(CBS Local)– On Sunday August 30, Showtime premieres a fascinating new docu-series called “Love Fraud” about a man named Richard Scott Smith, who conned women all over the country for 20 years and stole their money and dignity. The first episode of the series from Oscar-nominated directors Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady is currently streaming for free and this is something you don’t want to miss.
Ewing and Grady traveled the country to speak to the women duped by Smith and attempted to track down the man himself. The directors began working on this project in 2017 and they are extremely excited for everyone to check this out after it premiered at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year.
“We’re all so excited and it was such a strange adventure that Heidi and I went on filming this project,” said Grady in an interview with CBS Local’s DJ Sixsmith. “I’m dying for all the inside knowledge, inside jokes and shocking things to be general knowledge.”
“Rachel and I were looking for a story about bigamist and why a man would want to have multiple families,” said Ewing. “It sounded exhausting and strange and on our search we found this blog called Richard The Crook Scott Smith. On it were many women that complained and had been victimized by Richard Scott Smith, who played them, stole from them and would promise love and affection. He left them with nothing, including their dignity. We were really intrigued by this blog and the women who were actively searching for him. That’s when we first heard the name and we’ve spoken the name 100,000 times since.
“Love Fraud” will be a four part docu-series as Ewing and Grady document how Smith used the internet and dubious charm to prey on women all over the country. This project was completely different from anything the Emmy award winning filmmakers had ever done.
“We try to stay out of the way and let the story unfold,” said Grady. “We met this group of women that were trying to track down this con man and after a few days of filming with them, we said let’s help them. We became more active in the story. We’ve made films for 20 years and we’ve never done anything like this. That in itself was unusual and also following a completely chaotic and crazy person wherever he went was also crazy. He made no sense and we were on this crazy adventure trying to find him and it took us all over the country.”
“We kept almost catching up with him,” said Ewing. “There was one point where we knew exactly where he was and by the time we got to that state, he disappeared without a trace. It was almost like he didn’t exist. We found ourselves in Kansas City and Wichita and then in the deep South with an entire new cast of characters that emerged. It was always a surprise and always felt like we were a couple of steps behind him. We never a full grasp of the grandiosity of the story in a way. Once we found his old high school friends, aunts and relatives we realized he had been conning not just romance scams, he had been conning and stealing from his own family members.”
Watch “Love Fraud” on Showtime and watch all of DJ Sixsmith’s interviews from “The Sit-Down” series here.