Channel 5 Commissions Earl of Shaftesbury Murder Doc


Spun Gold TV has been commissioned to produce The Earl, His Lover, The Escort and Her Brother, exploring the life and murder of the 10th Earl of Shaftesbury, for Channel 5.

The Earl, Anthony Ashley-Cooper, lived a hedonistic lifestyle and married escort Jamila M’Barek in 2002. In 2004, he asked for a divorce to be with someone else and disappeared shortly after. M’Barek later confessed that her brother had killed the Earl and left him in a ravine in the Alps.

M’Barek and her brother denied it was a pre-meditated murder, but both were convicted and jailed—her brother for murder and her for aiding and abetting.

The Earl, His Lover, The Escort and Her Brother includes interviews with M’Barek, lawyers, detectives and reporters, along with details of police recordings of M’Barek’s phone calls and archive footage.

The Earl, His Lover, The Escort and Her Brother will piece together evidence and firsthand testimonies–including from the woman convicted of aiding his murder—to explore how the gilded life of one of Britain’s most wealthy aristocrats descended into hedonism, addiction and ultimately tragedy,” said Daniela Neumann, managing director of Spun Gold. “As we continue to expand our true-crime slate, we are thrilled to be working with Channel 5 on this feature-length film as well as the recently greenlit second series of Killer at the Crime Scene.”

Denise Seneviratne, commissioning editor of factual for Channel 5 and Paramount+, added, “We’re excited to be working with Spun Gold to bring this powerful documentary to Channel 5. It’s a gripping story that will explore the events that led to the Earl’s downfall. For the first time ever, his wife, Jamila, having served nine years of a 20-year prison sentence, gives an exclusive interview on her marriage and the ill-fated night that led to murder. It’s a tragic tale where wealth, privilege and glamour meets the seedy underworld in Cannes and one which I think will really engage our audience.”