Seagram's heiress pleads guilty in sex cult case

Clare Bronfman faces 21-27 months in prison.

April 20, 2019 18:29
1 minute read.
Clare Bronfman, an heiress of the Seagram's liquor empire, arrives in a Brooklyn Federal Courthouse

Clare Bronfman, an heiress of the Seagram's liquor empire, arrives at the Brooklyn Federal Courthouse, for her trail regarding sex trafficking and racketeering related to the Nxivm cult in the Brooklyn borough of New York, U.S., January 9, 2019.. (photo credit: BRENDAN MCDERMID/REUTERS)


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Clare Bronfman, an heiress to the Seagram's liquor fortune, along with another woman named Kathy Russell, pleaded guilty in a case that involved an alleged pyramid scheme, racketeering, and sex trafficking, according to a report from CNN.

Bronfman confessed to conspiracy to harbor people who were in the US illegally, and to ID fraud. She faces 21-27 months in prison.
Both women were part of Nxivm (pronounced NEX-ium), a cult-like organization which, prosecutors allege, operated as a pyramid scheme that encouraged members to continue paying for classes from the organization, and to recruit more people to Nxivm's ranks.

Within Nxivm there was a group called DOS in which, allegedly, women were designated as "slaves," forced to obey their "masters" in the group, and were variously "branded" with a cauterized pen while naked, and forced into having sex with the leader of Nxivm, Keith Raniere.

Raniere is in federal custody and faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years in prison, and possibly life imprisonment, if convicted.

The other high-profile figure in the case is Allison Mack, an actress on the TV series "Smallville" for a 10-season run. She was allegedly close to Raniere in his organization's hierarchy, and forced her "slaves" to perform sex acts with him.

Mack also faces 15 years to life in prison if convicted.

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