Family Secrets

The second season of the Family Secrets podcast began this week and the iHeartPodcast Network original had some high-profile publicity for its return. To coincide with the launch, host and best-selling author Dani Shapiro appeared on NBC-TV’s “Today” show to tell her eye-opening story and promote the new season.

In the spring of 2016, through a genealogy website to which author Dani Shapiro had submitted her DNA for analysis, she received the stunning news that her father was not her biological father. The resulting book, Inheritance, has become a Times bestseller, and last February she became a podcaster with the release of the first season of iHeart’s Family Secrets podcast. The podcast tackles stories of paternity, identity, crime, addiction, abuse, shame and guilt in a way that the producers say will allow listeners to have a platform to “liberate themselves from the power that a family secret can hold over them.”

As part of Shapiro’s “Today” show appearance, a guest from the first season of Family Secrets also told his story. Steve Lickteig was raised to believe his grandparents were his parents, but when he was 18 learned the truth.

In the new season of the Family Secrets podcast, guests share with Shapiro how they confronted or came to terms with a secret. Episode one details Jon Mehlman and his wife Marla’s decision not to tell their children about Marla’s breast cancer. Instead of burdening their daughters with imminent death, the two wanted to live a happy and full life.

“The amazing thing that I think is happening these days is there is new understanding of relationships and family,” Shapiro said.