In not-so-surprising news, Lifetime has announced plans to make a movie based on the highly publicized NXIVM sex-cult case. According to a press statement from Lifetime, the working title of the film is NXIVM Cult: A Mother’s Nightmare, and the film will center on the story of actress Catherine Oxenberg fighting to save her daughter India from the “dangerous sex cult.” The news comes just two weeks after group leader Keith Raniere was convicted on seven criminal charges, including sex-trafficking, racketeering, and conspiracy to commit forced labor.
The plot of the Lifetime movie begins with Catherine learning about “a leadership seminar” from a new organization called NXIVM.
“She decides to take her 20-year-old daughter India to the professional-development meeting. Led by the extremely enigmatic Keith Raniere, Catherine can’t help but shake the feeling there’s more than meets the eye with the self-help organization. Despite Catherine’s best efforts, India is drawn deeper into the cult, eventually joining a secret sorority of female members who are branded with the cult leader’s initials, ordered to maintain a restricted diet, and forced to recruit other women as sex slaves,” a description for the biopic reads.
Oxenberg will be played by Rescue Me’s Andrea Roth, while her daughter India will be played by Jasper Polish. Peter Facinelli (who we all know from Twilight and Can’t Hardly Wait) will portray Raniere, while Secret Girlfriend’s Sara Fletcher will play Allison Mack, the Smallville actress who helped recruit women into the group. In April, Mack pleaded guilty to racketeering charges. She also admitted to coercing women in the group to give her embarrassing “collateral” so they would go along with the demands of Raniere.
Oxenberg, who is serving as one of the film’s executive producers, published a book about the ordeal, titled Captive: A Mother’s Crusade to Save Her Daughter From a Terrifying Cult in 2018. The movie will be released this fall.