The Baron of Botox with Justine Harman

Dr. Fredric Brandt was the pioneer of botox. He was an innovative scientist and one of the first doctors to champion cosmetic dermatology. His clients included Joy Beyhar, Gwyneth Paltrow, Kelly Ripa, and Madonna. 

Justine Harman, the host of the popular Broken Harts podcast, takes a deep dive into Dr. Brandt’s life in a ten-episode podcast series called The Baron of Botox. baron-of-botox

Who Was Dr. Fedric Brandt?

Through an extensive investigation and numerous interviews, Justine highlights the multi-layered and complex nature of Dr. Brandt in The Baron of Botox podcast. 

Dr. Brandt was much more than a cosmetic surgeon. By all accounts, he was generous, funny, sweet-natured, and benevolent, despite his polarizing profession. Moreover, his love of beauty was manifested in his world-renowned art collection.

Brandt also struggled with mental health issues and his previous bout with cancer may have contributed to his mental health woes. At the same time, he had limited contact with members of his family. Justine thinks that these factors mixed together likely contributed to his efforts to find more happiness through his own botox procedures. 

Life After Dr. Brandt

Dr. Brandt committed suicide on April 5, 2015, sending shockwaves throughout the skincare and esthetics community. To honor him, his business affiliates (especially his close partner Stephane Colleu) continue his work today through Dr. Brandt Skincare. They seek to build on Dr. Brandt’s efforts to bring his skincare solutions to everyday Americans–not just the elites. 

In addition, much of Dr. Brandt’s art collection has been sold to help support his skincare business, settle debts against his estate, and–most importantly–to establish the Dr. Brandt Foundation

The Subjectivity of Beauty and Botox 

Justine and Mary Payne discuss the tricky and imperfect science of botox. Some people get into a vicious cycle of overdoing their procedures; you must know where to draw the line. At the same time, Justine believes that the right amount of work, in consultation with your doctor, can help you feel confident. 

In fact, one of The Baron of Botox episodes records Justine’s procedure with world-class cosmetic surgeon, Dr. Robert Anolik, to help bring the audience into Dr. Brandt’s botox world. During the consultation and procedure, Dr. Anolik used his own judgment on which features to enhance–which was a popular way for Dr. Brandt to perform his surgeries.

Start listening to The Baron of Botox today to get a more personal look into the life and work of Dr. Brandt. 

And, as always, you can catch up on all of the Payne in the Pod episodes, here. Become a patron to receive even more exclusive content from Mary Payne including in-depth conversations that you won’t find anywhere else!

Podcast Recommendations:

Catch and Kill

Believed

Boomtown

Find Justine at:

Website: justineharman.com

Twitter: @JustineHarman


The Life of a Drug Distributor’s Daughter

Rainbow Valentine grew up in a typical 1970s-80s American family. Or so she thought. During her high school years, she learned that the garbage bags of pot in her living room were not so normal. In fact, her parents were pot distributors who delivered loads of marijuana all across the country from their California home. Rainbow’s podcast, Disorganized Crime: Smuggler’s Daughter, tells their story. disorganized-crime-podcast

The Right Time to Open Up

Rainbow Valentine (a name she gave to herself when she was five years old) works as a TV show creator. With a number of states across the country legalizing marijuana, some of Rainbow’s friends at iHeart Radio approached her to create a podcast about her parents’ previous job. After clearing it with their attorney, Rainbow’s parents agreed to share the story about their previous life as pot distributors. 

Several months ago, Rainbow sat down with her parents to produce the first season of the Disorganized Crime series. She compares the podcasting experience to telling stories around the campfire. She believes it was a great way to honor them. 

Everything Seemed Normal

Disorganized Crime: Smugglers Daughter takes listeners back to Marin County, California (outside of San Francisco) in the 1970s-80s, where the counterculture generation moved to raise children. Pot was everywhere. It was so common among adults that many children refused to smoke because they thought it was “lame”. Within this context, Rainbow thought she was part of a normal American family. 

