Smallville actress Allison Mack has arrived in court where she faces up to 17.5 years after pleading guilty to blackmailing two women as part of NXIVM, a New York-based cult whose leader was convicted of sex trafficking and sentenced to 120 years in prison.
The New York Post reports that Mack, 38, has asked US District Judge Nicholas Garaufis in Brooklyn to spare her prison time and instead sentence her to home confinement or probation.
“She cannot undo what has been done, and she will have to live with the regret for the rest of her life,” Mack’s lawyers said in a court filing last week. “But Ms Mack still holds the potential to be valuable to society – as a family member, as a friend, as a helper to those in need and as a cautionary tale.”
Seagram liquor company heiress Clare Bronfman, who was accused of using more than $100 million of her $2.6 billion estimated net worth to fund the group
It’s almost unbelievable even by TV drama standards.
Mack won legions of young fans over the years playing Chloe Sullivan, the clever girl-next-door sidekick to a young Clark Kent, in the hit series Smallville.
Then the fresh-faced Teen Choice Award winner was introduced to the supposed self-help group NXIVM and its sadistic leader, Keith Raniere — transforming her from hardworking television star to sex-cult recruiter.
Mack was one of Raniere’s top slave “masters” who branded women with his initials, starved and blackmailed them and groomed them for sex with him.
How Mack went from star to federal indictment has baffled even those who knew her.
“It’s like someone telling you that your brother murdered someone,” former Smallville actor Michael Rosenbaum told the podcast This Past Weekend after Mack had been arrested for her crimes in 2018.
“You’re like, ‘No he didn’t,’ ” Rosenbaum said. “[Mack] was just a great girl, great actress. … Ultimately, inadvertently, she got into something that was bigger than her.”
But Mack explained it to a judge this way: Like any good cult member, she was simply trying to belong to something bigger.
“I joined NXIVM first to find purpose,” the sobbing actress said at her plea hearing in April 2019. “I was lost, and I wanted to find a place, a community in which I would feel comfortable.”
Before her tumble into darkness, Mack had seemed to fill that personal void with her craft, which she had honed since childhood.
Born in Germany and raised in Long Beach, California, Mack appeared in print and commercial ads starting at age 4 and began studying at the Young Actors Space in Los Angeles by 7, according to her IMDB page.
She was 14 when she landed work as a guest star on 7th Heaven and after that, with several other TV shows before joining the cast of Smallville in 2001 at age 18.
It was on the set of the Superman series where Mack made a connection that would alter her life forever.
She bonded with co-star Kristin Kreuk, who in 2006 brought her to a Vancouver hotel for a meeting with a NXIVM-linked group, the New York Times reported. Kreuk has since said she had no idea about the organisation’s dark activities, much less took part in them.
At the meeting, Raniere’s right-hand woman, Nancy Salzman, took an interest in Mack and was soon offering to fly her to meet the guru in Albany, NY.
Mack became engrossed in the reputed women’s empowerment group over the next few years, isolating herself from friends and eventually moving to Brooklyn when Smallville ended in 2011.
She bought a home in upstate New York’s Clifton Park, a hub for NXIVM and its members, who flocked there to be closer to “Vanguard,” as Raniere called himself.
Mack tried using her on-screen cachet to lure big-name female stars into the group.
Around 2016, she tweeted Harry Potter star Emma Watson and singing sensation Kelly Clarkson to talk about an “amazing women’s movement” that she thought they might be interested in. The ruse didn’t work.
But Mack was able to attract some aspiring actresses — who ended up testifying on horrific acts she helped commit as part of the sex cult Raniere established inside NXIVM.
One of the victims, identified by prosecutors only as Nicole, was abused while visiting Mack in Clifton Park.
“Raniere blindfolded Nicole, led her into a car and drove her to a house,” the feds wrote in a recent sentencing memorandum in Mack’s case.
“Raniere then led Nicole, still blindfolded, through some trees and inside a building, where he ordered her to undress and tied her to a table.
“Another person in the room, unknown to Nicole, began performing oral sex on Nicole.”
Other tales that came out at trial and in a documentary about the sex cult included Raniere measuring Mack’s daily calories to keep her stick-thin — and her doing likewise to DOS members such as India Oxenberg, the daughter of TV Dynasty star and real-life royalty Catherine Oxenberg.
As a “master” in the DOS group, Mack was accused of telling a “slave” who had been molested as a child that the best way to “heal” herself was to have sex with Raniere.
“And I give you permission to enjoy it,” she said.
Mack also once allegedly boasted that the branding of DOS’s “slaves” was her idea — suggesting that tattoos would have been wimpy.
Mack, who married Battlestar Galactica TV actress Nicki Clyne in 2017 before filing for divorce in December, had sex with Raniere, as did Clyne, Salzman testified in court.
Mack was reportedly with Raniere when he was busted in the resort town of Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, in the spring of 2018.
The cult leader landed 120 years behind bars when he was sentenced for his heinous crimes in October.
As for Mack, while she faces a third of that sentence, federal sentencing guidelines suggest she get 14 to 17.5 years, and prosecutors are asking for even less, noting what they have called her behind-the-scenes co-operation in the case involving Raniere and his other cohorts.
This article originally appeared in the New York Post and is republished here with permission
Originally published as Star turned sex cult ‘master’ faces court