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Starz developing Cyntoia Brown Scripted Series



ATLANTA, GEORGIA - NOVEMBER 11: Author Cyntoia Brown Long signs copies her new book "Free Cyntoia: My Search for Redemption in the American Prison System" at Clark Atlanta University on November 11, 2019 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Paras Griffin/Getty Images)

Cyntoia Brown-Long takes her story to the screen to inspire the world!

Last Friday, Starz announced the limited series inspired by Cyntoia Brown-Long’s life and battle with the prison system.

The scripted drama will be based on Brown-Long’s book, “Free Cyntoia: My Search for Redemption in the American Prison System.”, executive produced by “50 Cent” Jackson.

At 16-years-old, Brown-Long served a 15-year prison sentenced and tried as an adult. After she was sex trafficked by her ex-boyfriend, Brown-Long was charged with aggravated robbery and first-degree murder. She was sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder of a man who paid her to have sex with him.

La La Anthony, who starred on “Power” with Jackson, presented the project to G-Unit Film & Television, Inc., which they will develop the series under Fif’s overall deal with Starz. Anthony will also serve as executive producer on the series. There is not much talk regarding casting; however, Santa Sierra is the writer on the project.


Picture courtesy Getty/Earl Gibson III

On the other hand, Brown-Long now serves as an advocate for sex-trafficking victims, and she will consult on the project alongside her husband, Jamie Long.

“For [Brown] to trust me with this story, after everything she’s been through, it’s not something I take lightly,” Anthony told Essence last year. “I was so proud of what [50 Cent] did with the series For Life. I just felt like we were already great partners and it could be good.”

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While serving her sentence, Brown-Long remained innocent, claiming the 2004 murder was an act of self-defense. The fight to release her was brought prominent lawyers to defend her case over the years. Her case received national headlines, thanks to the support from celebrities in addition to Anthony, including LeBron James, Kim Kardashian West, and Rihanna, who used their platforms to rally for Brown-Long. She was granted clemency and released from prison in the summer of 2019.

“We’re honored to be entrusted with Cyntoia’s story, which shines a light on the injustice of a system that tried and sentence an at-risk minor as an adult when she was a victim herself of sex trafficking,” Christina Davis, President of Original Programming for Starz, said. “This limited series from Curtis, La La, and Santa chronicles Cyntoia’s long journey to freedom and furthers our #TakeTheLead programming mandate centered on narratives by, about and for women and underrepresented audiences.”

According to Deadline, the limited drama is a part of Starz’s #TakeTheLead initiative aiming to amplify the voices of women and underrepresented groups through diverse storytelling.

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