring Tonia Meehan, John's first wife, into the show.

"We were telling the story of the first wife, who is a very different person from Debra and yet was taken in in the same way, and so we kind of want to tell those stories in parallel so that people can see that Debra is not alone," said Dirty John creator and executive producer Alexandra Cunningham.

Tonia Meehan Wants Answers

"Being able to see John through the eyes of another woman who fell madly in love with him makes you kind of understand what Debra did," said Jeffrey Reiner, who serves as director and executive producer on the show. "Here was a very smart woman, highly educated, was a nurse, and she fell for John, too." 

Sprague Grayden Talks About Meeting the Real-Life Tonia Meehan

For even more insight into the series, watch the full episode of Dirty John After the Episode above. And make sure to tune in to Dirty John on Sundays at 10/9c.

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