Allison Mack, who played Chloe Sullivan in Smallville, has been arrested for her involvement in an alleged sex cult that abused women.
Allison Mack has pleaded ‘not guilty’ to sex trafficking, after being accused of helping recruit women for Keith Raniere, the leader of an alleged cult called Nxivm.
According to multiple reports, the cult – which was disguised as a mentoring group – saw female members forced to have sex with Raniere and held down as his initials were branded below their hips using a cauterising pen.
Prosecutors have alleged that Smallville’s Mack was a “top member” of the society – and that she herself was one of those who put her hands on the women’s chests, telling them to “feel the pain” and to “think of [their] master” during the ‘branding’ process.
“Ms Mack was one of the top members of a highly organised scheme which was designed to provide sex to [Raniere],” assistant US attorney Moira Penza said in court, according to The Guardian.
“Under the guise of female empowerment, she starved women until they fit her co-defendant’s sexual feminine ideal.”
Nxivm has the features of a pyramid scheme, according to prosecutors, in which members pay “thousands of dollars” for courses to rise within its ranks.
“Mack directly or implicitly required her slaves… to engage in sexual activity with Raniere,” the statement from the attorney’s office claims.
“In exchange for this, Mack received financial and other benefits.”
Responding to these claims, Nxvim has released a statement on its official website, which reads: “In response to the allegations against our founder, Keith Raniere, we are currently working with the authorities to demonstrate his innocence and true character. We strongly believe the justice system will prevail in bringing the truth to light.
It said it was “saddened” by reports and added: “It is during the times of greatest adversity that integrity, humanity and compassion are hardest, and needed most.”
The group, which claims to be “working to build a better world” claims it is “a community guided by humanitarian principles that seek to empower people and answer important questions about what it means to be human”.
Mack has been denied bail, but has been told that it may be granted later if she could offer “significant property”: she is scheduled for a second hearing today (23 April).
If found guilty, both she and Raniere – who has been charged with sex trafficking and is being held without bail – face at least 15 years in prison.