Smallville star Allison Mack pleaded guilty on Monday to charges surrounding her involvement in a sex slave cult that masqueraded as a self-help group called NXIVM. The 36-year-old actress admitted her crimes and apologized to women she had manipulated. She admitted to being a sex slave master.
“I believed Keith Raniere’s intentions were to help people and I was wrong,” Mack said in a Brooklyn federal court as she pleaded guilty to racketeering charges, the Associated Press reported. Raniere ran the NXIVM sex cult, and Mack confessed to helping manipulate women to become his sex slaves.
The actress’s sentencing is set for September 11.
The guilty plea means Mack will avoid going to trial with Raniere and two women in NXIVM’s inner circle, Clare Bronfman and Kathy Russell. All have pleaded not guilty. Opening statements are scheduled for April 29. Raniere also faces charges of producing and possessing child porn.
Court papers accuse Raniere and his inner circle of forming a secret society of women branded with Raniere’s initials and forced to have sex with him. Defense attorneys insisted that any relationship between the cult leader and the women was consensual.
Mack said that at the cult leader’s instruction, she obtained compromising information and images of two unidentified women that she threatened to make public if they did not have sex with Raniere.
The actress had previously pleaded not guilty to charges of sex trafficking, sex trafficking conspiracy, racketeering, racketeering conspiracy, forced labor conspiracy, and wire fraud conspiracy, Yahoo News reported. If convicted of those charges, she would have faced life in prison. It appears she worked out a deal with prosecutors to avoid these heftier charges.
Her plea change also comes after NXIVM co-founder Nancy Salzman and her daughter Lauren Salzman pleaded guilty to racketeering and conspiracy charges. Lauren Salzman admitted to holding a woman against her will for two years, threatening to deport her back to Mexico if “she did not complete labor requested by [her] and others.”
Prosecutors believe Mack was a member of NXIVM’s secret sorority called DOS, short for Dominos Obsequious Sororium or Master Over Slave Women. She allegedly helped recruit sex slaves.
Follow Tyler O’Neil, the author of this article, on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.