Who is Josephine Jo Franklin? Jo Franklin was a very skilled American television journalist and filmmaker.
She gained widespread recognition for her notable contributions to PBS programs and films focused on the Middle East.
In addition to her television career, Jo also ventured into the realm of writing and authored a novel that she self-published.
Subsequently, over two years following her demise, the Wall Street Journal published a piece elucidating her lifelong presentation as a person of substantial wealth.
Journalist Jo Franklin, the Fake Millionaire; Wikipedia, Biography
Jo Franklin, despite her successful career in the American journalism sector, lacks a comprehensive Wikipedia page.
Nevertheless, the subsequent page will furnish all the pertinent details of Jo Franklin that are applicable to Wikipedia.
Jo Franklin was born in Chicago in 1946 to her parents under the name Josephine Fortgang.
Josephine was brought up in an affluent family and subsequently enrolled in the nearby high school for her primary education.
Subsequently, upon the completion of her high school education, it was alleged that she had obtained a degree from the University of Florida. However, the most recent report has disproven this claim.
However, following the completion of her studies, Jo Franklin embarked on a professional journey as a producer for the prestigious MacNeil/Lehrer Reports on PBS.
During her tenure at PBS, she created a multitude of films that explored the intricacies of Saudi Arabia and the Middle East.
In 1989, Jo Franklin gained recognition for her PBS documentary titled “Days of Rage: The Young Palestinians,” which is mentioned on her Wikipedia page.
Upon the immediate broadcast of the documentary, it garnered substantial criticism from many who perceived the program as having a pro-Palestinian bias.
In 1990, Jo dedicated a period of time to authoring a self-published novel centered around a romantic narrative that unfolds amidst the backdrop of the Persian Gulf War.
Nevertheless, her writing proved to be a significant disappointment, prompting the New York Times to critique her work.
In addition, Jo Franklin was an exceptional individual in the field of journalism who remained unaffected by the opinions of others.
However, according to the most recent disclosure, she spent her entire life immersed in her own illusions, assuming the identity of a wealthy individual and deceiving others into believing that she had a close relationship with Prince Harry.
How She Orchestrate her fake Millionaire Lifestyle…
Franklin was destitute in South Florida and stole wine from CVS after marrying a surgeon and becoming a TV journalist.
While promoting a movie script, she claimed to be in touch with Prince Harry.
After her daughter Ashley Trout fell while rock climbing in Japan in 2004, Franklin said she’d seize Colin Powell’s private jet to rescue her.
Powell was US Secretary of State.
Despite these lies, Franklin had something to brag about after decades as a famous journalist who lived a luxurious life.
Jo Franklin, born in 1946 in Chicago, was from an upper middle class family.
She graduated from UF in 1968. Her semester in Lebanon piqued her interest in the Middle East. Franklin then produced PBS films about Saudi Arabia and the Middle East.
Franklin’s personal life was good. She married surgeon Hugh Trout and had two children: Ashley (1981) and Hugh Jr. (1985).
Following Franklin’s mid-1990s professional setback and divorce from Hugh, everything seemed to go south.
She hosted the 1989 PBS documentary ‘Days of Rage: The Young Palestinians’. Some called it pro-Palestinian when it aired. Franklin said she wanted to show a unique perspective.
A Persian Gulf War love story was her early 1990s self-published novel.
Franklin thought the book would be made into a movie, but sales were low and the New York Times slammed her writing, saying ‘what she cannot do is write.’
She owed the book’s marketer $25,000. A debt was never paid.
She divorced and moved west in 1996.
Despite leasing a Jaguar XJ6 and being $150,000 in debt, a divorce judge recognized her low taxable income.
Franklin’s ex-husband in Washington D.C. had custody of her two children.
She got lost in her own delusions following the divorce, according to her family. Her children lost ties with her because of her constant lying.
Ashley, 42, spent her summers with her mom in California and noticed that she lived beyond her means and seemed more concerned with her beauty than job.
Because of their frequent arguments, they fought about her expenditures and her lying.
After Colin Powell’s 2004 incident, things escalated.
I call my mom and tell her there’s no jet. You can’t use Colin Powell’s jet, Ashley remarked.
She managed to survive for over a decade without a job because to her charisma.
After her home was foreclosed, Franklin moved to South Florida and impressed University of Florida officials enough to establish the Josephine A. Franklin Chair in Islam and Politics in 2013.
Franklin said a $2 million gift was fine. The plan for a free Four Seasons party in her honor fell through at the last minute. College officials had to call guests to cancel the celebration with hours left.
After that, Franklin lived in Palm Beach Gardens and befriended Starbucks regulars.
Franklin dazzled her friends with her Middle East and current affairs knowledge while claiming to work for the government and be on a Saudi watchlist.
She told coffee lovers that she had a driver, resided on Jupiter Island, and was staying at a hotel to work on a story.
“She was on point when it came to the political world, what’s going on in the world,” said her coffee shop acquaintance Stephen Sussman.
