New documentary to air about Sherri Papini’s kidnapping hoax. Here’s what to expect

“I’ve got the world’s greatest husband, his name is Keith,” sings Sherri Papini in the trailer for a new Hulu documentary releasing this week about the Northern California woman’s kidnapping hoax that riveted audiences nationwide.

Titled “Perfect Wife: The Mysterious Disappearance of Sherri Papini,” the three-episode series focuses on the six-year drama that started with Papini vanishing in November 2016 from her Redding-area home. Her husband, Keith Papini, called authorities for help.

Sherri Papini claimed she had been kidnapped by two Latina women — a lie, one of hundreds Papini told after she reappeared along Interstate 5 in Yolo County about three weeks after disappearing.

She was sentenced to 18 months in prison after pleading guilty to lying to the FBI and mail fraud. A federal judge ordered her to pay more than $300,000 in restitution, but prosecutors said in March that Papini has not paid the full amount.

Hulu, which did not respond to requests for comment about the documentary that will begin streaming Thursday, promised “unprecedented” access to Shasta County Sheriff’s Office investigators and Papini’s family and friends.

“This limited documentary series intimately explores the jaw-dropping revelations of a relationship that wasn’t what it seemed,” Hulu says on its website.

Sherri Papini’s story, which reads like a true-crime novel, has spawned other film projects. A Lifetime movie called ”Hoax: The Kidnapping of Sherri Papini” was released last year and starred actors reenacting the story.

Ex-husband Keith Papini, interviewed Monday on “Good Morning America” ahead of the documentary’s release, said he knew his wife was lying about what happened upon encountering her in a hospital after her rescue. But he pushed away those thoughts after seeing her numerous injuries.

“The amount of fear that our family lived in, that was fake, is excruciating,” Keith Papini said.

National media attention heavily focused on Sherri Papini in the early days of her disappearance, calling her a “super mom.” Investigators questioned former boyfriends and leaned on Keith Papini to piece together who kidnapped Sherri Papini.

The mother of two told Shasta County deputies that two Hispanic women kidnapped her at gunpoint and beat and tortured her. She said she was chained to a pole in a closet. And she said her shoulder was branded at one point, as if she were livestock.

But deputies didn’t believe her, and then found male DNA on her underwear. It matched DNA collected from James Reyes, her ex-boyfriend, who has never been charged with a crime in connection with the Papini case.

Reyes admitted to authorities that Sherri Papini hid in his Costa Mesa apartment for three weeks after she told him Keith Papini beat her. Keith said in the interview he never abused Sherri.

But Sherri Papini began to miss her children and concocted a story to return home.

She hurt herself, in part by running into a hockey puck to break her own nose. Reyes said she asked him to brand her. He then drove her to Yolo County and dropped her off near an orchard.

After authorities rescued Sherri Papini, they began to find inconsistencies in her stories. Prosecutors filed charges against Sherri Papini in 2022, and she apologized to the court for lying while entering her plea.

But her ex-husband in this week’s “Good Morning America” interview said Sherri Papini has never apologized to him or his children. He doesn’t speak with Sherri.

“She has no remorse that I have ever witnessed or seen,” Keith Papini said.