Seagram’s liquor heiress Clare Bronfman pleaded responsible on Friday in a extensively publicized case accusing a cult-like upstate New York group of making a secret harem of intercourse slaves for the group’s self-anointed non secular chief.
Donning a beige shirt and blue pants, together with a blue and white scarf, Bronfman, 40, admitted in her plea in federal courtroom in Brooklyn that she harbored somebody who was dwelling within the U.S. illegally for unpaid “labor and companies” and that she dedicated bank card fraud on behalf of Keith Raniere, the non secular chief of the group NXIVM.
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The daughter of the late billionaire philanthropist and former Seagram chairman Edgar Bronfman Sr. — advised the decide that she had needed to assist folks by means of NXIVM however ended up dishonoring her household.
“Your honor, I used to be afforded a fantastic reward by my grandfather and father,” Bronfman stated. “With the reward, comes immense privilege and extra importantly, super duty. It doesn’t include a capability to interrupt the legislation.”
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She added: “For this, I’m really sorry.”
As a part of a plea settlement, Bronfman agreed to forfeit $6 million along with paying restitution to unnamed victims. She faces as much as 27 months in jail at her sentencing scheduled for July 25.
Final week, former “Smallville” actress Allison Mack pleaded responsible in the identical Brooklyn federal courtroom to racketeering prices in relation to the cultlike group. Mack entered her plea shortly earlier than jury choice was scheduled to start out.
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The plea means Bronfman and Mack will keep away from going to trial early subsequent month with Raniere, who’s going through conspiracy prices alleging that his interior circle of loyalists created a secret society of girls who had been compelled to have undesirable intercourse with him. Prosecutors say a number of the ladies had been branded together with his initials as a part of their initiation.
In response to prosecutors, Bronfman had lengthy been affiliated with NXIVM — making a gift of tens of thousands and thousands of of her fortune to bankroll Raniere and his program of intense self-improvement lessons. She additionally paid for legal professionals to defend the group in opposition to a lawsuit introduced by its critics.
Fox Information’ Tyler McCarthy and the Related Press contributed to this report.