*An heir to the Seagram’s liquor fortune has been sentenced to a little over six years in prison for her role in the NXIVM sex-cult.
Clare Bronfman, 41, is accused of using her fortune to silence victims of the group’s leader, Keith Raniere.
NXIVM is a self-described personal and professional development program, which Bronfman first joined in 2003 to help her find purpose in her overly privileged life. She ultimately moved up to the group’s executive board, while female members were allegedly coerced into sexual slavery.
Several women testified how they obeyed their “masters,” and were pressured to have sex with Raniere. They were even branded with his initials as well as those of Raniere’s puppet, “Smallville” actress Allison Mack.
“Do you think the person who’s being branded should be completely nude and sort of held to the table like a, sort of almost like a sacrifice,” Raniere said in a recording that was played during his trail over the summer.
Seagram liquor heiress Clare Bronfman could be sentenced to as long as 5 years in prison on Wednesday.
Prosecutors say Bronfman’s millions funded the self-help company Nxivm — which they call a criminal enterprise — as well as its founder Keith Raniere. https://t.co/wWZNn258QM
— CNN (@CNN) September 29, 2020
Here’s more from Complex:
During a hearing on Wednesday, nine victims discussed how Bronfman devastated their lives, with some describing how the heiress continually sued them and even had local prosecutors file criminal charges against them. Several of the women urged Bronfman to condemn the group’s leader, Keith Raniere after she previously told a judge that she still believed in him.
Last June, Raniere was convicted of racketeering, sex trafficking, fraud, and other crimes. Prior to his trial, Bronfman and four other higher-ups pleaded guilty, including recruiter and former Smallville actress Allison Mack.
Bronfman, who reportedly spent at least $116 million on the organization, pled guilty to two charges in connection to identity theft and immigration fraud.
Raniere, accused of recruiting women to be his sexual partners, is facing multiple charges, including racketeering, sex trafficking, sexual exploitation of a child and human trafficking. He has pleaded not guilty to all charges, CNN reports.
Mack, a co-defendant in the case, pleaded guilty to racketeering charges before the start of the trial.
HBO is currently airing a documentary about the NXIVM cult titled “The Vow.”