SAG Award winner Taryn Manning (“Orange Is the New Black,” “Hustle & Flow,” “8 Mile”) stars as Michelle Knight and SAG nominee Raymond Cruz (“Breaking Bad,” “Major Crimes”) portrays Ariel Castro in the Lifetime Original Movie “Cleveland Abduction” produced by Sony Pictures Television. The film explores the true story of Michelle Knight, a 21-year-old single mom whose life was irrevocably changed by a chance encounter with an unsuspected criminal.
On August 22, 2002, Knight was abducted by Castro in Cleveland and held captive in his home for more than 11 years. Finding strength through her belief in God and determined to be reunited with her son, Knight refused to be broken by the twisted Castro. Soon thereafter, he abducted two teenagers, Amanda Berry (Samantha Droke, “Eastwick”) and Gina DeJesus (Katie Sarife, “Supernatural”), and imprisoned them alongside Michelle, who then became a friend and sister figure to her fellow victims.
When Berry became pregnant with Castro’s child, it was Knight who delivered her baby, even performing CPR on the infant girl under the threat of Castro while he told her, “If the baby dies, you die.” Despite enduring more than a decade of brutality, Michelle’s spirit would not be broken, and her unshakable faith in the face of a seemingly hopeless situation was a testament to the human spirit. On May 6, 2013, Michelle was rescued from the home that was her prison for nearly 11 years, and finally given the chance to reclaim her life.
Golden Globe Award nominee Pam Grier (“Jackie Brown”) portrays Carla, a nurse who helped care for Knight in the hospital, and Emmy Award winner Joe Morton (“Scandal”) plays Solano, an FBI agent in charge of the investigation.
“Cleveland Abduction” is produced by Sony Pictures Television. Executive producers are Judith Verno (“Masters of Sex,” “Lizzie Borden Took an Ax”) and Frank von Zerneck (“The Elizabeth Smart Story,” “Left to Die”). David Rosemont (“Bonnie & Clyde”) produces. The film is written by Stephen Tolkin (“The Craigslist Killer”) and directed by Alex Kalymnios (“Becoming Human,” “Hollyoaks”).