Where’s Derrick Johnson Now From Tell Them You Love Me?


He was a severely disabled man, she was a college professor who told his family she could help him communicate. When Anna Stubblefield was sentenced to two 12-year terms for sexually assaulting Derrick Johnson, the case ignited a nationwide debate over power dynamics, disability, and race.

Related: The 12 Best True Crime Podcasts To Make You Feel Like A Real Detective

In Netflix‘s new true crime documentary, Tell Them You Love Me, director Nick August-Perna tells the story of a relationship between a married white professor and a non-verbal Black man with cerebral palsy. Neither of the “main characters” are interviewed, but Johnson’s family—including his mother, Daisy—provides details in this chilling story, including where Anna and Derrick are now.

Where is Derrick Johnson now?

Derrick lives with his mother, Daisy, in Irvington, New Jersey, and spends time with the rest of the family often. He’s no longer in contact with Anna, for obvious reasons.

It all started in 2009, when Derrick and Anna met through his brother, John Johnson, who was a student of Stubblefield’s—she was a Rutgers University-Newark ethics professor at the time. Using a method called facilitated communication (FC), Anna claimed she could help Derrick communicate. (While popular in the 90s, the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association has since denounced FC as “pseudoscientific” and “harmful.”)

Tell Them You Love Me on Netflix

Nonetheless, Derrick soon learned to use a keyboard with an LED screen to type and, with Stubblefield’s assistance, began taking a university class. But their relationship became something else over the course of several years.

In 2011, Anna shared some news with Derrick’s family. He was 35 years old at the time. “We have something to tell you,” they announced, per the New York Times. “We’re in love.” This was a problem because, as a clinical psychologist named Wayne Tillman observed, Derrick’s “comprehension seemed to be quite limited,” and “his attention span was very short.” He also “lacks the cognitive capacity to understand and participate in decisions.”

Derrick’s family called the police because he could not have given consent to the love affair and, in 2015, Anna went on trial for two counts of first-­degree aggravated sexual assault—the same charge that would apply to someone who had inflicted severe injury during a rape or participated in a violent gang rape. She was found guilty on both counts. Though she has since been released, she has not seen Derrick since 2011.



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