TV actress Allison Mack learns fate over key role in US sex cult known as NXIVM, which kept slaves and branded women

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Smallville TV show actress Allison Mack has been sentenced to three years in prison for her role in NXIVM, a New York-based cult in which women were branded with its leader’s initials and ordered to have sex with him.

Mack, 38, was sentenced by US District Judge Nicholas Garaufis in Brooklyn, on Wednesday after pleading guilty in 2019 to racketeering and conspiracy. She is expected to begin serving her sentence on September 29.

Before being sentenced, Mack tearfully apologised to her victims and her family, saying her actions while in the group were “abusive, abhorrent and illegal”.

She said she had completely renounced NXIVM leader Keith Raniere, who was sentenced to 120 years in prison last year for sex trafficking and other crimes.

“Coming out from under this delusion has been the most difficult experience of my life,” Mack said.

Actress Allison Mack leaves court after a bail hearing in 2018. Credit: Jemal Countess/Getty Images

Former NXIVM members testified at Raniere’s trial that he established a secret sorority within the organisation in which “slaves” pledged total obedience to “masters,” with Raniere at the top as “grand master”.

Women were kept on starvation diets, branded with Raniere’s initials and in some cases coerced into sex with him.

Leaders of the group were said to use nude photos and other compromising materials to keep lower-ranking members in line.

In this Tuesday, May 7, 2019 file courtroom drawing, defendant Keith Raniere, leader of the secretive group NXIVM, sits with his attorneys.
In this Tuesday, May 7, 2019 file courtroom drawing, defendant Keith Raniere, leader of the secretive group NXIVM, sits with his attorneys. Credit: Elizabeth Williams/AP
The exterior of the NXIVM Executive Success Programs office at 455 New Karner Road in Albany, New York.
The exterior of the NXIVM Executive Success Programs office at 455 New Karner Road in Albany, New York. Credit: Amy Luke/Getty Images

Mack, who was both a “slave” of Raniere and “master” of other women, admitted in her guilty plea that she coerced two women into doing unpaid work by threatening to release damaging information about them.

Garaufis said Mack had been an “essential accomplice” in Raniere’s “monstrous crimes”, but agreed with prosecutors that she deserved credit for co-operating against Raniere, warranting a sentence much lower than the 14 years called for by federal guidelines.

Smallville, a television series that ran from 2001 to 2011, featured a young Clark Kent before he became famous as Superman. Mack played Chloe Sullivan, his close friend.

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