Lifetime Brings Living Nightmare to the Screen in 'Cleveland Abduction'

by Raphael Chestang 5:57 PM PDT, March 24, 2015
Playing Lifetime Brings Living Nightmare to the Screen in 'Cleveland Abduction'

Lifetime is bringing the true horror story of the Cleveland kidnappings back to life, focusing on the hope that comes after forgiveness.

Three young women (Michelle Knight, Amanda Berry and Gina DeJesus) were held captive and tortured by Ariel Castro in Cleveland until May 6, 2013 when Berry escaped and contacted police. The kidnappings took placed between 2002 and 2004 with Knight being the first of Castro's victims.

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"What made me decide to share my story is to give hope and courage to other people," Knight said.

For nearly 11 years Knight suffered unspeakable abuse and rape by her captor and even became pregnant four times by him. In the movie, Knight is portrayed by Orange Is the New Black's Taryn Manning, while Breaking Bad's Raymond Cruz plays Castro.

"Our story focuses on Michelle because she was the only girl there the whole time," executive producer Judith Verno said.

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"Just to see my life unfold on set was so amazing," Knight said. "That was really me and that's how it happened."

Castro ended up hanging himself in jail after he was sentenced to life for his crimes.

"It's not about the sensationalism of the story," Raymond said. "It really is about this woman's survival."

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"It doesn't matter what stands in your way or how many times you fall down, you're still able to pick yourself back up," Knight said. "Life for me is about not being angry about everything that happens. I forgave people for harm that they have done to me. You don't have to follow in anyone's footsteps and you don't have to be angry about life anymore as long as you know that you got your breath, everything else don't matter."

Cleveland Abduction airs April 25 on Lifetime.