When Rainbow was in high school in the late 1980s, her older sister told her that their parents were drug distributors. They moved thousands of pounds of pot across state lines, including frequent delivery trips to New York. Their job even made them acquaintances with celebrities like the Grateful Dead and Janis Joplin. At first, Rainbow was shocked and horrified by this revelation. But as time passed, she began to appreciate her parents’ way of life. The Disorganized Crime: Smugglers Daughter podcast tells this story.

Life After Pot Distributing

After having quit the pot distribution business in the early 1990s, Rainbow’s parents are now working in the medicinal marijuana field in California. They spend much of their free time outdoors (especially at the beach). Rainbow’s mother also paints while Rainbow’s dad plays music.

Rainbow’s parents focus on beauty, love, and art. They have always stayed away from dangerous drugs (like cocaine), which is why they continue to live peaceful lives to this day. The Disorganized Crime podcast helps shine a light into the atypical and fascinating life story of Rainbow’s parents. They have listened to the podcast and were honored to be part of Rainbow’s beautiful storytelling.

Catch up on all of the Payne in the Pod episodes, here. And don’t forget, Payne in the Pod is on Patreon – become a Patron

Rainbow Valentine’s Personal Podcast Recommendations:

Dolly Parton’s America 

My Favorite Murder

Science Friday

Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me

The Joe Rogan Experience

S-Town

Find Rainbow at:

Website: rainbowvalentine.com/

Instagram: @rainbowvalentinelemur

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rainbowvalentinelemur/

Twitter: @rainbowvlemur


An American History Teller

Lindsay Graham has turned his passion for storytelling and human history into a podcasting career. He is the Webby Award-winning host of the podcasts American History Tellers, American Scandal, and American Elections: Wicked Games, and the executive producer of the audio dramas 1865 and Terms. Mary Payne speaks with Lindsay about his journey to the podcasting world, his storytelling methods, and his perspective on the importance of history.american-history-tellers

From the Insurance Industry to Podcasting

Lindsay worked for an insurance company before he switched to a career in audio production. At first, he worked in audiobook production. In 2015, he began writing the script for his first podcast, a political thriller called Terms. Coincidentally, the podcast, which debuted in November 2016, follows a fictional election of a populist outsider who wins the White House (remind you of anyone?). 

Terms used hired actors to voice the characters and Lindsay read the podcast’s advertisements in between the Acts-. Soon after the Terms debut, Lindsay received an offer by the podcast network Wondery to host American History Tellers, which debuted as the number one podcast on iTunes in January 2018. 

American History from the Perspectives of Real Americans

American History Tellers gives listeners compelling, informative, and empathy-building stories about critical eras in American history. Each season comprises 5-6 episodes that look into a different era of American history (such as Prohibition, the Cold War, and the 1968 Chicago Protests). Each episode has three Acts, each including an historical description of the events along with reenactment that brings listeners into the experience of a real American involved in the historical episode. 

The American History Tellers team includes a producer, editor, writer, as well as researchers. For each season, Lindsay’s team works with a subject matter expert who helps to conduct research and (sometimes) write the script. Some seasons conclude with a conversation between Lindsay and the subject matter expert. 

History is Human

Once asked why he loved history, famed American historian David McCullough responded: “History is human.” Lindsay is drawn to history because he is interested in humanity and has a passion for telling human stories. 

History helps us understand, appreciate, and learn from our predecessors. It forces us to come to terms with difficult and painful eras. For example, Lindsay and Mary Payne discuss the debate about what to do about Confederate monuments. Lindsay believes that monuments of Confederate generals are essentially emblems of white supremacy. In fact, many of these monuments were erected in the 1920s as part of white supremacists’ “revisionist history” campaign during the Jim Crow era. As such, he does not believe that we should honor Confederate leaders. 

