Newstalk
Newstalk

12.14 21 Apr 2018


Share this article


An award-winning US actress, best known for her role in hit Superman TV series 'Smallville' has appeared in court charged with recruiting women for an alleged sex cult.

Allison Mack, who won multiple Teen Choice Awards for starring in the popular show, was arrested on Friday on charges of sex trafficking, sex trafficking conspiracy and forced labour conspiracy.

The 35-year-old - who more recently performed a voice role in the Amazon animated series 'Lost in Oz' - is accused of involvement with a New York-based organisation called Nxivm, which publicises itself as a "self-help group".

But its founder Keith Raniere, who was arrested and charged with sex trafficking and forced labour last month, is alleged to have blackmailed women who joined into becoming sex slaves and branded their skin with his initials.

Prosecutors say he had a "rotating group of 15 to 20 women with whom he maintains sexual relationships", with Mack said to have lured in many of his victims through an internal programme called The Source, which targeted actors to become his "slaves".

In this courtroom sketch Keith Raniere (second from right), leader of the secretive group NXIVM, attends a court hearing in the Brooklyn borough of New York | Image: Elizabeth Williams/AP/Press Association Images

She is accused of forcing the women to have sex with Raniere and to take compromising photos of themselves.

Mack was arrested by the FBI after being accused by two women of directing them to engage in sexual activity with Raniere (57) who allegedly gave Mack money and other benefits in return.

Authorities have said she acted as Raniere's own "slave".

FBI assistant director-in-charge, William F Sweeney, said: "As this pyramid scheme continues to unravel, we ask anyone who might have been a victim to reach out to us with information that may further our investigation."

Nxivm has also released a statement on its website following the arrests, saying that it would work to prove its founder's "innocence and true character".

"We strongly believe the justice system will prevail in bringing the truth to light," it added.

Mack appeared at a court in Brooklyn on Friday, but another hearing has been scheduled for Monday.

She and Raniere deny the charges against them. If convicted, they face between 15 years and life in prison.


Share this article


Read more about

News

Most Popular

Live: Title

Now playing

00:00:00 / 00:00:00
Added to queue
Removed from queue

On Air

Share

Share


Up next

Episode title
Show
Duration

You currently have no podcasts in your queue.

Go to podcasts

On Air

TEAM 33

TEAM 33

23:00-00:00

Share

Up next

BEST OF NEWSTALK

BEST OF NEWSTALK

00:00-07:00

Share

TEAM 33

TEAM 33

07:00-08:00

Share

BEST OF BREAKFAST BUSINESS

BEST OF BREAKFAST BUSINESS

08:00-08:30

Share

BEST OF THE PAT KENNY SHOW

BEST OF THE PAT KENNY SHOW

08:30-09:30

Share

YOU COULDN'T MAKE IT UP

YOU COULDN'T MAKE IT UP

09:30-10:00

Share

DOWN TO BUSINESS

DOWN TO BUSINESS

10:00-12:00

Share

FUTUREPROOF

FUTUREPROOF

12:00-13:00

Share

OFF THE BALL

OFF THE BALL

13:00-18:00

Share

THE PICTURE SHOW

THE PICTURE SHOW

18:00-19:00

Share

TED RADIO HOUR

TED RADIO HOUR

19:00-20:00

Share

The Peter Casey Report

The Peter Casey Report

20:00-21:00

Share

DOCUMENTARY AND DRAMA ON NEWST...

DOCUMENTARY AND DRAMA ON NEWSTALK

21:00-22:00

Share

YOU COULDN'T MAKE IT UP.

YOU COULDN'T MAKE IT UP.

22:00-22:30

Share

THE HARD SHOULDER

THE HARD SHOULDER

22:30-23:30

Share

FUTUREPROOF

FUTUREPROOF

23:30-00:00

Share

00:00:00 / 00:00:00

Share on