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TV producer's marriage troubles detailed in extradition papers

Documents filed by Mexican officials seeking to try Bruce Beresford-Redman in his wife's slaying detail an alleged affair, repeated reconciliation attempts and witness' accounts of heated arguments in Cancun.

February 01, 2011|By Corina Knoll, Los Angeles Times
  • Bruce Beresford-Redman, a former "Survivor" producer, is photographed at his home in Rancho Palos Verdes last May, after he had fled Mexico despite prosecutors' orders that he stay during the investigation of his wife's slaying.
Bruce Beresford-Redman, a former "Survivor" producer, is… (Damian Dovarganes, Associated…)

Months before her death last year, Monica Beresford-Redman told friends and family members that her husband was having an affair and that she had moved money out of their account and planned to leave him, according to documents filed Monday in federal court in Los Angeles.

Mexican authorities seeking to extradite reality TV producer Bruce Beresford-Redman to stand trial on charges that he killed his wife at a Cancun resort detail a poisonous relationship, expensive sex hotline sessions and repeated attempts at reconciliation.

DOCUMENTS: Read affidavit, statements, autopsy and more

Investigators were told that the couple's trip to the Moon Palace Nizuc was a last-ditch attempt to patch up a failing marriage and that employees and guests of the resort reported a loud argument coming from the couple's room April 5. Bruce Beresford-Redman told authorities that his wife had left on a shopping trip later that day and never returned.

Monica Beresford-Redman's body was found the morning of April 8, stuffed head-first into a wastewater treatment pump. An autopsy, which is detailed in the 438-page affidavit arguing for her husband's extradition, said she suffered a blow to the head compatible with a metal tube or bat and died by asphyxiation.

Bruce Beresford-Redman, 39, had cuts on his hands, neck and feet when he was detained by Mexican authorities. Told to remain in the country, he instead returned to his Rancho Palos Verdes home the following month. Arrested on Nov. 16, he is being held at a federal detention center in Los Angeles.

In the months before their Cancun getaway, the documents state, Monica Beresford-Redman had confronted her husband, a former "Survivor" producer, about his affair with a TV casting director and he promised to break off the relationship.

But according to the affidavit, Monica Beresford-Redman, 41, told her sister that she didn't believe her husband. She said she had transferred money into a separate account and would agree to split it with him if he agreed to a divorce, but would give him nothing if he refused.

Convinced that his infidelity continued, she searched a computer memory stick found in his backpack for evidence of the affair, installed a recording device in his car and even flew to Costa Rica to check up on him when he was filming, according to the documents.

Her friends and family described Bruce Beresford-Redman to investigators as an impatient person who rarely showed affection for his wife or her friends, was verbally aggressive and often remained in his room at home. They also said that he once racked up a $5,000 bill during a single phone sex chat, according to the affidavit, and persuaded his wife to purchase life insurance so that their two young children would be protected.

Still, friends and family said Bruce Beresford-Redman repeatedly told his wife that he wanted to save their marriage, and documents show he proposed taking a trip with their children. She suggested Dubai, but he booked the hotel in Cancun.

On April 4, an employee of the hotel saw Monica Beresford-Redman crying during an argument with her husband near the entrance of a resort restaurant, the affidavit said, and Bruce Beresford-Redman attempted to attack her but stopped when he realized he was being watched.

The next morning, a family complained to the hotel front desk that screaming and crying had been heard from the couple's room since 6 a.m., the documents state. When a hotel employee called the room, Bruce Beresford-Redman answered and said he was arguing with his wife over the behavior of their children, but it wouldn't happen again, the affidavit said.

A hearing has yet to be scheduled in the extradition case.

Times staff writer Steve Marble contributed to this report.

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