Smallville actress Allison Mack, 35, on the heels of a guilty plea in the so-called NXIVM sex cult case, may take the stand and testify against alleged cult leader Keith Raniere, 53.
Mack allegedly recruited several women to be slaves in the organization where they were allegedly forced to have sex with Raniere and perform labor under threat of extortion. Victims were allegedly branded, sexually abused, and tortured. Mack recently admitted to receiving “labor and services” from two alleged female slaves she oversaw on Raniere’s behalf. Additionally, Mack admitted to engaging in a conspiracy to commit the above federal crime. What she didn’t plead guilty to were the sex trafficking and sex trafficking conspiracy charges in the indictment.
The actress may next play a crucial role at Raniere’s trial.
The possibility was raised on Monday at jury selection, when Raniere’s defense attorney acknowledged that Raniere “used abortions cavalierly” as part of his “desire to have sex with lots of women.”
Marc Agnifilo said the case involves “dozens” of abortions. He also added, “I think that person might testify.”
“That person” is Mack.
Raniere founded the organization as a “self-improvement group,” but that group now finds itself at the center of a sex trafficking and racketeering conspiracy investigation. Seagram’s heiress Clare Bronfman, bookkeeper Kathy Russell, Mack, NXIVM co-founder Nancy Salzman, and her daughter Lauren Salzman have all pleaded guilty, leaving Raniere on an island.
Several former members of NXIVM, which publicly fashioned itself as a female empowerment program, came forward with allegations that included sexual initiation rituals and being forcibly branded with both Raniere’s and Mack’s initials while part of the latter’s “slave pod.”
“As alleged in the indictment, Allison Mack recruited women to join what was purported to be a female mentorship group that was, in fact, created and led by Keith Raniere,” said U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York Richard P. Donoghue in a press release announcing the actress’ charges. “The victims were then exploited, both sexually and for their labor, to the defendants’ benefit.
Raniere is charged with sex trafficking, forced labor conspiracy, and possession of child pornography. Federal prosecutors alleged that he had a “sexual relationship” with a 15-year-old girl and that she shared images with Raniere that “constitut[ed] child pornography.”
An HBO documentary on the lurid story is in the works.
[Images via YouTube/Keith Raniere Conversations screengrab]
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