Episode #738

Date July 04, 2016

Run Time 1:13:11

Two tales of romance that fared for better and for worse.

Song: RISK! Theme by Wormburner and John Sondericker

Song: Sand People by Jon Kennedy

Live Story: Monster by Stephanie

Song: Animal by Miike Snow

Radio Story: A Hard Landing by JP Michael

Song: How Come by Ray LaMontagne



Download: MP3

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Kay bee
8 years ago

A Hard Landing was not at all what I expected. So shocking, scary and heartbreaking – it must have been a hard story to tell, but JP did it fantastically and really drove home the adage that love is blind. Just wow.

8 years ago

Oh my word, A Hard Landing was a rollercoaster. Just FANTASTIC. I got blindsided by Claire’s (?) stories too. Love is blind–for JP and her parents.

8 years ago

I’ve listened to most of Risk episodes the last 4 years, and some stories were amazing.
But this episodes by JP broke new records for me. And one I will never forget.

8 years ago

The story by JP is phenomenal. I feel like, after a couple of twists, some twig inside my mind snapped and now I’ll never be able to perceive the world the same.

8 years ago

I was preparing myself for some kind of devastating death! Even though the story is heartbreaking and definitely feel for JP but it was definitely amazing and created one of the best episodes. I hope you’re happy and at peace, JP!

8 years ago

Beautiful stories. Much love for JP, very compelling. But let us not forget Stephanie’s fascinating tale. I wonder if black-out Stephanie purposefully went into his room to poop there as a form of vengeance?

8 years ago

Yep, Stephanie’s story was super brave. That show that night was a part of a comedy festival, so many audience members wandered in unfamiliar with RISK! and expecting easy laughs. She captivated the room with her honesty.

8 years ago

Jp’s story and rang so true. Cathartic to hear him say things that i’ve never been able to fully name about the fallout of being love-frauded. Or whatever. Really moving.

LP Hastings
8 years ago

Holy shit JP’s story! You can’t write that shit! I’m so sorry he had to go through that. How horrifying. 🙁

8 years ago

What JP said about being “hung by your virtues” was poetic. Also Stephanie was so brave and authentic. This was definitely a RISK to remember.

Calling out BS on the interwebz
8 years ago

I love when Stephanie quotes her therapist: “Well, I have gotten to know you and I like.” OF course she likes you, you pay her! lol How did this not occur to you?

8 years ago

A Hard Landing NEEDS to be developed into a screenplay! This would be an extraordinary movie. Excellent story! Thank you for the bravery it took to share this terrifying experience.

8 years ago

Very brave of Stephanie, love her honesty.. But JP Michael, a cracking, cliff hanger story.. But CAN THIS HAVE HAPPENED? I am totally confused. Could he – considering himself her primary caregiver, really have not had validation via a doctor re:a likely terminal prognosis? I just think of it was me, I’d have wanted a heart to heart with a doc – not because I didn’t believe her but would need it as part of a process toward helping care for her in her likely demise. I don’t know!? I also don’t think I would be able to walk away without confirmation from a friend, family or professional that she had truly ‘lost it’. I would be forever haunted with only my own home sleuthing. Can people be so manipulative?? Perhaps I should be thankful that nothing remotely like this exists in my experience! Still, a wonderful, thought provoking story.

8 years ago

Props to Stephanie for her honesty. Better love is gonna come your way, girl, if it hasn’t already. Blown away by JP’s story. Fucking riveting, man. Agree with Katie that it’s screenplay-worthy, but I don’t know that I’d be able to sit through the movie. Couldn’t believe Claire’s parents didn’t check her into Quiet Acres and instead tried to ‘get her back to her friends’ . . .

8 years ago

Hey guys,

JP here. Really appreciate all the feedback, it’s been most overwhelming!

Stephanie – really enjoyed your story and massive kudos for having the bravery to tell it live. I found just talking into a radio mic absolutely terrifying so can only imagine what bearing your soul in front of a live audience is like!

Lucy – wanted to address your questions.

The timescales aren’t really very clear in the podcast as there’s so many things happening in parallel but the cancer only really emerged towards the end of the 6 months the story takes place over.

I encountered plenty of doctors at the GI unit and in various ERs around NYC but only ever overheard Clare talking to her oncologist on the phone. Whenever I was getting insistent about attending treatments with her, the family members who had been otherwise nowhere to be seen would become available to take her or she’d convince me to pick her up afterwards instead. Emma was often a convenient and effective distraction too.

Re walking away – while Clare never admitted to me what she’d done, she did confess to her parents and friends (although I have no idea how fully). Apparently she told Ruth that she was “collateral damage”. Based on what I was hearing from her, it seemed like her parents weren’t to be trusted either so decided to just get the hell out of there before anything else happened.

Hope that helps to clarify. I didn’t think people like this existed either but that’s exactly why Clare got away with it for so long!



Vanessa Sellers
8 years ago

I have never commented on a story but this one rocked me to the core. My heart goes out to J.P. . I feel so bad that your trusting good nature was so taken advantage of…Your story has really made me think..I too and a gving caring person..makes you really think about things and people so thank you for sharing and I hope you have found peace.

