Heiress pleads guilty in NXIVM sex slave case

The District Court for the Eastern District of New York on Febr. 7 2019 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City

The District Court for the Eastern District of New York on Febr. 7 2019 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City

Clare Bronfman, an heiress of the Seagram's liquor empire, arrives at the Brooklyn Federal Courthouse to face charges regarding sex trafficking and racketeering related to the Nxivm cult case in NY.

The guilty plea on two counts - conspiracy to hide and harbor illegal aliens for financial gain and fraudulent use of identification - allows Bronfman's to avoid a trial in the case set to open May 7.

Keith Raniere, 58, the founder of the purported self-help group Nxivm who has already been charged with sex trafficking and forced labor conspiracy, now stands alone as a defendant in a case.

An heiress pleaded guilty on Friday in a sensational case accusing a cult-like upstate NY group of creating a secret harem of sex slaves for the group's self-anointed spiritual leader. Her sentencing hearing is set to take place July 25.

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Bronfman - the 40-year-old daughter of the late billionaire philanthropist and former Seagram chairman Edgar Bronfman Sr. - told the judge that she had wanted to help people through NXIVM but ended up dishonoring her family. Prosecutors say some of the women were branded with his initials as part of their initiation.

Documentary Films is now in production on a documentary series exploring the NXIVM sex cult case, which implicated former "Smallville" actress Allison Mack among others.

She added: "For this, I am truly sorry". It's unclear what charges she will be pleading guilty to. Along with alleged cult leader Keith Raniere, prosecutors say Mack recruited women to a upstate NY mentorship group NXIVM that turned them into sex slaves.

Mack is best known for her role as a young Superman's close friend on the series "Smallville". Her sentencing was set for September 11. Defense attorneys have insisted any relationship between Raniere and the alleged victims, including an unidentified actress and other women expected to testify against him at trial, was consensual.

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