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‘Westworld’s’ Shannon Woodward to Produce Series Based on NXIVM Sex Cult

Annapurna Television’s scripted drama is to be based on New York Times expose about the group led by Keith Raniere, which included actress Allison Mack

Annapurna Television is developing a scripted series inspired by the alleged sex cult Nxivm, with “Westworld” actress Shannon Woodward attached to executive produce.

The potential series is based on the New York Times report about the group published last year. The report, authored by Barry Meier, featured interviews with multiple women who said the purported self-help group, led by Keith Raniere, recruited women to serve as “slaves” and branded them with Raniere’s initials.

No writer is attached yet, but Woodward will executive produce along with Megan Ellison, Sue Naegle and Susan Goldberg of Annapurna.

The group has come under renewed interest in recent weeks, after Raniere was arrested in Mexico last month on charges of sex trafficking. “Smallville” star Allison Mack, who was identified as Raniere’s top lieutenant in the Times report, was arrested last week.

Nxivm will also be the subject of an upcoming documentary series from Brian Graden, as well as the first installment of Elizabeth Vargas’ new journalistic enterprise at A&E.

A Justice Department complaint filed against Raniere in March alleges that he created a secret society within Nxivm in 2015 called “DOS,” which “operated with levels of women ‘slaves’ headed by ‘masters.'”

The Department of Justice also alleged that some of the DOS slaves became masters who “directly or implicitly required the slaves to have sex with Raniere.” In addition, the DoJ said, many of the DOS slaves were “branded on their pelvic areas using a cauterizing pen with a symbol which, unbeknownst to them, incorporated Raniere’s initials. During the branding ceremonies, slaves were required to be fully naked, and a master would order one slave to film the branding while the others restrained the slave being branded.”

If convicted of the crimes charged, Raniere and Mack each face mandatory minimum sentences of 15 years’ imprisonment, and up to life imprisonment.

The Hollywood Reporter first reported news of the series.