Seagram’s liquor heiress Clare Bronfman wept in court docket Friday as members of the family signed on to pay her whopping $100 million bond, so she will keep out of jail whereas awaiting trial for her position in an upstate sex-slave cult.
Wearing a black long-sleeved shirt and saggy slacks, a blubbering Bronfman, 39, wiped tears from beneath her glasses as Brooklyn federal court docket Choose Nicholas Garaufis reminded her mother and brother in legislation that they’re there to maintain her sincere.
“I believe she is aware of the duty as properly,” mentioned Basit Igtet, a Libyan entrepreneur who’s married to Bronfman’s sister, Sara.
“She appreciates what now we have taken on for her.”
Bronfman was arrested Tuesday for allegedly serving to Nxivm cult chief Keith Raniere by stealing the e-mail passwords of his “perceived enemies,” racking up expenses on his lifeless ex-girlfriend’s bank card, committing id theft and laundering cash.
Garaufis set the sky-hail bond — and ordered Bronfman to be saved on house detention with an ankle monitor — after prosecutors argued the rich scion is value roughly $200 million, owns an island in Fiji and has entry to a non-public jet.
Her sister Sara — a former religious Nxivm member herself — was speculated to co-sign the bond, however couldn’t journey on brief discover from her house in France as a result of she’s nursing a brand new baby, so Igtet got here as a substitute, protection legal professional Susan Necheles mentioned.
“Their relationship has been strained however he’s married to Miss Bronfman’s sister and is dedicated to her,” mentioned Necheles.
Igtet at one level gave his sister-in-law’s shoulder a supportive squeeze, whereas mother Georgiana Havers — a socialite who lives in England and is now married to actor Nigel Havers — sat subsequent to Bronfman earlier than the listening to started.
The bond doubtless gained’t be finalized for a number of weeks, nevertheless, as a result of prosecutors mentioned they nonetheless solely have a hazy image of Bronfman’s full funds.
“We’ve data indicating there are two main trusts that had been restructured in April 2018, we don’t know what number of trusts had been there earlier than and we don’t know what occurred to all of that cash,” mentioned Assistant US Legal professional Karin Orenstein.
That angered Necheles, who fumed that her consumer has no “secret account.”
“There’s been no allegation right here ever that cash ended up in a secret account for Clare Bronfman,” she mentioned. “There by no means has been any secret account.”
Three different high-ranking Nxivm members — co-founder Nancy Salzman, her daughter Lauren Salzman and Kathy Russell, its longtime bookkeeper — had been additionally arrested on racketeering expenses this week.
Lauren Salman and Russell and are scheduled to be arraigned in Brooklyn afterward Friday.
The arrests are a part of an ongoing federal investigation into Raniere and his right-hand lady, former ”Smallville” star Allison Mack.
Raniere and Mack are charged with intercourse trafficking and conspiracy for allegedly coercing girls into becoming a member of a secretive master-slave group inside Nxivm — the place “slaves” had been pressured to pleasure Raniere, have his initials completely branded onto their pores and skin and carry out free labor.
Bronfman, who used her household fortune to bankroll the cult — sinking a reported $150 million into it since becoming a member of 15 years in the past — says she was not a part of the slave group, however has defended it as a innocent “sorority.”
She faces as much as 20 years behind bars, and has pleaded not responsible to her expenses.
This text initially appeared on Web page Six.