Sometimes you only need to look to the headlines for salacious true-crime TV movies.
Orange Is the New Black’s Taryn Manning stars in the latest, Lifetime's Cleveland Abduction, playing kidnapping victim Michelle Knight. For more than a decade, three young women (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. For nearly 11 years, Knight suffered unspeakable abuse and even became pregnant four times by her captor.
Manning told ET that participating in Lifetime’s made-for-TV adaptation, premiering May 2 at 8 p.m. ET/PT, was life-altering.
"I've been through stuff. We all have, but that movie rocked my world," Manning said. "It changed my life. Michelle Knight changed my life. Hanging out with her, and experiencing her positivity … None of my problems matter."
On Dec. 4, 1995, high school sweethearts and military academy cadets Diane Zamora and David Graham lured 16-year-old Adrianne Jones out of her home and murdered her in an open field. Also known as Swearing Allegiance: A True Story, this small-screen melodrama premiered on NBC in 1997 and is loosely based on the brutal crime (it relies heavily on Graham's confession). The movie aired repeatedly on Lifetime in the 2000s, around the time that the real-life and convicted Zamora wed a fellow inmate in a civil ceremony. Holly Marie Combs, who played Diane Zamora in the 1997 adaptation, received hate mail after the film was released.
Set in Miami in a world of privilege, Rob Lowe stars as Ben Novack, Jr., the real-life millionaire heir to the Fontainebleau Miami Beach hotel fortune who was brutally murdered not long after marrying an exotic dancer (played by Paz Vega). The couples’ volatile relationship — and fetish and kink proclivities — leading up to Novack Jr.’s untimely death are just some of the nuances to this made-for-TV true-crime story that are sure to keep you on your toes as the story unfolds.
Here’s all you need to know about this made-for-TV movie that scored high ratings on NBC and then aired repeatedly on Lifetime:
-- An abused wife with no one to turn to sets the bed on fire — with her husband in it — after he rapes her one night.
-- The film stars Farrah Fawcett as domestic violence survivor Francine Hughes, which she called “the role of a lifetime.”
What’s not to love? If you can’t get enough of this sordid tale, read the non-fiction book that the film is based on.
To find out more about Cleveland Abduction, watch Taryn Manning's sit-down with ET below!