Shannon Woodward, the actor who plays (currently missing) programmer Elsie Hughes in Westworld, is slated to produce a new series based on alleged sex cult Nxivm.
Currently untitled, the drama will explore the story of Keith Raniere, the man arrested on charges of sex trafficking earlier this month after claims emerged of women being brainwashed, branded with his initials and made his slaves.
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Company Annapurna Television will produce the series after they acquired the rights to the 2017 New York Times exposé Inside a Secretive Group Where Women Are Branded.
The report claimed Nxivm operated under the cover of a self-help organisation and that a sub-sect known as DOS (“dominus obsequious sororium” – latin for “master over the slave women”) was a dangerous cult. The US Department of Justice said that DOS recruited “slaves by telling them that they were joining a women-only organisation that would empower them and eradicate purported weaknesses that the Nxivm curriculum taught were common in women.”
No writer or network has yet been attached to the Nxivm drama, but THR reports Woodward has been hired as an executive producer, alongside Megan Ellison (American Hustle), former HBO boss Sue Naegle and journalist Susan Goldberg.
This news comes after former Smallville actress Allison Mack was arrested in connection with the case and charged with sex trafficking, sex trafficking conspiracy and forced labour conspiracy. She has been accused of targeting vulnerable women to join the group, and starving them to keep a thin physique. The 35-year-old has pleaded not guilty to the charges.