EXCLUSIVE: The behavior of a close compatriot of convicted South African rapist and paedophile Dawie de Villiers will be placed under the microscope in a Showmax true crime series airing next month.
Convict Conman, which has unveiled trailer, charts an investigation by journalist Jana Marx, who receives a tip-off to look into Michael O’Connor.
O’Connor claims de Villiers, who was known as the Kempton Park Hugh Hefner and is currently serving a lifelong prison sentence, is a “good friend” and the show sets out to look into what else they have in common. Marx received a tip-off about O’Connor – who ran a photography publication and was looking to start business and fashion magazines – but the Covid-19 pandemic was in full swing and staff had never met him or seen his face. The show also features interviews with de Villiers’ victims.
De Villiers, the founder of Modelling South Africa, was found guilty of rape, sexual assault, sexual grooming, fraud, exposing children to pornography and accessing child pornography in February 2017.
Convict Conman marks the documentary series directorial debut of South African Film and Television Award-winning editor Nikki Comninos, who has been nominated for three SAFTAs in the past two years for her work on Steinheist, Devilsdorp and Murder in Paris.
“We dedicate this series to those who Dawie de Villiers hurt, and to all survivors of sexual assault,” said Comninos. “I feel outraged by the actions of Dawie – and sadly the actions of so many men, especially in South Africa, where we live with one of the highest rates of gender-based violence in the world. Convict Conman will make you mad, but will also warm your heart and make you laugh.”
Devilsdorp producer IdeaCandy is producing and MultiChoice Studios is handling international sales. The show will launch next month.
The news comes a week after Showmax unveiled a relaunch, which will come into effect in February with a new app and product suite showing, amongst other things, the UK’s Premier League soccer. This comes after the announcement of a partnership between Showmax and Comcast’s NBCUniversal and Sky earlier this year.