Giovanni Di Stefano who has been dubbed the ‘Devil’s Advocate’ because of his representation of some of the country’s most notorious villains, faced 18 charges of fraud at Southwark Crown Court.(Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)
The Devil’s Advocate, a new documentary about Giovanni di Stefano, will be available to watch on Sky Documentaries and NOW TV from Monday 17 January.
The three-part documentary will explain how di Stefano successfully pretended to be a laywer and defended high profile individuals without any real legal credentials. It will also cover his eventual downfall.
Here’s everything you need to know about The Devil’s Advocate.
Who is Giovanni di Stefano?
Giovanni di Stefano is a convicted fraudstrer who pretended to be a lawyer and claimed to represent a number of controversial individuals, including Harold Shipman and Saddam Hussein.
In 2013, di Stefano was sentenced to 14 years’ imprisonment; in 2014, his sentence was extended by another 8 and a half years. He is still currently in prison.
Who did he represent?
Giovanni di Stefano claimed to represent a number of people (though some have since disputed this), including: Harold Shipman; Saddam Hussein; Gary Glitter; Jeremy Bamber; Charles Manson; and Ian Brady amongst others.
The Guardian once described him as “surely the only man in the world to claim the personal friendship of Saddam Hussein and the personal enmity of Delia Smith”.
When di Stefano claimed to be Harold Shipman’s lawyer, Shipman’s legal team disputed the claim – it was this that first prompted investigations into di Stefano’s legal credentials.
What did he have to do with Dundee football club?
During the 1990s, di Stefano made efforts to buy Dundee football club.
Some of his more controversial on-camera statements – in particular, remarks made during a 2003 BBC documentary, where he said that Hitler would never have been convicted for the Holocaust – were made while wearing a Dundee football jumper.
At that time di Stefano was trying to become director of Dundee football club, though fan outrage at his comments put a stop to that.
How can I watch The Devil’s Advocate?
The Devil’s Advocate will be available on Sky Documentaries on 17 January at 9pm.
All three episodes of the series will also be available to stream on NOW TV.
A similarly named documentary about di Stefano, called Devil’s Advocate, was produced by the BBC in 2003. It is difficult to find a full copy of that documentary today, but an excerpt (recorded from the television with a handheld camera) can be found on what is seemingly Giovanni di Stefano’s personal YouTube channel, where he also uploads the music he produces.
Does this have anything to do with the Keanu Reeves movie?
No, it doesn’t. But if you came across this article while searching for a way to watch the Keanu Reeves movie – which also stars Sandra Bullock and Al Pacino – you might be interested to know that it’s currently available to buy or rent on Amazon Prime, iTunes, and Sky Store.
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