Clare Bronfman, Seagram’s Liquor Heiress, Sentenced To 81 Months In Prison For NXIVM Sex Cult Crimes
Clare Bronfman, the Seagram’s liquor heiress, is set to be sentenced today after pleading guilty to numerous cult-related crimes. As a leader of the cult NXIVM, Bronfman harbored an illegal alien for forced “labor and services” and committed identification and credit card fraud.
This isn’t Bronfman’s first run-in with the law for her involvement with NXIVM. In 2018, she pleaded not guilty for several charges of human trafficking, money laundering and identity theft, and was released on house arrest with a $100 million bond.
Bronfman’s first charges came a year after leader Sarah Edmondson revealed the cult’s “secret sisterhood.” The sisterhood involved female members, referred to as “slaves,” getting branded and abused by their “masters,” providing nudes and personal information to the cult as “collateral,” and being forced to commit sexual acts with founder Keith Raniere, who they called “Vanguard.” Bronfman tried to file charges against Edmonson and other whistleblowers after women contacted her about getting their “collateral” returned and destroyed.
Bronfman already agreed to forfeit $6 million from her fortune. Her lawyers are hoping she will recieve three year’s probation instead of prison time, citing medical issues which will make her more susceptible to COVID-19 in prison and her lack of direct involvement as reasons to offer her leniency. Nonetheless, her prosecuters are fighting for a sentence of at least 5 years, arguing that Bronfman’s support and immense privelege made Raniere’s crimes possible and using her complete lack of remorse as defense.
Bronfman wrote in a letter to the court that, despite regretting the involvement she had in harming the cult’s victims, “NXIVM and Keith greatly changed [her] life for the better.”