Elizabeth Smart, a mother of two and reporter on Crime Watch Daily, is now working as a producer and narrator on the Lifetime original movie about her harrowing kidnapping in 2002. Set to be released later this year, the movie is told from Smart's perspective as she addresses many of the misconceptions about her nine-month captivity and the rape, abuse, and starvation she endured.
Lifetime's I Am Elizabeth Smart will coincide with the release of an A&E autobiography on Smart's life, both of which are releasing on the 15-year anniversary of her abduction.
Alana Bolden (from the Nickelodeon series Ride) plays Smart in I Am Elizabeth Smart, with Skeet Ulrich (Riverdale, Jericho) and Deirdre Lovejoy (The Blacklist, The Wire) playing Smart's captors, the religious fanatic Brian David Mitchell and Wanda Barzee, according to Deadline.
One night, as a 14-year-old, Smart woke to a strange voice in her room saying, "I have a knife at your neck. Don't make a sound. Get up and come with me."
"I had never been so scared in my entire life," Smart said in a BYU-Hawaii fireside. "Up until that moment, I had always felt like I had been pretty prepared for anything I would come across . . . nothing had ever prepared me for anything like that before. I remember being so scared I felt paralyzed and I felt like I didn't have a choice."
After being dragged up into the hills behind her house and raped, Smart remembers, "I'll never forget how I felt, how life-shattering that felt to me. I remember feeling like I could no longer be loved, like I was no longer worthy to be a human being, period. I remember feeling like I had been broken into too many pieces I could never be fit back together again. . . . I remember feeling like my life was over but I was still living."
But then Smart began to think of everyone and everything that was important to her, especially her mother. And she remembered something her mother once told her: that Smart's mother would always love her, and nothing would ever change that, and that Heavenly Father would always love her.
"I realized that I always had my Heavenly Father to turn to and my Savior," she said at the devotional. In that darkness, Smart realized that she had something her captor couldn't take away from her: faith, hope, and a love that no one could destroy.
Despite the horrors of her captivity, Smart has found a way to inspire and help others who have suffered similar abuse.
Lead image from Deseret News
Learn more about Elizabeth Smart's story with her autobiography, My Story.