Overall, Lindsay believes that Americans can be simultaneously ashamed of notorious parts of our history, while also being proud American citizens. This perspective requires us to think about our history in a nuanced and complex manner. Reckoning with our past helps Americans understand ourselves and our fellow citizens. 

Catch up on all of the Payne in the Pod episodes, here. And don’t forget, Payne in the Pod is on Patreon – become a Patron

Podcast Recommendations:

Revisionist History

Broken Record 

Twenty Thousand Hertz

Script Notes 

Startup

Find American History Tellers at:

https://wondery.com/shows/american-history-tellers/

Twitter: @ahtellers

Find Lindsay at:

Twitter: @lindsayagraham


The Bewildering Case of The Officer’s Wife

In April 2016, the wife of a police officer in Griffin, Georgia was shot twice inside a locked closet. She survived, but with no recollection of the incident. As a result, that night’s events remain a mystery to this day. Brendan Keefe, the Chief Investigator for 11Alive in Atlanta, takes listeners inside this perplexing cold case of The Officer’s Wife. the-officer's-wife

Brendan’s Journey Covering the Officer’s Wife Case

Brendan serves as the Chief Investigator on a team of eight investigative journalists at 11Alive. He also co-anchors The Reveal, a weekly program featuring long-form reporting from the 11Alive Investigative Team. He has received Peabody, duPont, and National Murrow awards for his investigative work.

Brendan heard about The Officer’s Wife case in 2016 when he was working on a corruption case in Griffin, Georgia. Soon after, Brendan’s team obtained the case records through a public records request. They decided to feature the case on The Reveal in November 2016. Later, in January 2020, the team produced The Officer’s Wife podcast, a deep dive into the details of the case. 

A Cold Case Without a Death

The Officer’s Wife podcast takes listeners on a journey of discovery, with each revelation more shocking than the one before. The story involves the unhappy marriage of a Georgia police officer (Matthew), his wife (Jessica Boynton), and their two children. After Jessica learned about Matthew’s extramarital affairs, she prepared to divorce and leave Matthew. One night in April 2016, Matthew called 911 to report gunfire in his house. Police who arrived on the scene found Jessica inside a locked closet with Matthew’s service gun beneath her collapsed body.

Jessica survived, but cannot recall what happened. Matthew testified that Jessica was suicidal and that he believes it was a suicide attempt. However, there is strong evidence to counter his claim. Jessica, on the other hand, believes Matthew tried to kill her and frame it as a suicide. A grand jury ultimately cleared Matthew of such allegations. 

A Botched Investigation

This case brings up a number of puzzling questions. For example, how could have Jessica fired two shots in an attempted suicide? Was she really suicidal if only Matthew–and no one else–claimed that she was? Moreover, Matthew’s actions and words surrounding the shooting are suspect. For instance, he had also stolen Jessica’s overnight (or “getaway”) bag just before the night of the shooting.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation’s (GBI) work on this case also raises eyebrows. Matthew and Jessica’s neighbors had apparently heard guns hours before Matthew called 911, but the GBI waited several months to interview these neighbors. Brendan believes that GBI’s investigation tried to reach the conclusion that Jessica tried to commit suicide, rather than seeking to solve the mystery.

To this day, Brendan and his team do not know what happened in Matthew and Jessica’s apartment that night in April 2016. Brendan believes the GBI did very little to help bring out the truth. This case remains cold–even though the main players are alive.

Where Are They Now?

Today, Matthew has given up his career as a police officer. It is unclear what he is doing today. Jessica is now engaged and recently gave birth to a third child with her fiancé. Matthew and Jessica share custody of their two children.

Brendan believes that Jessica is happy now. Even though she still cannot remember what happened that night in 2016, she is doing her best to move on and start her new life.

