In 2012, Daisy Coleman of Maryville, Missouri, was sexually assaulted by the grandson of a former state representative named Matthew Barnett. That same year, Audrie Pott of Saratoga, California, was assaulted by three teenage boys at a party.
The new Netflix documentary Audrie & Daisy follows both their stories, and the fall-out around their cases coming from social media. Daisy Coleman’s family was harassed out of their town, and their house was burned to the ground. Online attention brought a special prosecutor to reinvestigate her case, which had been stymied by Barnett’s social standing in Maryville. Barnett eventually pleaded guilty to misdemeanor second-degree endangerment of the welfare of a child, because he abandoned an unconscious Daisy in front of her house following the assault. He got two years’ probation.
In Audrie Pott’s case, the influence of social media was a smear campaign. Photos of her assault were circulated amongst her high school classmates and elsewhere. Not long after she was assaulted, on September 12, 2012, Pott died by suicide. The three boys who attacked Pott settled a civil suit with her parents in 2015, and part of that settlement was agreeing to be filmed for this documentary.
The film played at Sundance, and will be in theaters and streaming on September 23.