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Clare Bronfman, Heir to Seagram Liquor Fortune, Arrested in NXIVM Sex Cult Case

Illustration for article titled Clare Bronfman, Heir to Seagram Liquor Fortune, Arrested in NXIVM Sex Cult Case
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According to the Guardian, Clare Bronfman, daughter of the late billionaire Edgar Bronfman Sr. and an heir to the Seagram liquor fortune, was arrested Tuesday in Brooklyn, where she and three others have been charged with racketeering conspiracy related to the “self-improvement company”/thinly veiled pyramid scheme/cult NXIVM lead by Keith Raniere.

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NXIVM co-founder and longtime president Nancy Salzman, her daughter, Lauren Salzman, and a NXIVM employee named Kathy Russell have also been taken into custody.

From the Guardian:

Bronfman has long been affiliated with Nxivm, and prosecutors have said she used part of her fortune to finance its activities.

At an earlier bail hearing for Raniere, prosecutors told a judge that they worried Bronfman, who owns a private island in Fiji, would finance his escape if she were released.

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The women are expected to be arraigned later this afternoon.

NXIVM first made headlines in October last year when the New York Times published a report detailing a secret sex cult sub-sect of the organization called DOS (shorthand for the Latin phrase Dominus Obsequious Sororium, or “lord over the obedient female companions,”) where Raniere, with the help of Smallville actor Allison Mack, recruited women “slaves,” and branded their flesh near the pelvis with his initials.

Both Raniere and Mack were arrested earlier this year. Raniere was denied bail and is currently being held in Brooklyn; Mack was released on house arrest and $5 million bail.

Senior Writer, Jezebel. My debut book, LARGER THAN LIFE: A History of Boy Bands, is out now.

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DISCUSSION

thetallblonde

does anyone else ever wonder if, had you come across a cult leader / recruiter, that you’d fall victim to them? like i like to think i’m level-headed and can see through bullshit, but i also know how vulnerable i’ve been through certain stages of my life — and i dunno, maybe they could’ve sold me on their stuff during one of those low points. they prey on people’s weaknesses, i think, and i’ve certainly been weak at times.

maybe this is a weird thing to think about yourself, but i’m just really glad i’ve never come across one of these people, because who knows if i’m as strong as i think i am.