“Smallville” actress Allison Mack was arrested Friday on charges that she allegedly aided self-help guru Keith Raniere in running a secret society that enslaved women and branded them with his initials, including some members of the Bronfman family of Jewish philanthropists.
Mack, 35, has been charged with sex trafficking and conspiracy, according to the office of U.S. Attorney Richard Donoghue in Brooklyn. She is expected to appear in Brooklyn federal court Friday afternoon.
U.S. authorities have accused Mack of recruiting women to join what purported to be a female mentorship group but was actually a secret society led by Raniere. Prosecutors said recruits were forced to have sex with Raniere and were branded with his initials.
Two members of the Bronfmann family are among Raniere’s adherents.
Raniere was arrested in March. Prosecutors said he coerced women by threatening to release personal information and taking their assets.
Raniere, 57, has run a network of self-help groups based in Albany, New York called Nxivm over the past 20 years.
The women in his secret society, who numbered as many as 50, were forced to adhere to strict diet to stay thin, prosecutors have said.
Upon joining, they were required to provide information about family and friends, nude photographs and rights to their assets - so-called collateral used to threaten them if they left, prosecutors said.
The women were taught that the society would empower and strengthen them, according to prosecutors.
Mack helped force the women to have sex with Raniere and received financial and other benefits from Raniere in exchange, prosecutors said.**
This story "‘Smallville’ Actress Charged With Helping Sex Cult That Included Bronfmans" was written by Reuters.