What is Burning Betrayal based on and is it a true story? The inspiration for the new Netflix film

The new film chronicles a torrid affair with dangerous consequences - but is there any truth behind Burning Desire?

LIMA as MARCO, GIOVANNA LANCELLOTTI as BABI lying in bed together in Burning Betrayal
(Image credit: Netflix)

A new steamy drama has landed on Netflix, and viewers want to know what Burning Betrayal is based on and whether there's any truth behind the story. 

If you enjoyed Sex/Life on Netflix and don't mind watching with subtitles, then we think you'll want to check out Burning Betrayal, a new Portuguese language film that chronicles a similar tale of a woman embracing her sexual freedom. When accountant Babi is left betrayed by her fiancé, she sees it as the perfect opportunity for a new adventure. 

It's one of many new adaptations to hit the small screen, with viewers also wanting to know what if Netflix's A Nearly Normal Family is based on and what Apple TV's Bridgerton-esque The Buccaneers is based on. Those tuning into a new Channel 4 steamy drama starring Sam Heughan, have also been wondering what The Couple Next Door is based on, after some initial confusion arose.

What is Burning Betrayal based on?

Burning Betrayal is based on a book called O Lado Bom de Ser Traída, by Sue Hecker. It is a Brazilian erotic novel, and the title means 'The Good Side of Being Betrayed' in Portuguese. 

One of the most popular erotic books in Brazil, it follows a woman who finds out she has been cheated on by her fiancé the night before her wedding. As a result, she decides to embark on a new adventure, which sees her meet a new man. However, her new relationship also comes with new complications.

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Is Burning Betrayal a true story?

No, Burning Betrayal is not a true story, it is based on a work of fiction by author [is she Portuguese/Spanish or American? I'm intrigued and readers might be as the name is not latino haha!] Sue Hecker. Hecker has written several erotic novels, but she is best known for O Lado Bom de Ser Traída.

The latest in a long line of steamy dramas on Netflix, it follows the likes of Fair Play, which sees one couple's covert relationship crumble after the woman (played by Phoebe Dynevor) is promoted over her partner. 

Elsewhere, Fatal Seduction - a remake of Dark Desire - chronicled a passionate affair between a married professor and a younger man, while Obsession, which is a remake of Damage, follows an affair between a renowned surgeon and his son's fianée.

What happens in Burning Betrayal?

In Burning Betrayal, accountant Babi finds out her fiancé, Caio, is cheating on her, and decides to start over. Then she meets Marco and is swept into a steamy affair, but it turns out her new lover has just as many secrets. 

It's during a court hearing where Caio is being questioned over an alleged money-laundering scheme that she first crosses paths with Marco - aka "the hot judge". 

With the help of her friends Paty and Bruno, Babi gets back on her motorcycle, joins a bike club, and dyes her hair dark following the breakdown of her relationship. And it turns out that Marco is part of the club too, and now she's bumping into him everywhere. 

The pair engage in a torrid affair, but Marco is elusive and appears to have a strange and aggressive stalker. Even the head of the motorcycle club takes Babi aside, warning her to steer clear of the new mystery man. 

GIOVANNA LANCELLOTTI as BABI, LEANDRO LIMA as MARCO embracing in a swimming pool in Burning Betrayal

(Image credit: Netflix)

Burning Betrayal cast

  • Giovanna Lancellotti as Babi
  • Micael as Caio, Babi’s fiancé
  • Leandro Lima as Marco, the new man who falls for Babi
  • Bruno Montaleone as Thiago, Babi’s best friend 
  • Camilla de Lucas as Paty, Babi’s close friend and co-worker

For more TV show origins, the Love & Death true story had viewers hooked by the tale of murder, while the real-life case behind Burning Body is equally as shocking. The Woman in The Wall was a work of fiction, but the horrific true story behind the institutions that inspired it leave a haunting legacy.

Ellie Hutchings
Features Editor

Ellie is Goodto’s Feature Editor, having joined the team as a Junior Features Writer in 2022, and covers everything from wellbeing for parents to the latest TV and entertainment. Ellie has covered all the latest trends in the parenting world, including baby names, parenting hacks, and foodie tips for busy families. She has a distinction in MA Magazine Journalism from Nottingham Trent University and a first-class degree in Journalism from Cardiff University, and previously Ellie has worked with BBC Good Food, The Big Issue, and the Nottingham Post, as well as freelancing as an arts and entertainment writer alongside her studies.