Catherine Oxenberg Says 'the World Is a Safer Place' After Nxivm Leader Keith Raniere Is Sentenced

"Tragically, he abused and exploited my own beloved daughter and countless others," the actress tells PEOPLE

Catherine Oxenberg and Keith Raniere
Catherine Oxenberg and Keith Raniere. Photo: NBC/youtube

Dynasty actress Catherine Oxenberg is speaking out after Nxivm cult founder Keith Raniere was sentenced to 120 years in prison.

His sentencing in a Brooklyn federal courtroom Tuesday, came two years after authorities took Raniere into custody in Mexico — and many years after Nxivm became the subject of scrutiny from both law enforcement and journalists after coming under fire from Oxenberg whose daughter, India, became deeply involved with the cult for several years.

Speaking to PEOPLE, Catherine, 59, says the sentence "is a victory on so many levels."

"Tragically, he abused and exploited my own beloved daughter and countless others. My faith in the justice system is renewed," she tells PEOPLE.

“Keith can no longer use his power, privilege and access to unlimited wealth to silence and abuse his victims. He has been held accountable for his crimes. I am so grateful to the court, the many branches of government who helped take him down, especially EDNY [US District Court, Eastern District of NY] and FBI. The world is a safer place with Keith Raniere behind bars for the next 120 years.”

Her daughter India also spoke out after Raniere's sentencing.

"I am surrounded by exceptional women and men who all worked so hard to take this person down," India said in a statement Tuesday.

"My family, friends and I are incredibly validated by the verdict. Thank you to the judge and the justice system for exposing this, giving all of our lives back and making us feel safe again."

Catherine Oxenberg and daughter India Oxenberg
India Oxenberg. Phylicia J. L. Munn

As he was sentenced Tuesday, Raniere questioned the victims' stories of abuse.

"They’re lying for a reason and that reason stems from me," Raniere said in court Tuesday according to the New York Post.

Raniere also said he was innocent of all the charges but told the court he was “deeply remorseful,” the Albany Times-Union, reports.

“I am truly sorry,” he said. “It’s still painful.”

Catherine reacted to his statement on Twitter, writing: “Only a monster would discredit his victims.. remorseful for what? himself?”

“Typical sociopath,” she tweeted.

US District Judge Nicholas Garaufis also addressed Raniere's attacks on the victims while reading out the sentence.

"Despite everything that has happened and despite the countless victims who have given voice to their great pain, Mr. Raniere remains unmoved," the judge said according to CNN.

"Indeed, he maintains his innocence," Garaufis said. "To him, the brave victims who have spoken out about the abuse suffered at his hands — including those who spoke today — are liars."

Raniere was found guilty of federal sex trafficking, extortion, obstruction, and racketeering charges back in June 2019.

Catherine Oxenberg and daughter India Oxenberg
India Oxenberg and her mother, Catherine Oxenberg. Phylicia J. L. Munn

At his trial, prosecutors described Nxivm as a sexual pyramid scheme involving sex slaves, with Raniere at the top. The group had long marketed itself as a group that empowers people and helps them manage emotional trauma, but prosecutors argued it had a darker side, built on coercion and manipulation, and called it a "sex cult."

Investigators said that Raniere, who was known as "Vanguard" to his followers, occupied the top of a pyramid called DOS, with tiers of female "slaves," each of whom could become a "master" to slaves beneath them.

Prosecutors said DOS members were held down and branded with Raniere's initials just below their bikini lines.

Allison Mack. Jemal Countess/Getty

Watch the full episode ofCatherine and India Oxenberg: Surviving NXIVM streaming now on, or download the PeopleTV app on your favorite device.

Before joining, women in DOS were forced to turn over "collateral" — identified as potentially-damaging personal information or materials, such as nude photographs, with which they later could be blackmailed. The women victimized by Raniere believed their "collateral" would be released if they did not engage in sexual activity with him.

Authorities have said Smallville actress Allison Mack was Raniere's top lieutenant in Nxivm.

RELATED VIDEO: Catherine & India Oxenberg — Surviving NXIVM

Want to keep up with the latest crime coverage? Sign up forPEOPLE’s free True Crime newsletter for breaking crime news, ongoing trial coverage and details of intriguing unsolved cases.

Last year, Mack, 38, pleaded guilty to racketeering conspiracy and racketeering charges. She, too, will be sentenced soon, but a date has not been set.

NXIVM and the criminal cases of Raniere and Mack have served as the focus of two new documentary series: HBO's The Vow (already renewed for a second season) and the Starz series Seduced: Inside the NXIVM Cult.

If you or someone you know has been a victim of sexual abuse, text "STRENGTH" to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 to be connected to a certified crisis counselor.

Updated by Liz McNeil
Related Articles