Home U.S NXIVM: Clare Bronfman asks for early release due to liver disorder

NXIVM: Clare Bronfman asks for early release due to liver disorder


Seagram heiress Clare Bronfman has asked for an early prison release after she was sentenced to almost seven years behind bars last month.

Bronfman, 42, is accused of using her $210million family fortune to bankroll the NXIVM cult led by disgraced founder Keith Raniere.

She pleaded guilty last year to charges she committed credit card fraud on behalf of Raniere and to knowingly harboring a Mexican woman brought to the US on a fake work visa in order to obtain that woman’s labor for herself.

Attorney Ron Sullivan Jr wrote that Bronfman has a liver disorder that would put her at high risk if she contracts coronavirus in prison in a motion filed in Brooklyn federal court Thursday. 

Seagram heiress Clare Bronfman has asked for an early prison release because of a liver disorder making her vulnerable to coronavirus after she was sentenced to almost seven years behind bars last month

Seagram heiress Clare Bronfman has asked for an early prison release because of a liver disorder making her vulnerable to coronavirus after she was sentenced to almost seven years behind bars last month

Sullivan argued Bronfman would likely be given a reduction to her 81-month sentence or no jail time after an appeal.

The filing argued she did not pose a flight risk despite her significant foreign ties, including ownership of a private Fijian island and family in England and France.

Bronfman was sentenced by Judge Nicholas G Garaufis to longer than the five years federal prosecutors recommended on September 30.

He argued convicted sex-trafficker Keith Raniere, would not have been able to operate his secret sex-slave cult that branded women with his initials and forced them into bed with him without her.

Bronfman, 42, is accused of using her family fortune to bankroll the NXIVM cult led by disgraced founder Keith Raniere (pictured). The group branded women with his initials and forced them into bed with him

Bronfman, 42, is accused of using her family fortune to bankroll the NXIVM cult led by disgraced founder Keith Raniere (pictured). The group branded women with his initials and forced them into bed with him

In addition to prison time, Bronfman was also told to pay a $500,000 fine and $96,605 in restitution to the Mexican woman she recruited.

Raniere, the disgraced leader of the self-improvement group in upstate New York, was convicted last year for his crimes and is scheduled to be sentenced later this month. 

His adherents included Bronfman, actress Allison Mack of TV’s Smallville.

Bronfman’s lawyers previously asked the judge to give her three years’ probation instead of prison time but prosecutors had argued she deserved at least five years behind bars. 

Bronfman arrived at court wearing a mask on September 30 ahead of her sentencing hearing

Bronfman arrived at court wearing a mask on September 30 ahead of her sentencing hearing

Bronfman watched on silently on September 30 as nine women gave victim impact statements before her sentence was handed down and described how their lives had been destroyed by her and NXIVM.  

One former member had said she watched Bronfman mentally descend over the years into a ‘dangerous megalomaniac’.

Another slammed her as a predator, saying: ‘You should feel shame, self loathing… You should understand there are lives you destroyed’.

‘I pray that you will take the claws of Keith Raniere out of you, and you will learn who Clare Bronfman really is.’ 

Prosecutors say the secret society was comprised of brainwashed female 'slaves' who were branded with Raniere's initials

Prosecutors say the secret society was comprised of brainwashed female ‘slaves’ who were branded with Raniere’s initials

Prosecutors say Bronfman recruited individuals into NXIVM-affiliated organizations and then sought to obtain visas or other immigration status for them based on false promises. 

In regards to Jane Doe 12, Bronfman submitted documents to secure a work visa that would see the Mexican woman paid $3,600 per month. 

Prosecutors say, however, that Bronfman only paid the woman about $4,000 over a year-long period for her work.

In a letter to the court just last month, Bronfman wrote that she ‘never meant to hurt anyone, however I have and for this I am deeply sorry’. 

Lauren Salzman

Nancy Salzman

Smallville actress Allison Mack, the group’s bookkeeper Kathy Russell, NXIVM co-founder Nancy Salzman and her daughter Lauren Salzman have also been charged (Pictured clockwise)

Still, she said that she couldn’t disavow Raniere, who is due to be sentenced next month, because ‘NXIVM and Keith greatly changed my life for the better’.

During Raniere’s trial last year, prosecutors told jurors that NXIVM operated like a cult. 

To honor Raniere, the group formed a secret sorority called DOS that was comprised of brainwashed female ‘slaves’ who were branded with his initials and forced to have sex with him, prosecutors said. 

Bronfman denied being a member of the secret women’s sorority but prosecutors argued that Raniere and NXIVM wouldn’t have been so powerful without her financial support.   

She has long been affiliated with NXIVM and gave away tens of million of dollars to bankroll Raniere and his program of intense self-improvement classes. 

She also paid for lawyers to defend the group against lawsuits brought by its critics.

THE NXIVM MEMBERS CHARGED IN SEX CULT CASE 

 Clare Bronfman

Charges: Racketeering conspiracy, conspiracy to commit identity theft

Plea: Guilty (plea deal)

Sentence: 81 months in prison and $500,000 fine

Keith Raniere 

Charges: Racketeering conspiracy, forced labor conspiracy, wire fraud conspiracy, sex trafficking conspiracy, sex trafficking, attempted sex trafficking, conspiracy to commit identity theft.

Plea: Not Guilty

Verdict: Guilty, all counts

Allison Mack

Charges: Racketeering conspiracy, forced labor conspiracy, wire fraud conspiracy, sex trafficking conspiracy, sex trafficking, attempted sex trafficking

Plea: Guilty (plea deal)

Kathy Russell

Charges: Racketeering conspiracy

Plea: Guilty (plea deal)

Lauren Salzman

Charges: Racketeering conspiracy, forced labor conspiracy, wire fraud conspiracy

Plea: Guilty (plea deal)

Nancy Salzman

Charges: Racketeering conspiracy

Plea: Guilty

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