Following on the heels of other celebrity inmates in recent years, former Smallville actress Allison Mack will be doing her jail time in the East Bay following her conviction in the creepy NXIVM sex cult case.
As viewers of the 2020 HBO documentary series The Vow know, Mack was an instrumental figure in NXIVM, the Albany, New York-based sex cult masquerading as a self-improvement organization led by charismatic leader Keith Raniere. Raniere was convicted in 2019 of five charges including sex trafficking, sexual exploitation of a child and possession of child pornography, identity theft, forced labor conspiracy, and racketeering conspiracy. And Mack was his right-hand woman throughout much of NXIVM's transformation from an EST-like organization with "Executive Success Workshops" to the recruiting arm for his secret sex cult, called D.O.S. or The Vow.
As TMZ reported, Mack struck a plea deal and was sentenced in June to three years in federal prison. She had been facing up to 40 years on counts of racketeering conspiracy and racketeering.
Mack has possibly been living in the Bay Area in the last year, as Bay Area News Group reports, and was at least attending virtual classes at UC Berkeley last summer and fall. VICE reported on several undergraduate women at Berkeley who were upset to learn about Mack's history after The Vow premiered, after realizing they had shared classes with her in which they divulged personal traumas and stories about themselves. Mack, ironically, was reportedly enrolled in classes called "The History and Practice of Human Rights," and "Black Feminist Healing Arts."
Mack surrendered herself Monday at the Dublin Federal Correctional Institute — the same prison that housed celebrity college admission scandal figures Lori Loughlin and Felicity Huffman. Loughlin spent two months at the facility last year, beginning in November, and Huffman only served 10 days of a 14-day sentence back in October 2019.
As TMZ notes, Mack showed up to serve sentence two weeks earlier than she was due to begin it on September 29.
Mack was found by a judge to be complicit in Raniere's scheme to recruit and enslave young women, convincing them that through their commitment to having sex with Raniere — and being branded with his and Mack's initials — they could "fix" or improve themselves. The secret group, which was unknown to many members of the larger NXIVM organization, became like a pyramid scheme in which the enslaved women would become masters themselves, and recruit and enslave others.
Mack was on the run with Raniere and in hiding in Puerto Vallarta when Raniere was arrested in March 2018. She was later extradited herself.
When she pleaded guilty in 2019, Mack reportedly sobbed and said, "I must take full responsibility for my conduct. I am very sorry for my role in this case. I am very sorry to my family and to the good people I hurt through my misguided adherence to Keith Raniere’s teachings."
At her sentencing she said, "I made choices I will forever regret." And to the victims of Raniere, she said, "From the deepest part of my heart and soul, I am sorry."
Previously, Seagram heiress Clare Bronfman was also convicted in connection with NXIVM and sentenced to 81 months in prison. Nancy Salzman, who co-founded the NXIVM organization with Raniere in 1998 and was widely seen by those in the group as Raniere's "enabler," pleaded guilty to one count of racketeering conspiracy and is still awaiting sentencing.
If you're curious, the New York Times has a timeline of events in the NXIVM case.
Top image: Actress Allison Mack exits the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York following a status conference, June 12, 2018 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)