Lifetime’s Summer of Secrets Soccer Mom Madam is actually a Ripped From The Headlines movie. Starring One Tree Hill’s Jana Kramer, what do we know about the real-life story behind this cautionary tale?
What Is The Ripped From The Headlines Story Behind Lifetime’s Soccer Mom Madam?
The upcoming Lifetime Summer of Secrets movie, Soccer Mom Madam, tells the story of a single mother who starts a high-class prostitution business. This movie stars Jana Kramer (A Welcome Home Christmas, Friday Night Lights). But did you know that this is Ripped From The Headlines, and true story?
According to the Times Herald-Recorder, Anna Gristina was once called the “Monroe Madam,” “Millionaire Madam,” and “Soccer Mom Madam.” Although Gristina now lives a quiet life with her husband Joe, her pet pigs, and a dog, she is the heroine of this real-life cautionary tale.
She operated a $2,000-per-hour escort service. They catered to those who could afford this sort of debauchery: “rich and powerful men.” When she was caught, she was arrested and her bail was set at an astonishing $1 million cash, or $2 million bail bond. The Manhattan District Attorney’s office just wanted her to name names.
This resulted in her in spending four months in jail on the notorious Riker’s Island. Eventually, an appeal allowed for more reasonable bail and she was out.
Eventually, she did plead guilty to “promoting prostitution, although her lawyer “characterized” her business as a “dating service.” However, she didn’t name names then, and still keeps mum about her high-profile clientele. She considers loyalty “very important.”
Lifetime Movie VS Real Life
Moreover, although this is now a Lifetime movie, Gristina cannot discuss the criminal case. That is because she has “filed a misconduct complaint against the judge.” In addition, she claims there was “prosecutorial misconduct,” and has filed an appeal. Despite these legal obstacles, she did consult with Lifetime for Soccer Mom Madam.
The basic synopsis of the movie is that Anna (Jana Kramer) loses all financial support from her ex-husband. Soon, Anna begins working for her cousin’s massage parlor. Eventually, Anna branches out on her own. She pairs up wealthy and influential men with beautiful, young women, in a high-price escort business.
For years, she pockets millions of dollars. However, when the FBI is looking to take down one of Anna’s clients, the shocking truth is exposed.
As always, television is always a bit different. In real life, Gristina has four children, although the tv movie has two. Gristina is now on husband number five, while in the Lifetime version, Anna has had two husbands.
Gristina admits she “learned the ropes” working the phones at her cousin’s massage parlor. She took on that job when she escaped an abusive ex. Anna insists that if she did not do this work, she would have lost her kids.
Most of all, she contends that there are “accurate portrayals.” She cites that when she did get abducted off of the street by the police, she really thought she was going to be “whacked by the mafia.”
Far from NYC, once-notorious "Monroe Madam" mom reinvents herself https://t.co/u7rrZqU7WM
— Times Herald-Record (@recordonline) June 2, 2021
What Does Jana Kramer Say About Playing Lead In Soccer Mom Madam?
Actress Jana Kramer was very thoughtful on how she played Anna Gristina in Lifetime’s Soccer Mom Madam. She told KGET that she kept the focus on “the kids.” She did not feel the need to play Anna “exactly.”
“I wanted people to see that she was just doing the best she could.”
— Lifetime (@lifetimetv) May 30, 2021
When Can You Watch Lifetime’s Soccer Mom Madam?
Be sure to catch Soccer Mom Madam on Sunday, June 6, at 8 p.m. Eastern, on the Lifetime Channel. This is part of the Summer of Secrets series.
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