What to expect as ‘Smallville’ actress faces judge in NXIVM case

Allison Mack, known for Smallville, will be sentenced June 30 for her role in the cult NXIVM. (Photo: REUTERS/Brendan McDermid)

Allison Mack, who starred in TV’s Smallville for a decade, is set to be sentenced Wednesday for her role in the NXIVM sex cult.

Mack, who has been out on $5 million bail and under house arrest, will appear in person in federal court in Brooklyn at 11 a.m. ET in front of Judge Garaufis. 

Mack, 38, pleaded guilty in April 2019 to racketeering and racketeering conspiracy related to her high-level role in Keith Raniere‘s controversial, cult-like self-help group NXIVM, which claimed to provide inspirational executive coaching. Prosecutors accused her of recruiting sex slaves for Raniere via its subgroup, DOS (Dominus Obsequious Sororium), described as an all-female secret society of “masters” and “slaves” in which women were forced to be sexually subservient to Raniere

As directed by Raniere, Mack and other high-ranking DOS masters, recruits were made to engage in sex acts with Raniere, be photographed nude, perform labor and follow an extreme diet. They were also branded like cattle with a symbol that they later learned represented Raniere’s initials — an idea Mack came up with.

According to the prosecution’s sentencing memo, Mack — who initially pleaded not guilty but flipped — “provided substantial assistance to the government,” so they are seeking a sentence “below” the standard range of 168 to 210 months (14 to 17.5 years). 

Prosecutors stated that Mack provided details regarding crimes committed by Raniere and other top DOS masters. She also turned over relevant emails, documents and recordings to the government, including one recording that “served as crucial evidence” in Raniere’s trial. Raniere is serving life in prison on multiple crimes, including sex trafficking, extortion, sexual content featuring children and forced labor for running the cult.

Mack’s attorneys are requesting that she spend no time in prison as she’s already “on a promising path of rehabilitation.” They say in the three years in which she’s been under court supervision, she’s “turned completely around from depravity and trauma to peace, acceptance and remorse.” She reunited with her supportive family, is undergoing therapy and is focused on bettering her education (she earned an associate’s degree, with a 4.0 average, and is now working toward a bachelor’s at University of California, Berkeley). She also filed for divorce from Battlestar Galactica actress Nicki Clyne, “whom she married at Raniere’s request” in another “incompressible lack of judgement.”

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The defense’s sentencing memo notes, “The Allison Mack of today does not recognize the Allison Mack of three years ago.”

Mack, who’s best known for her years-long role as a young Superman’s friend, Chloe Sullivan, on the WB’s Smallville, has a number of letters supporting her request for no jail time — and she wrote her own, addressed “to those who have been harmed by my actions.” 

In it, she expressed regret for her actions and said being under house arrest gave her the “opportunity” to “confront the darkest parts of myself and come to terms with the pain my actions have inflicted on so many people I love.” She said it’s “now of paramount importance” to tell her victims that “from the bottom of my heart, I am so sorry. I threw myself into the teachings of [Raniere] with everything I had. I believed, whole-heartedly, that his mentorship was leading me to a better, more enlightened version of myself. I devoted my loyalty, my resources, and, ultimately, my life to him. This was the biggest mistake and greatest regret of my life.”

Allison Mack, in 2017, spent 10 years playing Chloe Sullivan on the WB’s Smallville. (Photo: Todd Williamson/Getty Images for Amazon Studios)

She apologized to those she recruited into NXIVM, writing, “I am sorry I ever exposed you to the nefarious and emotionally abusive schemes of a twisted man.” She said at the time she thought she “was helping” women. She thanked “the court, my family, my therapist and a few amazing friends” for helping her come out on the other side.

Mack ended by writing, “Please know that I am dedicated to spending my life working to mend the hearts I broke and continuing to transform myself into a more loving and compassionate woman. Thank you for taking the time to read this letter. I hope it offers at least a little bit of peace and closure as this horrific chapter comes to an end.”

Raniere founded NXIVM, which was based in upstate New York, in 1998 — and its expensive self-empowerment courses were a lure to Hollywood actors, socialites and entrepreneurs. Clare Bronfman, an heiress to the Seagram liquor fortune, was a high-ranking associate like Mack and was also indicted on racketeering conspiracy and related crimes. Mack’s Smallville co-star Kristin Kreuk took a “self-help/personal growth course that helped me handle my previous shyness” but said “the accusations that I was in the ‘inner circle’ or recruited women as ‘sex slaves’ are blatantly false.”

India Oxenberg, the daughter of Dynasty alum Catherine Oxenberg, was in the cult and claimed Raniere starved her to look like a 12-year-old and “raped” her. India, who described herself as “a branded, brainwashed sex slave,” said she was “afraid” of “master Mack.

This cult has been the topic of films, including docuseries The Vow and Seduced: Inside the NXIVM Cult. The podcast Uncover also dedicated a season to NXIVM.

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