Hollywood is launching about half a dozen film projects about the NXIVM sex cult headed by Keith Raniere, who reportedly branded women initiates with his initials.
Along with the few documentaries already in the can, three new projects are underway at Lifetime, HBO, and ID, according to The Wrap.
Hollywood’s attention was piqued when actress Allison Mack, who had a lead role in the TV series Smallville, was arrested and hit with sex trafficking and racketeering conspiracy charges.
The Lifetime cable network announced that it is gearing up production of its treatment of the story entitled, The NXIVM Cult: A Mother’s Nightmare. This film will focus on the efforts of Catherine Oxenberg whose daughter, India, was snared in the cult. In a press release, Lifetime said the movie will feature “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.” The project will star Andrea Roth as Catherin Oxenberg, Peter Facinelli as Raniere, Jasper Polish as India, and Sara Fletcher as Allison Mack.
HBO announced as far back as April that it had begun work on a film on the topic. The HBO project will be documentary-style and will follow some of the people involved in the cult. A press release noted the film will “take a deep, nuanced look at experiences of its members, spotlighting their universal desire for personal growth.”
According to the Hollywood Reporter, Annapurna Television has also secured rights to the story and is working on a project about the cult. In addition, Deadline reported that a documentary series starring former cult member and actress Sarah Edmonson and her husband, actor Anthony Ames, was in the works.
Also, at least two other documentaries are in production, one of them from the A&E network.
As Breitbart News reported last month, cult leader Keith Raniere was convicted on federal charges of keeping women as his “sex slaves.”
A jury in federal court in Brooklyn took less than five hours to find Raniere guilty on all counts of sex-trafficking and other charges accusing him of coercing women into unwanted sex using systematic shame and humiliation.
The sorority, sometimes called “The Vow,” was created “to satisfy the defendant’s desire for sex, power, and control,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Moira Penza said in court.
In April, actress Allison Mack pleaded guilty in the case.
“Prior to her arrest on the instant charges, Ms. Mack had no criminal history,” Mack’s lawyers said in a letter last year. “While the instant charges have deprived her of pursuing her acting career, Ms. Mack nevertheless is interested in contributing to society.”
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.