Is Paul T. Goldman real? All you should know

Paul T. Goldman

Peacock marketed the true crime docuseries Paul T. Goldman as a ‘groundbreaking project that mixes fact and fiction to tell a bizarre and incredible tale’. The source material is Paul T. Goldman’s 2009 book Duplicity: A True Story of Crime and Deceit

In the book, Goldman alleges his second wife was a con artist who ran a prostitution ring and married him to get a share of his wealth through a divorce. Goldman pitched the book in 2012 to Jason Woliner, who spent the next decade filming. 

Woliner presents Paul T. Goldman in three forms: a docuseries with interviews, a reenactment of events described in Goldman’s book, and a behind-the-scenes look at the creation of the reenactment. 

Paul T. Goldman is the fictional name of a real man named Paul Finkelman

Paul T. Goldman’s real name is Paul Finkelman. Finkelman used Paul T. Goldman as a pen name when writing his book and as his character’s name in Paul T. Goldman

The author portrays Goldman in the docuseries, reenactment, and behind-the-scenes footage. Goldman claims that the events in his book are real, saying:

“I have been asked countless times, ‘Is this for real? Did this stuff actually happen?’ I couldn’t make this up. Nobody – nobody – could make up this shit.”

Paul T. Goldman blends fact and fiction, but Goldman insists that ‘Duplicity is 99% true’. “Embellishments had to happen on little things,” Goldman tells Jason Woliner. In the next episode, Goldman lowers his truth estimate to 97% while maintaining that the events and story ‘are true’. 

Woliner deliberately imbued Paul T. Goldman with a sense of ambiguity, leaving it to viewers to interpret the events as they wish. 

Only Paul Finkelman knows whether the events described in his book are real. Such an outlandish story, if true, surely exists somewhere on the internet. However, Paul’s use of fake names complicates fact-finding efforts.