Is ‘Girl in the Closet’ on Lifetime Based on a True Story? Saturday night on Lifetime is “ripped from the headlines” night, and Girl in the Closet is this week’s movie that will grab your attention and open your eyes. Tami Roman and Remy Ma play sisters in the movie who are very different and have very different ideas about how to raise children. Remy Ma plays a mother who has an aneurysm and gives her daughter Cameron to her sister Roman while she heals. Cameron then finds out the horrible truth about her aunt: Aunt Mia keeps people locked up in the basement while she sits back and cashes their benefit checks.
The story sounds too crazy to be true, but that’s true of almost every story that Lifetime turns into a movie. They aren’t just taking boring stories out of the news. What about Girl in the Closet, though? How real is it? What story did it come from?
Is ‘Girl in the Closet’ on Lifetime Based on a True Story?
No, Girl in the Closet is not based on a true story all the way through. Like 12 Desperate Hours, which came out a few weeks ago, Girl in the Closet seems to be based on the real-life story of a girl who was called “the girl in the closet” by the media.
Instead of 10-year-old Cameron who goes to live with her sadistic aunt, the real girl in the closet was 8-year-old Lauren Kavanaugh. Barbara Atkinson, Lauren’s mother, initially wanted to give Lauren up for adoption. In fact, Lauren lived with her adoptive parents for eight months before Atkinson moved to get custody back. Since Lauren’s adoptive parents hadn’t signed a very important document, Lauren was given to Atkinson and her husband Kenneth.
Lauren was locked in a closet for six years, where she lived in her own filth. Her parents only let her out when they wanted to hurt her physically or sexually. And when Lauren’s parents weren’t abusing her, they would give her to paedophiles to use. When the police heard that the Atkinson family was hurting their daughter, they stepped in. They found an 8-year-old boy who was severely malnourished and had been abused. Doctors said the boy had stopped growing around the age of two. When Lauren was found in June 2001, she was called “the girl in the closet.”
A few similarities exist between The Girl in the Closet and Lauren’s story. Both Lauren and Cameron were taken from good homes and given to people who would hurt them. Even though they didn’t keep prisoners in their home, the Atkinsons did have five other children who were all neglected and abused in different ways.