8 years ago


I just listened to you story. I went through a similar experience with a roommate (and I believed to be best friend) about 9 years ago. When I reached the end of your story when Clare is revealed to have orchestrated of a massive life ruining lie I felt my stomach turning and my chest seizing up just like it did when everything I believed to be true fell apart. You are a beautiful writer and put things I have felt into words in a way I never could. I cant believe it this kind of thing happens to other people. It took about 5 years of being and angry distrustful person but I made my way back. You are very brave I cant bring myself to tell most people. Thank you so much for sharing.
God I love Risk.

8 years ago

Thanks for the update JP! Very kind of you to add info – I’ve been in turmoil since hearing your story last night! It impacted me perhaps because I am currently an ex-pat. I know how disorienting it can be to navigate events in a culture and system which isn’t your own.

I suppose I (‘one’?) should acknowledge the original suffering of the individual who is driven to act in this way but still, how to maintain compassion and an assumption of trust going forward? Big questions, which you communicated beautifully in your story. I shall be left thinking about this for a long while, and I can’t fathom how it would feel were I actually the person so deceived. Still stunned… Thanks for sharing and pitching in on the discussion. My thoughts are with you.

Ranjan Dhar
8 years ago

Risk breaks its own record with every episode. The show is the benchmark in story-telling. My heartiest thanks to each and everyone of you who choose to break out of their shell and open their hearts out on the show. This episode was another special one. I have gained so much experience in life just listening to all the stories. Wish India had an open culture! I am loving it here though!

8 years ago

Wow-that story by JP hit me like no other RISK story. As a physician, I wrote down about 9 possible pathologies for “Claire”(who is the real Claire?- we may never know) but I never ventured into mental illness until the shocker was disclosed. It revealed to me that we are all so naturally gullible and refrain from suggesting mental illness even when we are trained to somewhat identify the basics in a nonpsychiatric specialty. Maybe it is the stigma we still link to mental illness but JP was so perfectly roped into this and it could have been me. Easily. I am sorry for your pain JP and I hope you find peace with another love. Thanks for sharing your life.

Jeff Q
8 years ago

Haha yeah, seriously I’m a skeptic, really I am (I think?) and then I hear this story and I’m believing it 100%. I happened to be holding a steel cooking pan at the moment when Emma was revealed as the ostensible source of the mystery illness, and I immediately wanted to club her with it, so disgusting a character was she. That’s how easy it is to believe and get caught up in a story like this–you’re a bit sick with outrage at this person’s act of villainy, you’re diving right into hating them, and yet just a few minutes later you’ll find out that they were innocent and the villainy was fictional! Heck, as Lucy indirectly points out, the entire story could be fictional and most of us wouldn’t know any better! Not to accuse anybody of anything; certainly things like this can and do happen. And, well, when they do… at least they make great stories…

8 years ago

Wow! JP, what a story incredibly told

8 years ago

I haven’t been as affected by a story in recent memory than I have been by JP’s account. One of RISK’s finest hours IMO.

8 years ago

My favorite episode yet…both stories had me so riveted, it was amazing! Kudos to both Stephanie and JP for their honesty in their stories.

7 years ago

When I listened to a hard landing on was sitting by a quiet brook by myself. I felt myself getting more scared and anxious as the story went on, I couldn’t believe what I was hearing yet I did. I too was held emotionally hostage inn a relationship, he would threaten to kill himself of in left, much more transparent than Claire. But very emotionally taxing. I’m so sorry that your virtues were used against you like that. It took a lot of time for me to recover from therapist I was put through and hearing your story made me feel so close to you knowing another person shared a similar pain. I felt like I was on call 24/7 for emotional support followed by emotional abuse when my kindness was exploited. I can’t tell you how much this story hit home for me, I can’t stop thinking about it. I hope you are on your road to recovery, I hope you learn to trust again. Thank you so much.

7 years ago

Hi names Elizabeth. Please can you make me in one of your new storys. I have brown straight hair and brown eyes, also can my uniforms be a dress please. Also I love this story

7 years ago

First of all, Reply No. 28 – Is that you Emma????

This was probably one of the scariest podcast I’ve ever listened to, or at least at the top there with a story about fetal abduction (yes you read that correctly)but it’s on a whole other different podcast. JP’s story kept escalating and the eerie music made it much harder to listen to, especially with headphones at work, I jolted in my office chair every time someone passed by. I can’t believe someone can be so sneaky and manipulative, Claire sounded like she grew up living a privileged life by the way her parents treated her and no offense to white girls but when you described Claire’s physical appearance I thought to myself- How typical! By the end of the story I was like FUCK NAW!!!!!!

Lastly, I agree with the other people- this can easily be made into a Psycho Thriller Movie on the Life Time channel. Good Lord!!!!

7 years ago

I’m a gay man, but what Stephanie talked about in “Monster” nearly mirrored a awful “relationship” I was in years ago. She came out of it, and so did I. I thought no one ever wanted to see me again, but I was very surprised.

Trista Larson
7 years ago

JP’s story was fing amazing.

Sarah GB
7 years ago

JP’s story was absolutely insane.

7 years ago

JP’s story was…wow.

I am new to risk so I am catching up and listening to random episodes all day at work. I can usually engage with the stories and work, but that was not the case with this story. In the last few minutes my pen had dropped and I was just looking at my screen even though there was nothing to watch. The way he told it was perfect.

My heart goes out to him, and I hope he continues on his journey to see his kindness and willingness to help others as positive characteristics again.

6 years ago

When did JP’s story take place?

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