Skip to main content

Reality TV producer arrested in wife's Mexico death

By Alan Duke, CNN
Former "Survivor" producer Bruce Beresford-Redman of killing his wife, Monica Beresford-Redman by asphyxiation.
Former "Survivor" producer Bruce Beresford-Redman of killing his wife, Monica Beresford-Redman by asphyxiation.
  • NEW: Defense lawyer: Beresford-Redman is "an innocent man "
  • Teen witnesses reported hearing "screams, crying for help" from the couple's room
  • Bruce Beresford-Redman allegedly asphyxiated his wife at a Cancun resort
  • The former "Survivor" producer makes his first court appearance Wednesday

Los Angeles, California (CNN) -- Former "Survivor" producer Bruce Beresford-Redman was taken into custody by U.S. marshals in Los Angeles on Tuesday afternoon on a warrant from Mexico in the death of his wife, the U.S. attorney's spokesman said.

The "aggravated homicide" warrant, unsealed Tuesday, accused Beresford-Redman of killing his wife, Monica Beresford-Redman, "by asphyxiating her" at a Cancun, Mexico, resort on April 5.

Beresford-Redman was arrested without incident at his Rancho Palos Verdes, California, home, officials said. He is scheduled to make his initial appearance before a federal magistrate in downtown Los Angeles on Wednesday, U.S. attorney spokesman Thom Mrozek said.

His Los Angeles lawyer said he was "disappointed" by the arrest.

"Based upon our investigation, he is an innocent man being wrongfully accused by a foreign government," Richard Hirsch said. "We hope that after full consideration of both sides, a federal court will decide not to extradite him."

The couple and their two young children were staying at the Moon Palace Resort. Monica Beresford-Redman's body was found in a resort sewer on April 8.

The initial investigation suggested she "died of strangulation, because of the bruising," Mexican regional police spokesman Adrian Cardena said.

The extradition request cited as evidence several witness statements, including one from two British teenagers who were in the hotel room below where the Beresford-Redmans were staying.

The boys wrote that they were awakened by "screams, crying for help and extremely loud banging from the room above" at 6 a.m. on April 5. "It sounded like a woman in extreme distress" and lasted for 15 minutes, their statement said.

The document, which used her maiden name, said the couple "had been having marital troubles for some time before her murder."

"The marital problems continued in Cancun," it said. "In a conversation from Cancun on April 4, 2010, Monica Burgos told her sister, Ferreira Burgos, that she had found evidence that [Beresford-Redman] was still in contact with the woman with whom he was having the affair."

Bruce Beresford-Redman was charged with his wife's slaying in May and an extradition request from Mexico was delivered to the U.S. government in June.

The arrest was delayed when his lawyers in Mexico filed an "amparo" with a federal court in Mexico City, a document arguing there is not probable cause to charge him, a defense lawyer said.

Hirsch, in a summer CNN interview, accused the state judge in Mexico of "a rush to judgment" in charging Beresford-Redman, saying "it appears that this case is being handled in a manner outside the normal procedures in Mexico."

The producer was briefly detained by police in Mexico after his wife's body was found in April. His passport was taken by investigators, and he was told not to leave Mexico until the inquiry was concluded. Beresford-Redman returned home in May, without the knowledge of investigators, to take care of family business and see his children, his lawyer said.

He has lived in his Rancho Palos Verdes home with his children since May, although his parents have temporary legal custody of the children, ages 3 and 5.

Bruce Beresford-Redman built his career as a Hollywood reality television show producer. He worked for several seasons on the popular CBS show "Survivor," in which contestants compete against each other in a variety of extreme outdoor scenarios. He was nominated for three Emmy Awards as a producer on the show and was last credited as a producer in 2004.

He also worked on NBC's "The Contender" and "The Restaurant," as well as MTV's "Pimp My Ride," according to entertainment media company IMG.

Monica Beresford-Redman, a native of Brazil, owned a restaurant in Los Angeles.