TV actress Allison Mack pleaded guilty Monday to charges she was involved in a scheme to turn women into sex slaves for the spiritual leader of a cult-like upstate NY group, a development that came on the same day jury selection began for a federal trial in the case. Prosecutors charge that she developed a women's empowerment program called "Explorations of Meaning" that was used to manipulate cult members.
In April 2018, Mack was arrested by the Federal Bureau of Investigation for her then-alleged involvement in NXIVM. "I have come to the conclusion that I must take full responsibility for my conduct and that's why I am pleading guilty today", Mack said in court, according to the New York Post.
Nancy Salzman told Judge Nicohlas G. Garaufis of Federal District Court in Brooklyn that she altered recordings "to remove sections we did not want to turn over".
Mack was among six people arrested a year ago over their roles in Nxivm, including Raniere and Seagram's liquor heiress Claire Bronfman, who helped fund the organisation with her vast fortune.
A contrite-sounding Mack admitted Monday that she was "wrong".
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Fighting back tears in court, Mack said she had joined the organization, led by Raniere, a decade ago to find objective in life.
Mack arrived at the Brooklyn courthouse on April 8 for her 11:30am hearing dressed in a beige sweater, black slacks, and leopard-print shoes. The group heavily attracted women, including a number of high-profile actresses like Mack, her Smallville co-star Kristen Kreuk, and Battlestar Galactica's Nicki Clyne. When Mexican authorities arrested Raniere, Mack was seen running after him, and a report from the Daily Mail indicated she got in a high-speed auto chase with local police.
Mack entered her plea as jury selection was about to begin in the trial of her co-accused, Keith Raniere, the founder of NXIVM, a self-improvement organization that prosecutors have likened to a pyramid scheme.
Raniere, Seagram's liquor heiress Claire Bronfman and Nxivm accountant Kathy Russell also are facing charges in the case.
Jury selection is expected to begin Monday in the sex-trafficking case against an upstate NY self-help group. All have pleaded not guilty and denied any wrongdoing.
Raniere's trial is scheduled later this month.