Actress admits manipulating women into becoming sex slaves for 'cult' leader

TV actress Allison Mack has pleaded guilty to charges that she manipulated women into becoming sex slaves for a cult-like group's spiritual leader.

Mack, 36, wept as she admitted her crimes and apologised to the women who prosecutors say were exploited by Keith Raniere and the purported self-help group called NXIVM, based in upstate New York.

26 PHOTOS
Allison Mack
See Gallery
Allison Mack
Allison Mack during 'The Ant Bully' Los Angeles Premiere - Arrivals at Grauman's Chinese Theater in Hollywood, California, United States. (Photo by Jason Merritt/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 12: Actress Allison Mack arrives at the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York for a status conference, June 12, 2018 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. Mack was charged in April with sex trafficking for her involvement with a self-help organization for women that forced members into sexual acts with their leader. The group, called Nxivm, was led by founder Keith Raniere, who was arrested in March on sex-trafficking charges. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 04: Actress Allison Mack arrives at the United States Eastern District Court for a bail hearing in relation to the sex trafficking charges filed against her on May 4, 2018 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. The actress known for her role on 'Smallville' is charged with sex trafficking. Along with alleged cult leader Keith Raniere, prosecutors say Mack recruited women to an upstate New york mentorship group NXIVM that turned them into sex slaves. (Photo by Jemal Countess/Getty Images)
BROOKLYN, NY - MAY 04: Actress Allison Mack arrives at the United States Eastern District Court after a bail hearing in relation to the sex trafficking charges filed against her on May 4, 2018 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. The actress known for her role on 'Smallville' is charged with sex trafficking. Along with alleged cult leader Keith Raniere, prosecutors say Mack recruited women to a upstate New york mentorship group NXIVM that turned them into sex slaves. (Photo by Jemal Countess/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 24: Actress Allison Mack leaves U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York after a bail hearing, April 24, 2018 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. Mack was charged last Friday with sex trafficking for her involvement with a self-help organization for women that forced members into sexual acts with their leader. The group, called Nxivm, was led by founder Keith Raniere, who was arrested in March on sex-trafficking charges. She was released on bail at $5 million. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - AUGUST 01: Executive producer Mark Warshaw (L) and Allison Mack attend Amazon Studios' premiere for 'Lost In Oz' at NeueHouse Los Angeles on August 1, 2017 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Todd Williamson/Getty Images for Amazon Studios)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - AUGUST 01: Allison Mack attends Amazon Studios' premiere for 'Lost In Oz' at NeueHouse Los Angeles on August 1, 2017 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Todd Williamson/Getty Images for Amazon Studios)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - AUGUST 01: Ashley Boettcher (L) and Allison Mack attend Amazon Studios' premiere for 'Lost In Oz' at NeueHouse Los Angeles on August 1, 2017 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Todd Williamson/Getty Images for Amazon Studios)
ROSEMONT, IL - AUGUST 11: Actress Allison Mack attends Day 3 of Wizard World Chicago Comic Con 2013 held at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center on August 11, 2013 in Rosemont, Illinois. (Photo by Albert L. Ortega/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - JUNE 26: Actress Allison Mack attends the FX Summer Comedies Party held at Lure on June 26, 2012 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Mark Davis/Getty Images)
Actress Allison Mack attends Second Stage Theatre's All Star Bowling Classic fundraiser at Lucky Strike Lanes & Lounge on February 7, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Brian Killian/WireImage)
NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 22: Allison Mack attends the opening night of 'The Divine Sister' at the Soho Playhouse on September 22, 2010 in New York City. (Photo by John Lamparski/WireImage)
Allison Mack attends the 'Love, Loss, And What I Wore' new cast member celebration at 44 1/2 on July 29, 2010 in New York City.
SAN DIEGO - JULY 26: Actress Allison Mack attends the 'Smallville' panel on day 4 of the 2009 Comic-Con International Convention on July 26, 2009 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Chelsea Lauren/WireImage)
Allison Mack at the Grauman's Chinese Theatre in Hollywood, California (Photo by Gregg DeGuire/WireImage)
Allison Mack during 13th Jules Verne Film Festival - Allison Mack Photocall at Eiffel Tower in Paris, France. (Photo by Jean Baptiste Lacroix/WireImage)
Allison Mack during 13th Jules Verne Film Festival - Allison Mack Photocall at Eiffel Tower in Paris, France. (Photo by Jean Baptiste Lacroix/WireImage)
Allison Mack during 13th Jules Verne Film Festival - 'Smallville' Season IV Premiere at Rex Theatre in Paris, France. (Photo by Jean Baptiste Lacroix/WireImage)
Allison Mack during 13th Jules Verne Film Festival - 'Smallville' Season IV Premiere at Rex Theatre in Paris, France. (Photo by Jean Baptiste Lacroix/WireImage)
Allison Mack and Erica Durance (Photo by Jean Baptiste Lacroix/WireImage)
Allison Mack at the The Highlands in Hollywood, California (Photo by Jean-Paul Aussenard/WireImage)
Allison Mack during The 2002 Teen Choice Awards - Backstage Creations Talent Retreat - Day 1 at Universal Amphitheatre in Universal City, California, United States. (Photo by L. Cohen/WireImage)
Allison Mack at the Hello Kitty table of Backstage Creations Talent Retreat. (Photo by L. Cohen/WireImage)
Allison Mack during 'Stuart Little 2' Premiere at Mann Village Theatre in Westwood, California, United States. (Photo by SGranitz/WireImage)
Allison Mack (Photo by Gregg DeGuire/WireImage)
HOLLYWOOD - JULY 13: Actress Allison Mack attends the WB Network's 2002 Summer Party at the Renaissance Hollywood Hotel on July 13, 2002 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Robert Mora/Getty Images)
HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

"I believed Keith Raniere's intentions were to help people, and I was wrong," she told a judge in federal court in Brooklyn, New York City, as she pleaded guilty to racketeering.

Mack is best known for her role as a young Superman's close friend on the series Smallville.

Allison Mack leaves Brooklyn federal court
Allison Mack leaves Brooklyn federal court (Mark Lennihan/AP)

After months of reflection since her arrest, she said: "I know I can and will be a better person." Her sentencing was set for September 11.

The plea means Mack will avoid going to trial with Raniere, wealthy heiress Clare Bronfman and another member of Raniere's inner circle, Kathy Russell. All have pleaded not guilty and denied any wrongdoing.

Potential jurors were expected to begin filling out questionnaires on Monday. Opening statements are scheduled for April 29.

The question of who jurors would see seated at the defence table had remained an open after new allegations that Raniere exploited a teenage girl.

His co-defendants have since sought separate trials and engaged in plea negotiations.

Court papers allege NXIVM formed a secret society of women who were branded with Raniere's initials and forced to have sex with him.

Defence lawyers have insisted any relationship between Raniere and the alleged victims, including an unidentified actress and other women expected to give evidence against him at trial, was consensual.

On Monday, Mack said that at Raniere's direction, she obtained compromising information and images of two unidentified women – called "collateral" within the group – that she threatened to make public if they did not perform "so-called acts of love".

The jury questionnaire covers several topics, including candidates' opinions about "rich individuals" and people who "engage in relationships with multiple sexual partners" and whether they "believe that people under the age of 17 should be able to consent to sex with adults".

Read Full Story

FROM OUR PARTNERS