Disgraced ‘Smallville’ actress Allison Mack first got involved in the infamous cult Nxivm because she thought co-founder Keith Raniere could help her ‘become a great actress again’, she spilled.
Mack, 40, who is serving a three-year sentence after pleading guilty to manipulating women to become sex slaves for Raniere, made the revelation in a newly unearthed interview with reporter Vanessa Grigoriadis.
He is currently being held at a Tucson, Arizona, jail where he was recently knocked out by a fellow inmate and put into a cell smeared with human feces, according to Daily Mail.
Mack in her revelation said:
‘I moved to Albany (Nxivm headquarters) to fill that emptiness and find the soul of myself again, if that makes sense, as it had fizzled,’ she explained in a 2017 interview with Vanessa Grigoriadis, which was unearthed Monday in the journalist and Gabriel Sherman’s new podcast.
‘I asked Keith if he would help me become a great actress again because I felt like I was a fraud.’
In 1998, Raniere, 62, and Nancy Salzman, 68, founded Nxivm, a personal development company that offered ‘Executive Success Programs’ and a range of techniques promising self-improvement with an emphasis on bringing ‘more joy’ into people’s lives.
The group made headlines after garnering support from Clare and Sara Bronfman, daughters of the late philanthropist and Seagrams heir Edgar Bronfman Sr.
However, the company ran into serious trouble when former members came forward claiming they had been indoctrinated into a twisted sex-slave cult, where women were branded with Raniere’s initials and forced to have sex with him.
In early clips of the podcast episodes obtained by Page Six, Mack maintained her innocence and claimed to have discussed the allegations of sex trafficking with Raniere, who founded Nxivm in 1998.
Mack also noted that she had been confronted by friends at the time of her involvement with Nxivm.
‘You’re brainwashed, you’re sick,’ she said friends told her. ‘I just was like walking with myself and I was going like, “Am I crazy?”
“Am I one of these awful people that you read about that does horrible things and thinks that she’s doing things for God?” I had a lot of conversations with myself like that,’ she added.
‘Ultimately, I just sat down and I like looked at my life and I looked at my relationships and I looked at all of the things I had written, journals that I had kept — things that I had done over the last few years. And it was so consistently good,’ Mack said.
Despite standing by Raniere and Nxivm in 2017, Mack eventually turned on the cult leader after his indictment, providing key recordings and other evidence for the case against him.
Along with the interview with Mack, the podcast, which drops episodes on the Nxivm scandal on Thursday, also includes segments with Raniere.
During her sentencing last year, Mack denounced Raniere and apologized to her victims, saying: ‘I made choices I will forever regret.
‘I’m filled with remorse and guilt. I renounced Keith Raniere and all of his teachings. From the deepest part of my soul, I am sorry.’
Mack, who was once part of Raniere’s inner circle, had given them a recording of a conversation she had with Raniere about the branding, which was used to bolster their case against him.
She had also provided information to prosecutors about how he encouraged ‘the use of demeaning and derogatory language, including racial slurs, to humiliate “slaves.”
Former members testified at Raniere’s trial that he established a secret sorority within Nxivm in about 2015 in which women were kept on starvation diets, branded with his initials and, in some cases, ordered to have sex with him.
Leaders of the group who were known as ‘slave masters’, including Mack, were said to use nude photos and other compromising materials to blackmail members into complying.
Raniere was convicted in 2019 on charges that included sex trafficking, forced labor conspiracy, human trafficking and multiple counts of racketeering, including sexual exploitation of a child, possession of child pornography, extortion and identity theft.