The Secrets She Keeps: The true story that inspired the TV show

Is The Secrets She Keeps based on a true story? Here’s the real life events that inspired the BBC One series.


The Secrets She Keeps is a six-part psychological thriller drama based on the book of the same name by Michael Robotham.

It tells the story of two pregnant women whose worlds implode by a chance encounter.

It’s inspired by a true story here in the UK from 1990s.

In 1994, baby Abbie Humphries was kidnapped from hospital when she was just hours old by a woman who had disguised herself as a nurse.

Julie Kelly, who claimed to have been pregnant herself but suffered a miscarriage, said she was taking the baby for a hearing test before fleeing with the child.

The baby was eventually found safe with Kelly 17 days later.


At court, it was revealed that Kelly had a personality disorder and she was sentenced to spend three years on probation at a psychiatric unit.

The Secrets She Keeps currently airs on BBC One on Monday and Tuesday nights. Alternatively all six episodes can be watched online via BBC iPlayer here.

The TV show is set in an affluent Sydney suburb when two women have a chance encounter in a supermarket. They are the same age, both pregnant and due to give birth at the same time.

Agatha works in the supermarket as a shelf-stacker whilst Meghan is a ‘mummy blogger’ on the rise.

We find that Agatha has a secret, dark past when it comes to new born babies. And with history threatening to repeat itself, not all is as it seems regarding Agatha’s own pregnancy.


But Meghan too is hiding secrets and when Agatha begins to enact her awful plan, Meghan is faced with admitting her transgression.

The cast is led by Laura Carmichael as Agatha Fyfle and Jessica De Gouw as Meghan O’Shaughnessy with Michael Dorman as Jack O’Shaughnessy and Ryan Corr as Simon Beecher.