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New movie dives into 2011 murder of DC socialite, 91, killed by her boytoy husband

Christoph Waltz has made his directorial debut in a new scripted movie based on the notorious 2011 murder of a Washington D.C. socialite by her boytoy husband.

Viola Drath, 91, was found dead in the bathroom of her home in the Georgetown neighborhood of D.C. on August 11, 2011 by her second husband Albrecht Gero Muth, 47, who was later convicted of murdering her after years of domestic violence.

In the bizarre real-life story, Muth had pretended to be an Iraqi general and even officially changed his name to ‘Count Albi’ at some point, while getting romantically involved with another man after a violent incident in 2002 led to a lengthy breakup. 

Waltz’ film, titled Georgetown, will be released in theaters on May 14 and on video-on-demand services on May 18 and is inspired by a 2012 article in The New York Times Magazine titled The Worst Marriage in Georgetown by Franklin Foer.

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Christoph Waltz, pictured, has made his directorial debut in a new scripted movie based on the notorious 2011 murder of Viola Drath

The character based on Drath is played by Vanessa Redgrave while Waltz plays the character based on Albrecht Gero Muth, the man who killed her

The character based on Drath is played by Vanessa Redgrave while Waltz plays the character based on Albrecht Gero Muth, the man who killed her

In the bizarre real-life story, Muth had pretended to be an Iraqi general and even officially changed his name to 'Count Albi' at some point

In the bizarre real-life story, Muth had pretended to be an Iraqi general and even officially changed his name to ‘Count Albi’ at some point

Waltz' film, titled Georgetown, will be released in theaters on May 14 and on video-on-demand services on May 18

Waltz’ film, titled Georgetown, will be released in theaters on May 14 and on video-on-demand services on May 18

Drath and Muth would host lavish parties at their row house with notable guests that included Anne Patterson, former President Barack Obama¿s ambassador to Egypt, and former Vice President Dick Cheney

Drath and Muth would host lavish parties at their row house with notable guests that included Anne Patterson, former President Barack Obama’s ambassador to Egypt, and former Vice President Dick Cheney

Georgetown closely follows the details of the murder but takes some creative liberties, including changing the name of Viola Drath to Elsa Brecht and the name of Albrecht Gero Muth to Ulrich Mott.

The character based on Drath is played by Vanessa Redgrave while Waltz plays the character based on Muth. Annette Bening and Corey Hawkins also star Georgetown. The film was written by Tony-winning playwright David Auburn.

As described by Paramount Pictures, Waltz plays ‘an eccentric and smooth-talking social climber who seems to have everyone in Washington, D.C. wrapped around his finger.’

‘But when his wealthy, well-connected and much older wife (Redgrave) turns up dead in their home, her daughter Amanda (Bening) suspects Ulrich may not be all that he seems as the police investigation begins to uncover a larger deception that goes far deeper than anyone ever imagined.’

The real-life Albrecht Muth is pictured in a fake Iraqi general uniform after years of cons

The real-life Albrecht Muth is pictured in a fake Iraqi general uniform after years of cons

A photo from May 2004 shows the real-life Viola Drath during the annual Woodrow Wilson home garden party and hat contest in Washington

A photo from May 2004 shows the real-life Viola Drath during the annual Woodrow Wilson home garden party and hat contest in Washington

Viola Drath, 91, was discovered unresponsive in her home in the 3200 block of Q Street in Northwest in Georgetown

Viola Drath, 91, was discovered unresponsive in her home in the 3200 block of Q Street in Northwest in Georgetown

The film has been in the works since 2015 and had its world premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival on April 27, 2019. 

Drath was born in Düsseldorf, Germany, on February 8, 1920 and later met her first husband Col. Francis S. Drath before moving to Lincoln, Nebraska with him.

Known in Germany as a playwright, Drath became a journalist working as a commentator for KUON-TV in Omaha and as a foreign correspondent for German papers.

She moved with her first husband to Washington D.C. in 1968 when he was hired as a legislative liaison with the Selective Service. The couple had a loving marriage until Francis Drath died of cancer in 1986.

Fran Drath, her daughter, said that Francis’ death ‘was hard for her. 

‘It was very hard. It turned her world upside down. What scared her the most is that she knew she couldn’t replace him,’ she said.

In the course of her life, Drath held a number of political and diplomatic roles including as a foreign policy adviser during the former President George H.W. Bush’s campaign in 1988.

At some point in the early 1980s, Drath met Muth, who was then an unpaid intern from Germany and 44 years younger than her, according to an article in the Washington Post.

Drath wrote in an autobiography that she was impressed by Muth’s ‘natural eloquence, his polished speech, his grasp of affairs of state, of governance and the intricacies of political chess.’

‘Often, after our talks, he sat down at the baby grand to play and sing for me into the wee hours of the evening,’ she wrote in the autobiography.

The pair spent months talking on the phone and having tea together until Muth appeared at her home in a tuxedo unannounced and proposed, the Washington Post reported. 

After Drath accepted the proposal, Muth called Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia asking if he would marry them. 

The couple was ultimately married by a Virginia Supreme Court judge in early 1990 – just four years after her late husband’s death.

Drath and Muth would host lavish parties at their row house with notable guests that included Anne Patterson, former President Barack Obama’s ambassador to Egypt,  and former Vice President Dick Cheney, The New York Times Magazine reported.

The day that Drath died, Muth called 911 and reported that he returned from his morning walk to find her ‘splayed on their bathroom floor,’ the outlet reported.

‘A 91-year-old tumbling in a bathroom is hardly uncommon, so detectives didn’t initially investigate her death,’ according to The New York Times Magazine.

‘It took the medical examiner to point out, a day later, that her scalp was bruised, her thumbnail torn and the cartilage in her neck fractured. She had been strangled and bludgeoned to death.’

Muth was sentenced to 50 years in prison for her murder, the Washington Post reported in 2014. 

He claimed that he did not kill Drath and has said he had been unjustly convicted. 

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