The Nxivm sex cult is getting a Lifetime movie, and the cast has already been announced
Last year, we were horrified when news broke about Nxivm, a sex cult that received attention due to the involvement of Smallville actress Allison Mack. Mack, a high-ranking member within the cult that branded itself as a “self-help company,” pleaded guilty to racketeering charges in April and will face sentencing in September. Last month, on June 19th, Nxivm founder, Keith Raniere, was convicted of all charges against him.
Even as the real-life story unfolds in the courtroom and in headlines, Nxivm is already getting the Lifetime movie treatment. According to Deadline, the film’s working title is The Nxivm Cult: A Mother’s Nightmare, and it’s slated to hit the small screen in the fall.
The movie will center on Catherine Oxenberg, an actress whose daughter, India, joined Nxivm in 2011. (The cult was founded in upstate New York in 1998.) It’s set to chronicle India’s involvement in the cult at the age of 20, and her mother’s fight to free her daughter from years of alleged physical, sexual, and emotional abuse at the hands of Raniere, Mack, and other high-ranking officials in the group.
So far, Lifetime has confirmed that several cast members are already on board, including a few familiar names.
Andrea Roth, known for roles in Rescue Me and 13 Reasons Why, will play Catherine. Peter Facinelli of Twilight and Can’t Hardly Wait will portray cult leader Raniere. Newcomer Jasper Polish will play India, and Sara Fletcher, who starred in Secret Girlfriend, will play Mack.
According to the press release, “Nxivm Cult: A Mother’s Nightmare tells the story of a mother who will stop at nothing to get her daughter back and exposes the intricate seductive power of Allison and Keith and the mental and physical abuse India fell victim to.”
In a statement announcing the film, Facinelli said, "I commend Lifetime for undertaking the expose of some difficult subject matter. The victims of this cult were not unsophisticated or gullible. No one wants to believe something like this could happen to them, or to people they know, however this film shows how anyone can be vulnerable to skilled predators. As difficult as it is to portray someone capable of such horrific acts, I felt compelled to be a part of bringing this story to light with hope that it educates others from falling prey to such atrocities."
As investigators work to unravel the crimes at hand and key players await sentencing, we’ll have to wait until fall to see what Lifetime has in store for its film adaptation. Stay tuned.