Actress Jan Broberg appeared on Dr. Phil this week to tell her shocking personal story. As a child, she was abducted twice by the same man, whom she considered a “second father,” Broberg claims.
Broberg, now 55, grew up to become a successful actress, with over 40 credits to her name. She appeared in Iron Man 3, Maniac, Little Secrets and, most recently, the TV series Colony. She also starred on Everwood. Broberg is married to Larry Felt.
Here’s a look at Broberg’s story and her life.
1. She Claims She Was First Abducted by Robert Berchtold as a 12 Year Old
Broberg told Dr. Phil host Phil McGraw that she was abducted twice by family friend Robert Berchtold, a man she claims was like a “second father.” They met at a church when she was 10 years old. Two years later, she says he abducted her. At the time, Broberg and her family were living in Idaho.
“He handed me my allergy pill because I was going to be around horses. After I took the pill, I woke up in the back of a moving motor home and my arms and my legs were strapped to the back of the bed. I was drugged. I was in and out of very, very deep sleep,” Broberg claims. “For the next five weeks I was missing. This is when the sexual abuse began.”
She claims Berchtold gave her “special attention” that he didn’t give others. She also said she looked younger than she really was and always aimed to please. “I had the right personality to be manipulated.”
The actress claims that Berchtold’s wife wanted Broberg’s family to drop the charges because she wasn’t physically hurt.
2. During Her First Abduction, She Claims Berchtold ‘Brainwashed’ Her & Told Her She Was Abducted by Aliens
Broberg also told Dr. Phil that during the first abduction in 1974, she was “brainwashed.” She claims she was told she was abducted by aliens.
“I’m strapped with my wrists and my ankles to the back of the motor home bed. There’s a box right next to my ear,” Broberg told the show. “It’s talking to me in a high pitched monotone voice … I thought I’d been kidnapped by a UFO.”
She claims Berchtold took her to Mexico for five weeks of brainwashing. She claims that she would be given a box and told to tell Berchtold, “‘e’re supposed to have a child. I’m supposed to have the child to save the dying planet.'”
“It said, ‘If you don’t follow all of our rules, you will be evaporated. You will be killed, and your little sister will be taken,'” Broberg recalled.
3. She Claims She Was Abducted for 4 Months When She Was 14
Broberg claims she was abducted again when she was 14 years old. This time, she was gone for four months.
Her sister, Karen, told Dr. Phil that they were very close as children. Karen says that one day, Broberg just walked out of their family’s back door.
“One night, Jan walked out the back door and got in his car and disappeared. I felt terribly alone because my sister was missing,”” Karen said. “My parents were lost in their misery and guilt. I became aware I was not their focus.”
When Broberg returned after her second abduction, things were very different. When she got out of the car, walked in the back door, she didn’t even say a word and she was just a blank shell,” Karen told Dr. Phil. “I was devastated. My parents enabled her. It impacted Jan as an adult.”
4. Berchtold Denied Broberg’s Claims When Her Book ‘Stolen Innocence’ Came Out
When Broberg first went public with her story in 2003 with the book Stolen Innocence: The Jan Broberg Story by Mary Ann Broberg, Berchtold denied the claims.
Berchtold told ABC News in 2004 that he was only nice to Broberg after they met because he wanted to take care of her. He admitted that it was wrong of him to have such a close relationship with a young girl and he even went through years of therapy. However, he said he never had a sexual relationship with her or tried to brainwash her.
“They’re trying to make a buck,” Berchtold told ABC News. He went on to explain, “My mom got sick when I was a teenager and I had to take care of my little sister. I was very happy at the time, because my stepfather finally liked me and everything was good. Later, I had reverted back to taking care of a little girl.”
Berchtold said Broberg went with him on a trip voluntarily. Her parents called police when they figured out she was going to be gone for an extended period of time. Mexican police found them, and he was in prison for a some time. However, her parents didn’t accuse him of sexual assault because she didn’t say anything.
His version of the second abduction story is that he took her to Catholic school because she didn’t want to be at home with her parents. He admitted to ABC News that he didn’t tell her parents about taking her to a school in Pasadena.
In that case, the FBI found her. Berchtold told ABC News that the FBI sent him to a mental facility.
Before the ABC News interview, Berchtold showed up at a Utah conference where Broberg was the keynote speaker. Berchtold allegedly pointed a fun at a member of the Bikers Against Child Abuse, which was called to the venue to protect Broberg. Berchtold was taken to prison and released on bail.
“I think he’s desperate because he knows our story has come out,” Broberg told ABC News.
Berchtold died in 2005 at age 69.
5. Broberg’s Story Is the Basis of the Film ‘Forever ‘B”
“When I finally met Jan, I was immediately struck by her kindness, intelligence and beauty, but could see that talking about her experience 40 years ago still deeply affected her,” producer Stephanie Tobey told The Beach Reporter. “Soon after our meeting, the news broke that three girls who had been abducted for over 10 years were found locked in a home in Cleveland, Ohio. I didn’t want this to happen to anyone else. Jan said, ‘Think of how many people you could reach by telling my story.’ And she was right. This documentary is what I could do to help.”
Tobey worked on the film for four years and conducted over 60 hours of interviews with the help of filmmaker Skye Borgman. The producer hopes that the film is seen by a wide audience and sparks conversations about child abuse.
“I have been talking about Forever ‘B’ for four years now,” Tobey told the Beach Reporter. “And in many of my conversations, I am reminded how many people have been touched by child abuse. Our story happened over 40 years ago and not much has changed. We need to find a way to protect our children.”