One life to live soccer mom madam collage

ABC courtesy of the Everett Collection; Lifetime

“I started freaking out as an actor!” 

When soap fans think about housewives and hookers, they can’t help but conjure up images of One Life to Live‘s Karen tearfully confessing that she’d been turning tricks while her hubby was off at work.

While Karen’s case was entirely fictional, Lifetime this weekend rolls out Soccer Mom Madam — debuting Sunday, June 6, at 8/7c —  a ripped-from-the-headlines tale in which a woman left with no money and no means of support following a bitter breakup builds a life for her children and herself by taking a job working in a massage parlor known for… er… putting a smile on the face of their clients.

Despite having never graduated from high school, Anna (played by One Tree Hill’s Jana Kramer) turns out to have a head for business (and, as Melanie Griffith’s Working Girl famously said, “a bod for sin.”). Before long, she’s built a high-end New York escort service… all while raising her kids and leading a seemingly “normal” life in the suburb of Westchester.

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“I was fortunate to talk to [Anna Gristina], the woman that this movie is about,” Kramer says. “I started freaking out as an actor. I’m like, ‘What if I don’t live up to who she is and how she actually had her mannerisms.’ [Executive producer] Orly [Adelson] reminded me that yes, it’s based on a true story, but to bring my story into it, and I think that the marriage of both of those worked really well.”

As happened with Llanviews Karen, Anna’s two worlds inevitably collide, with her ultimately being arrested by the FBI.

For Kramer, newly a single mom herself since filing for divorce this April after a six-year marriage to Washington Redskins tight end Mike Caussin, it was important that people understood that Anna was doing the best she could and there wasn’t anything “wrong” with her because she was a madam.

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“My biggest challenge was making sure that I kept her focus on the kids, and it was hard because you see in the story that she gets a little bit lost,” Kramer reflects. “But [it was important to] bring it back to the heart of why she worked so hard. She was just doing the best that she could to support her kids. It may not be doing what you like but she had to do what she had to do.”

Now that we’ve got you thinking about housewives and hookers, why not check out the below gallery in which we explore the sometimes tawdry history of One Life to Live where, ironically, people more often than not were living double lives!