Abducted by My Teacher: The Elizabeth Thomas Story, starring Michael Fishman and Summer Howell, premieres Aug 12 on Lifetime! – TRAILER

abducted by my teacher lifetime

Lifetime Movie Network ‘s new true crime movie “Abducted by My Teacher: The Elizabeth Thomas Story”, is all set to premiere on the channel on Saturday, August 12, 2023 at 8/7c as part of the network’s  “Ripped from the Headlines” August programming.. Let’s take a first look!


Only 15 years old at the time, Thomas was first abducted by her mentor-turned-abuser Tad Cummins in 2017, before the two spent 39 days on the run as they traveled 1900 miles from her hometown of Culleoka, Tennessee, to a remote cabin in Northern California. 

After the two made headlines across the country, the two were found, with Cummins arrested and eventually pleading guilty to charges related to transporting a minor across state lines with intent to engage in criminal sexual activities and obstruction of justice.

Her perpetrator was sentenced to 20 years in prison in 2019, with Thomas telling the court at the time “the effects have been devastating and permanent, and they are not over.”  

Elizabeth Smart on How ‘Abducted by My Teacher’ Will Help Other Survivors


It’s been more than six years since Elizabeth Thomas was abducted at 15 by her Tennessee school teacher and held captive for 39 traumatizing days by the 50-year-old married man. In the years since, Thomas, now 22, has done her best to put the painful experience behind her by setting out to live a normal life. She got engaged in 2018 and then married her longtime friend, Skylar Dirla, the following year in a secret ceremony.

Fast forward to now, Thomas is not only ready to tell her story by way of a Lifetime movie, she’s absolutely looking forward to watching the Elizabeth Smart-produced film, Abducted by My Teacher: The Elizabeth Thomas Story, because — in an oddly satisfying way — making the movie has been part of her healing process and, soon, it’ll provide closure after all these years.

“It has,” Thomas tells ET in a joint interview with Smart when asked if putting the film together has been part of her healing process. “It’s given me a little bit of closure, actually. And being able to know that this is no longer happening in my life and being able to look back, you know, knowing that this made me stronger.”

Thomas, who met her now-husband while working at a seafood restaurant, says life for her now is at a slower pace, much of which she enjoys with Dirla. And it’s that precise lifestyle that’s also prevented her from watching the film in full.

“It’s kind of hard to sit there and watch it. I haven’t watched the film,” she says. “I have to do it in sections. That way I don’t disrupt my everyday life. You know, I’m still healing.”

And life now’s “fairly quiet,” she says.

“Which is how I like it,” Thomas adds. “We just are homebodies. We like watching movies and just being with each other and enjoying each other’s company. He’s a goofy guy that I just can’t get annoyed. I love him so much.”


Averie Peters as Lily Thomas

Michael Fishman as Tad Cummins

Summer H. Howell as Elizabeth Thomas

Adam Hurtig as Myron Allen

Paul Essiembre as Brett

Lisa Marie DiGiacinto as Detective Rogers

Abducted by My Teacher: The Elizabeth Thomas Story, which is directed by Shawn Linden and written by Kristine Huntley, is executive produced by Smart as well as Joseph Freed and Allison Berkley of Marwar Junction Productions and Howard Braunstein. The film is also produced by Juliette Hagopian of ET MB Films Inc. 



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Source: ET Online / The Wrap

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