Infidelity hurts, however the anguish Jenifer Faison suffered was on an altogether totally different stage, contemplating the mind-bogglingly sleazy scale of her husband’s unfaithfulness. On June 1, 2018, Jenifer discovered about her partner Spencer Herron’s two-timing upon returning house to search out him sitting on their front room sofa, shaking his head and muttering “it’s over, it’s throughout.” On the desk subsequent to him was a search warrant that includes the phrases “sexual assault” and “scholar.” Earlier than Jennifer might course of what was taking place, law enforcement officials arrived and arrested Spencer, thus starting a nightmare that was as ugly because it was sudden.
Primarily based on Jenifer and producer Andrea Gunning’s podcast of the identical identify, Betrayal: The Good Husband (July 11 on Hulu) is a three-part ABC Information Studios docuseries that recounts the surprising revelations that rocked Jenifer’s world, and the courageousness on the a part of a younger sufferer who introduced Spencer’s disgusting habits to mild. Its non-fiction type is stretched skinny for optimum melodramatic functions, lowlighted by tacky drone photographs and songs whose on-the-nose lyrics appear designed to encourage eye-rolls and guffaws. But its core story stays compelling, particularly when, throughout its closing chapter, it lets a sexual abuse survivor element the step-by-step means by which she was groomed into taking part in a criminally inappropriate relationship.
Jenifer initially met Spencer when she transferred to Berry Faculty, a small establishment in northwest Georgia, for her junior 12 months. The supervisor of the college’s tv station in addition to an on-air character, Spencer was well-known and appreciated by everybody; good friend Josh Villines says he was the kind of charismatic, handsome, outgoing Eagle Scout who’d generously provide help to transfer a sofa into your dorm room. Jenifer and Spencer virtually instantly started courting, and because of his sweetness and effusiveness—he’d routinely go her handwritten notes that proclaimed her “a dream come true. I’m now the happiest man on campus”—Jenifer fell head over heels in love, going as far as to introduce him to her household (who have been equally smitten).
Regardless of the fairytale nature of their courtship, Jenifer broke issues off with Spencer (who was a 12 months older than her) when he graduated, believing that issues wouldn’t final given their totally different circumstances. After three years at a radio station, Jenifer relocated to Los Angeles to turn into a tv producer on reveals similar to Decide Judy and Excessive Makeover: Residence Version (for which she was nominated for an Emmy). Spencer stayed in Georgia and acquired married, had children, and labored as a contract videographer and at a highschool the place he taught video manufacturing. On prime of that, he performed in an Air Nationwide Guard band, which required occasional deployments. Each Jenifer and Spencer have been thriving, and 20 years (and one Spencer divorce) later, an opportunity Fb message—and a fortuitous flip of occasions that positioned them each in New York Metropolis on the similar time—led them to reconnect.
From the get-go, Jenifer thought their rekindled amour was “magical” and “meant to be,” and he or she quickly selected to maneuver again to Georgia to be with him. On digital camera, she and Andrea pore over Spencer’s love notes and letters—to a runtime-padding (and borderline self-exploitative) diploma—in an effort to show that Jenifer was justified in being swept away by Spencer. That materials extends to clips from the couple’s Dec. 30, 2012, wedding ceremony and their subsequent buy of a wine bar in downtown Acworth, Georgia, and it conclusively establishes that Spencer resembled an excellent catch. In consequence, when he was charged with sexual assault, Jenifer was fully blindsided. She was moreover greatly surprised by her inspection of his emails, Fb account, and texts, which revealed that he had been sleeping round with dozens upon dozens of girls, together with mates of hers, prostitutes, and escorts and—most damning of all—one in every of his highschool college students.
Via new interviews in addition to ones taken from the podcast—plus Jenifer’s extremely organized, data-driven evaluation of his correspondences—Betrayal: The Good Husband conveys the intensive scope of Spencer’s compulsive dishonest. Typically carrying on six to seven simultaneous affairs, he was apparently a lout possessed, and Hulu’s docuseries means that he was a veritable intercourse addict who wanted to repeatedly push the boundaries—of the variety of ladies he was with; of the dangers he was taking; and of the kinkiness of his trysts—in an effort to really feel happy. In the end, that led him to start out grooming a Kell Excessive Faculty scholar (the place he was Instructor of the 12 months!) named Rachel when she was solely 15, and to sleep together with her when she was 16. Although the age of consent in Georgia is 16, it’s unlawful for an educator to have sexual relations with any scholar, and Spencer was consequently charged by Cobb County prosecutors. He pled responsible and was sentenced to 5 years behind bars and 15 years of probation, and now should register as a intercourse offender.
Betrayal: The Good Husband is an empathetic portrait of Jenifer and a brutal takedown of Spencer that alternately pulls so arduous on the heartstrings, and oozes such disgust for its nominal villain, that it usually dips into community information magazine-grade sensationalism. There’s little subtlety or concision to those proceedings, thereby undercutting one’s engagement with the fabric. Greatest is the third installment’s scenes of Rachel talking about her ordeal each on Jenifer’s podcast and to a college criminology division. Rachel supplies a lucid first-person account of how adults groom weak youngsters by step by step increasing interpersonal boundaries (first innocent texts about college, then conversations about private likes and dislikes, and at last informal bodily contact) and preying upon their insecurities. By foregrounding Rachel’s traumatic expertise, Betrayal: The Good Husband serves as a bracing and illuminating abstract of predatory ways.
Now out of jail, Spencer has been barred from having contact with minors and Jenifer has moved on together with her life—though she stays annoyed and livid that her ex has acquired a seemingly mild punishment for his offenses. If nothing else, then, Betrayal: The Good Husband will guarantee that his popularity stays in tatters, and that viewers are a bit extra educated in regards to the potential misleading monsters of their midst.