Catch up on all of the Payne in the Pod episodes, here. And don’t forget, Payne in the Pod is on Patreon – become a Patron

Podcast Recommendations:

Bardstown 

True Crime Chronicles

Slow Burn

Find Brendan and 11 Alive at:

11alive.com

Thereveal.tv 

National Suicide Prevention Hotline


Chasing the Cosby Sex Scandal

Nicki Weisensee Egan has covered the Bill Cosby sex scandal since the first victim filed her lawsuit in 2005. Over the past 15 years, Nicki was one of the only journalists to consistently ask the tough questions without giving Cosby the benefit of the doubt. She recently chronicled her journey in her book, Chasing Cosby: The Downfall of America’s Dad and a new podcast, Chasing Cosby. chasing-cosby

Nicki’s 15-Year Coverage of the Cosby Sex Scandal

Nicki was an investigative writer at the Philadelphia Daily News when the Director of Operations for the Temple University basketball team, Andrea Constand, filed a lawsuit against Cosby in January 2005. As a Temple Graduate and longtime supporter of the university, Cosby met Andrea in the early 2000s and offered to be her mentor. A few years into their relationship, he drugged and sexually assaulted her. 

Soon after, a second woman, Tamara Green, disclosed her disturbing story about Cosby sexually assaulting her in the 1970s. Over ten additional women came forward with similar allegations later that year. Combined, their stories reveal a terrifyingly similar pattern: Cosby would befriend young and aspiring women, gain their trust, and then drug and sexually assault them before abandoning them. 

However, the media and public refused to believe the allegations against Cosby. Nicki was one of the few journalists to take the allegations and Bill Cosby scandal seriously. And she was ridiculed for it. 

Later, the District Attorney assigned to the case decided not to press charges–even though Cosby admitted to drugging women for sex during a sealed deposition. 

Cosby was in the clear for several years until a 2014 video of standup comedian Hannibel Burress bringing up Cosby’s allegations brought the issue back into the public eye. Soon after, authorities released Cosby’s sealed deposition record from 2005. A new District Attorney later charged Cosby in 2015

 

Cosby’s Enablers

Cosby is believed to have sexually assaulted at least 60 women since the 1960s. The actual number of victims is likely much higher. How did he get away with this for so many years? Nicki believes that Cosby’s influence over the media and Hollywood elites allowed him to silence his victims with bribes and threats. In fact, Cosby’s sexual assaults were an “open secret” in Hollywood. But they let him get away with his actions.

After the 2014 Burress video, Cosby’s supporters in Hollywood and in the media began to turn on him. The public, which never wanted to believe that America’s Dad could have done these things, also began to acknowledge the awful truth. Today, Cosby is disgraced and his name is forever tainted. Even several members of his family, once his staunchest defenders, were noticeably absent during the trials. He receives few visitors in prison. 

Cosby, now 82, denies any wrongdoing and continues to file appeals. His refusal to admit his actions makes it unlikely he will make parole before his 10-year sentence ends in 2028. 

 

Voice As a Powerful Mode of Communication

Nicki chronicled her experience covering the Cosby allegations in her 2019 book Chasing Cosby: The Downfall of America’s Dad. Soon after publication, she began a six-episode podcast series as a companion piece to the book. 

In the Chasing Cosby podcast, Nicki interviews several Cosby victims, giving them the opportunity to tell their stories. Mary Payne and Nicki note how powerful and emotional it is to hear the victims’ voices. 

Nicki is hosting a live discussion with Andrea Constand in Los Angeles, CA on February 26, 2020. This discussion will be featured as a bonus episode in the Chasing Cosby podcast series. Stay tuned! 

Catch up on all of the Payne in the Pod episodes, here. And don’t forget, Payne in the Pod is on Patreon – become a Patron

Podcast Recommendations: 

Real Crime Profile

Making the Breast of It

Catch and Kill Podcast with Ronan Farrow

Dirty John

Man in the Window

Detective Trapp

Find Nicki at https://www.nicoleweisenseeegan.com