Allison Mack of Smallville Pleads Guilty in Nxivm Sex Trafficking Case
Smallville actress Allison Mack has pleaded guilty to charges related to her involvement with a controversial self-help group described as having a secret society of “masters” and sexually subservient “slaves” within it, PEOPLE confirms. A spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Eastern District of New York tells PEOPLE that Mack was scheduled to appear in court at 11:30 a.m. to plead guilty. The spokesman says she is pleading guilty to racketeering conspiracy and racketeering.
Prosecutors have accused her of recruiting sex slaves for Keith Raniere, who co-founded the controversial self-help group Nxivm and its subgroup, DOS, described as an all-female secret society in which women allegedly were forced to be sexually subservient to Raniere.
On Monday, Mack, 36, appeared in U.S. District Court in Brooklyn, where jury selection in her trial was set to begin.
Best known for her years-long role as a young Superman’s friend, Chloe Sullivan, on The WB’s Smallville, Mack was charged last spring with sex trafficking, sex trafficking conspiracy, and forced labor conspiracy.
One of the group’s most prominent members, Mack faces a minimum sentence of 15 years in prison if convicted on all charges.
“The news of Allison Mack’s guilty plea comes as a full measure of satisfaction and relief,” actress Catherine Oxenberg, whose daughter India Oxenberg was also famously involved with Nxivm, said in a statement to PEOPLE. “Nobody else’s children will be targeted, subverted an preyed upon by this manipulative and corrupt criminal enterprise. Allison has finally woken up but at what a cost. This woman had the world at her fingertips and now instead she faces incarceration.”
Last month a judge denied a request by Mack’s lawyer to delay her trial so he could have more time to negotiate a plea deal for his high-profile client, local station CBS New York reports.
The actress was among six people accused of sex trafficking, forced labor, racketeering, wire fraud and other charges for their roles in Nxivm, which operated out of Albany but suspended operations last spring.
It has been described by at least one former member as a “cult.”
Federal investigators have accused Mack of recruiting women into DOS, which was purported to be a female mentorship group to address members’ weaknesses but was, allegedly, a group created by Raniere that took advantage of women sexually.
“The victims were then exploited, both sexually and for their labor, to the defendants’ benefit,” Richard P. Donoghue, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, alleged in a statement issued at the time of Mack’s arrest, referring to both Mack and Raniere.
“Slaves” in the alleged operation described Mack as “incredibly intimidating, cruel and punitive,” a source close to two former DOS members told The Hollywood Reporter in a cover story published last May.