Regulars observed Franklin’s holes in her shoes and repeated outfits.
She just got Starbucks hot water and made drinks using tea bags or instant coffee. Franklin stayed at the coffee shop to use its free WiFi on her damaged iPad, pals guess.
But they were kind and gave her food and a used iPad to keep her going.
There were other signs of trouble. No cellphone was seen on Franklin. She said it was to avoid Saudi tracking.
‘She is terribly unwell and we need to have her put into a medical treatment facility of some form before she harms other people and herself,’ her brother George Franklin wrote to the family in 2014, days after the botched gala, the Wall Street Journal claimed.
George said his sister ‘wasn’t ever going to accept she had a problem.’
Her son responded, ‘I have wrestled with the dilemma if you yourself believe what you say or you are willfully being untruthful,’ pushing her to seek professional help.
Her family attempted multiple times to get her therapy, but she refused.
Instead, she was arrested for stealing two $11.98 wine boxes.
She threatened to end their conversation if she didn’t abandon the fantasist accusations. Franklin maintained its authenticity.
‘I don’t think she had the ability to quit lying,’ she told WSJ.com. Her monologues lasted 30 minutes. One torrent, one firehose.
‘When someone started to interfere with that fantasyland, it would get very, very dark,’ said Franklin’s son Hugh.
“My hope is that, even if she didn’t want it, she could be forced to sit down with a mental health professional and figure out, ‘What is there to do here?'”
Franklin gave her films to UCLA’s archive in 2005 but refused to pay for digitization, thus they were returned to her.
Later that year, the Saudi Embassy in Washington released a weird news release claiming Ambassador Prince Turki al-Faisal valued her 120-hour footage archive at $45 million.
Unknown how that figure was reached, and the archive was not sold.
Jo’s children last saw her at her father’s burial in 2009. Lucky her dad left her $400,000 after his death. After believing her claims about being rich, he wanted to disinherit her because she didn’t need his money.
Franklin moved to Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, after being evicted from her Santa Ynez, California rental house in 2013.
After the university contribution scandal, Franklin started making friends at South Florida Starbucks and impressing people with her world affairs knowledge.
To communicate, view movies, and read the news, she used an iPad.
But all was not as it seemed.
Franklin often exhibited oddities. She was seen getting cigarette butts from rubbish.
She only ordered hot water at Starbucks to utilize tea bags or instant coffee.
‘She was a fantastic woman,’ a friend, Jeff Miller, said. ‘You probably took months, possibly a year, to figure it out.’
Franklin was repeatedly arrested for shoplifting and drug possession.
Her first arrest was in 2017 for sleeping beside a bank dumpster. She was recovered under a hotel car park staircase in 2018.
She informed officers she had epilepsy and was hospitalized.
Franklin told pals in March 2020 that she was writing a military adventure script to get Prince Harry.
The Journal quoted retired U.S. Air Force Col. Dick Brauer: ‘I would mail her chapters, and she would read at them and make wonderful suggestions.’
She promised her film firm, SeaCastle Films, would make his story a movie.
Franklin was arrested again in 2022 for CVS Pharmacy shoplifting.
A police report says a witness saw her put two ‘Black Box Cabernet Sauvignons’ in her purse.
When police found her at a nearby motel, she denied stealing.
Police questioned if she was homeless. She claimed to live in California.
She lied constantly: ‘We’re working on a project that gets me back and forth to California.
Franklin sometimes stayed at a Doubletree for two weeks using credit cards, cash, and hotel loyalty points.
When not in a room, she hung around at the hotel and stole chocolates from the snack store multiple times.
Franklin never asked for help, although one staff member advised she should. She was banned from the premises.
Franklin’s siblings devised a ploy in 2022 involving her Starbucks buddies, who never revealed the truth.
George visited her in Florida to see how she was doing.
He wore a baseball cap and sunglasses to avoid her, knowing she wouldn’t talk to him.
George rented a $2,100-a-month apartment and used Starbucks pals to pretend they needed a house sitter to get Franklin to move in.
Friends gave clothes, furniture, and cookware. Before Franklin walked in, the fridge was full.
It would finally provide a home without her having to admit her issues.
Franklin’s children emailed her after almost 13 years apart.
‘Ashley and I are reaching out to see if you would be prepared to meet with us with a therapist to restore our relationship with you,’ the email said.
Over the years, our turbulent past has kept us apart, but a professional may help us heal. We’ll retain the status quo if you don’t want to work with a mutual therapist, but we wanted to offer.
Hugh’s sister Ashley replied his email with ‘Wondering your thoughts’ but it went unanswered.
She died of heart failure a year later at 76, still living in the house and thinking she was housesitting.
Son Hugh remarked, ‘She hurt so many people. ‘Nobody was more affected by this sickness than herself.’
Ashley met the Florida Starbucks buddies weeks after her death.
‘Thanking them was cathartic,’ she added.