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'I Had A Sick Feeling,' The Real Case Behind Lifetime's 'Stolen By Their Father'
Lizbeth Meredith's two daughters were stolen from her by her ex in 1994 and taken to Greece. She spent years fighting to get them back.
In Lifetime’s “Stolen By Their Father,” a determined mother stops at nothing to get her daughters back after her vindictive and abusive ex kidnaps them and takes them to Greece.
While certainly the plot of a riveting film, it’s much more than that. The film, part of Lifetime’s Ripped from the Headlines series, is based upon the persistence of the real Lizbeth Meredith.
In the movie, executive produced by kidnapping survivor Elizabeth Smart, Lizbeth Meredith (played by Sarah Drew) allows her ex-husband to visit her two girls for a few days, but soon discovers he kidnapped them and taken them to his native Greece.
Meredith is told that Greek law will favor the man and that she may never see her girls again. But that doesn’t break her. Instead, the determined mother spends the next two years traveling to the White House and then Greece as she refuses to take no for an answer.
The movie is based upon Meredith’s 2016 memoir, “Pieces Of Me: Rescuing My Kidnapped Daughters” which detailed the harrowing events following the 1994 kidnapping of her two daughters.
“He took the girls on a visitation and disappeared from the country,” she reflected to WTVG in 2017. "I had a sick feeling when I didn't find my daughters at the daycare where they were expected to be dropped off by their father.”
She explained that it wasn’t until 1996 that she was able to find her daughters.
“What came next would spark a global effort, joined by friends and strangers alike, to reunite Lizbeth with her kidnapped daughters,” according to a document on her website. “And two years later, many thousands of dollars, one arrest (Lizbeth’s), and after relentless effort from all involved, Lizbeth found her now non-English speaking daughters.”
While it wasn’t easy, she stated that she had worked hard over the years to parent her two daughters who had been “traumatized" by the ordeal.
“Today, Lizbeth is a proud mother of two feisty, educated women who’ve bucked intergenerational patterns of early marriage and lack of education,” her website states.
In a bizarre twist, the real Meredith was also kidnapped as a child, by her mother. She wasn’t able to find her real father until she was 20, and through a lawyer.
"I was the kind of person that said I never want my kids to go through what I did as a child,” Meredith told WTVG. “Then I married someone who repeated the patterns of domestic violence and child kidnapping.”
But, Meredith’s strength always shone through. She has always helped others and previously worked as a child abuse investigator and domestic violence advocate.