Real-life victim watched The Secrets She Keeps unaware it was based on her kidnapping

Abbie Humphries initially didn't realise the BBC One drama was about her own true story

The Secrets She Keeps, BBC

The woman who was kidnapped as a baby in Nottingham says she sat down to watch BBC One’s The Secrets She Keeps unaware it was based on her.

Advertisement

Abbie Humphries (formerly Sundgren) was stolen at birth from the Queen’s Medical Centre in 1994 and was missing for 17 days before she was reunited with mother, Karen. The kidnapper was a 22-year-old dental nurse Julie Kelley, who faked the pregnancy and birth, and was diagnosed with a serious personality disorder.

Abbie said she had sat down to watch The Secrets She Keeps before becoming aware that it was about her own true story. She told the Mail on Sunday: “As I am sure you can imagine, this does bring up a lot of emotions for my family.”

Abbie previously revealed to the Nottingham Post: “My parents told me all about it as I grew up, but not all in one go. It came out in bits and pieces, part of the family conversation really.”

The Secrets She Keeps is based on a novel by Michael Robotham, an Australian writer who was working as a journalist in London in 1994 when baby Abbie Humphries was stolen in Nottinghamshire. He relocated it to Sydney and turned Abbie’s story into a psychodrama about a downtrodden shop worker who envies the life of a beautiful middle-class mother, but the basis of the story is Abbie’s kidnapping.

Abbie continued: “We had moved to New Zealand when I realised how big it all was. We were unpacking all the boxes and I saw the press cuttings. That’s when I realised what a huge deal it was. But it didn’t stir up any emotions of horror or anything. To be honest, I thought it was rather cool.”

She added: “I learned how hard the police worked looking for me — perhaps that’s why I’ve been thinking about joining up. Maybe I’ll end up as a detective.”

Abbie’s mum Karen explained how she felt when she was reunited with Abbie: “I knew immediately that she was mine. She had lost a lot of weight but you couldn’t miss that shock of blonde hair she had been born with. But it was more than that: I just knew this was my baby.”

Abbie’s mum Karen explained how she felt when she was reunited with Abbie: “I knew immediately that she was mine. She had lost a lot of weight but you couldn’t miss that shock of blonde hair she had been born with. But it was more than that: I just knew this was my baby.”

Advertisement

The final episode of The Secrets She Keeps screens on BBC One on Tuesday, 21st July. The full series is also available on iPlayer. If you’re looking for more to watch, check out our TV guide.