HomeDocumentaryAnna Stubblefield's Daughter, Zoe Stubblefield, Defends Her Mother During The Controversial Trial

Anna Stubblefield’s Daughter, Zoe Stubblefield, Defends Her Mother During The Controversial Trial

Anna Stubblefield's affair leads to a criminal trial over disability and consent hampering her daughter, Zoe, mentally.

Anna Stubblefield was a former ethics professor at Rutgers University who gained notoriety for her affair with a non-verbal man diagnosed with cerebral palsy.

Anna claimed that everything stemmed from love. However, the new Netflix documentary ‘Tell Them You Love Me’ delves into whether this was truly love or abuse.


  • Anna Stubblefield was wedded to Roger Stubblefield and had a daughter named Zoe Stubblefield.
  • Despite being only 16 years old, Zoe courageously defended her mother, Anna Stubblefield, during the trial.
  • In 2015, Anna was convicted of aggravated sexual assault and sentenced to 12 years in prison.

The documentary delves into the story of Anna Stubblefield’s story and her affair with the disabled man.

Claiming their relationship was rooted in love, Stubblefield faced strong opposition from Johnson’s family.

This conflict escalated into a criminal trial in 2015, resulting in Stubblefield’s felony conviction, as The New York Times reported.

Despite the legal repercussions, Stubblefield still insists that her relationship with Johnson was based on genuine affection.

Explore further to learn more about Stubblefield’s daughter, Zoe, and her trial, which raised profound questions about consent.

Anna Stubblefield’s Daughter, Zoe Stubblefield, 26, Faces Trauma During Her Mother’s Trial

Anna Stubblefield married Roger Stubblefield, a professional tuba player and classical composer. Together, they had two children, including their daughter, Zoe Stubblefield.

During the trial, Zoe, who was only 16 years old at the time, defended her mother, firmly stating, “My mom is a very good person.”

The documentary sheds light on Zoe’s struggles and distress as she testified on behalf of her mother during the sentencing hearing, portraying her as a vulnerable teenager caught in a controversial situation.

Zoe played a pivotal role in Anna Stubblefield’s case, bravely standing by her mother despite the challenges.

Her testimony highlighted the emotional toll the trial took on their family, revealing glimpses of their experience with domestic violence.

Despite the trauma and difficulties she faced as a teenage daughter, she stood by her mother firmly and was caught in the center of the controversial situation.

While Zoe’s current circumstances are not publicly disclosed, her support for her mother shows the depth of their familial bond amidst difficulties.

Controversial Case Update: Anna Stubblefield’s Relationship with Derrick Johnson and Legal Consequences

In 2010, Stubblefield began a sexual relationship with Derrick Johnson, a 33-year-old man with cerebral palsy who was unable to speak and had the mental capacity of a toddler.

In 2009, Anna, then 41, met Derrick Johnson, then 30, through his brother, who attended one of Stubblefield’s classes at Rutgers University.

Their relationship developed, leading to intimate encounters alleged to have occurred in Stubblefield’s office on the Rutgers campus, according to The Telegraph’s January 2024 report.

In 2015, Anna was convicted of aggravated sexual assault and sentenced to 12 years in prison for raping Johnson.

Stubblefield claimed that Johnson consented to the relationship through a controversial form called “facilitated communication.”

In 2017, Anna admitted guilt to a charge of criminal sexual contact, acknowledging that she should have recognized Johnson’s inability to consent legally.

Her plea, however, did not imply she believed Johnson lacked adult mental capacity or that she had knowingly misrepresented his communications, as reported by the Times in 2018.

During the same year, Stubblefield agreed to a plea deal and was sentenced to time already served.

In the documentary trailer, despite her plea, Stubblefield mentioned, “I’m not guilty of a crime.”

Stubblefield is divorced from her husband and lives a private life away from public scrutiny.

Additional Information

  • Anna initially viewed Johnson as a friend but admitted that “later something happened that took me by surprise—we fell in love.”
  • She stated they were in love, and Johnson had consented to the relationship through keyboard communications.
  • Prosecutors contested the facilitated communication method, and psychologists concluded that Johnson lacked the mental capacity to consent to sexual activity.
Deepti Bhatta
Deepti Bhatta
Meet Deepti Bhatta, a passionate writer and content editor who brings a fresh perspective to The Departure Film. With her keen interest in the entertainment industry, Deepti crafts articles that inform, inspire, and entertain readers, keeping them engaged and coming back for more. In her spare time, she enjoys binge-watching movies and series, as well as traveling to new destinations.


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