Intrigue: Million Dollar Lover
Million Dollar Lover is an unlikely love story, recorded in real time as the relationship unfolds between a wealthy widow, Carolyn, who is 80 and Dave, 57, a former drug addict who is homeless and has a long criminal history. The story captured the attention of the BBC Journalist Sue Mitchell as it was unfolding on her street. She spends a lot of time in California, she married an American and her award-winning journalism has been about the lives of people like Dave who inhabit the dangerous margins of society. There are so many homeless people in America that the wealthy can no longer avoid contact with them. When Dave arrives in Cayucos, a charming beach town, prosperous and sunny all year round, he goes to church. People there help him find work, recommending him to Carolyn as an odd job man. She falls in love with him and within a fortnight, he's moved in. Dave is a skilled joiner and musician who makes and sells jewellery. With Carolyn’s support, he appears to be thriving. Her daughters fear that he has his sights set on the valuable property portfolio which their parents and grandparents built up over the years and turn to the police for help. Soon everyone is asking whether Dave is really a tender carer or a dangerous interloper who will fleece her – breaking her heart and her family?
Miranda Sawyer • The Guardian • Feb 17, 2024
"The USP of this show is Mitchell’s access, as well as her amazing ability to interview everyone involved without judgment. This is such a small, gripping story, one where you find yourself shouting at your audio player as you listen. Highly recommended."
Lauren Passell • Podcast The Newsletter • Dec 11, 2023
"This isn’t just a juicy story, the show is great. BBC Journalist Sue Mitchell seems to be the third corner of the love triangle—it’s like Carolyn and Dave have let her live inside their world. She hears and observes everything and talks to everyone. She is absolutely a character in the story. Million Dollar Lover might be a love story, it might be a story of financial abuse, it’s definitely a family drama."