D.C. Lawyer Who Repped Hostages in ‘Argo’ Faced Down Death Threats and Love

The story portrayed in Ben Affleck‘s new movie, Argo, has a special place for attorney John Coale, who is married to FNC anchor Greta Van Susteren. For one thing, back in the day he represented three of the six hostages portrayed in the movie in a lawsuit against Iran. For another, it led him to the love of his life.

The year was 1979. In December, the Iranians let the African Americans and women go free after about a month. Canadians assisted the six hostages in the movie in getting out of the country. “I filed suit for most of theses diplomats in December of ’79 way before the rest were freed,” Coale explained to FishbowlDC. “This really pissed off the Carter administration. Part of the deal to free the other hostages after 444 days was that my suits had to be dismissed.”

Coale remembers threats on his life. “The suits were a big deal to the Iranians,” he said. “I had death threats etc from the crazy Iranians plus I was not high on the State Department’s list of people they liked.”

On the upside, the experience led him to his wife. “The great thing about it for me was that I hired Greta to do research, fell in love and the rest, as they say, is history.”