Louis Theroux pays tribute to trans inmate who died after filming doc

Louis Theroux paid tribute to a transgender inmate in tonight’s episode of Life On The Edge.

The filmmaker had interviewed Deborah Lee Worledge in his 2007 documentary Behind Bars. however, he discovered that she had died of a drug overdose one year after their interview.

Learning the news of Deborah’s death, Louis read: ‘Deborah Lea Wallis died of a drug overdose on 4 September, 2008 two days later [she was released from prison].

‘She is missed by many.’

Recalling their interaction in San Quentin prison in California, Louis remembered: ‘She had a romantic notion of being an outlaw.

‘She was the one who said to me, “It’s like in the movies there’s cops and there’s robbers, and we’re the robbers”.’


Louis added: ‘She seemed to have seen the streets as a more accepting place than – as it were – mainstream society.

‘There’s a kind of self-respect in the aspect of street code. It might seem self-destructive, but in other ways it’s the best they can do in the situation they’re in.’

Deborah had been in and out of prison for 20 years for crimes such as robbery. During her meeting with Louis, she was serving three months.

Louis previously revealed he regrets his interactions with Deborah, who started transition after arriving in the prison. 

Since filming the documentary 12 years ago, he’s said that he would’ve been more considerate of how to address her now. 

‘There’s moments where because of the nature of sensitivities now, and how much more educated we are, the conversation would take place in a different way,’ he told UniLad. 

Louis Theroux: Life On The Edge airs Sundays at 9pm on BBC One.

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