An unearthed interview with Allison Mack is making headlines as the Smallville star talked more about why she joined NXIVM. In 2021, Mack was sentenced to three years in prison for her role in Keith Raniere's criminal organization that's been dubbed a "sex cult."
Journalist Vanessa Grigoriadis spoke with Mack and Raniere in 2017, weeks before he was indicted for sex-trafficking, racketeering and other crimes. On her new podcast Infamous: Inside America's Biggest Scandals, Grigoriadis plays the interviews for the first time which were conducted at NXIVM's secret hideout in Mexico.
"I moved to Albany to fill that emptiness and find the soul of myself again, if that makes sense, as it had fizzled," Mack says in an excerpt obtained by Page Six. (NXIVM's headquarters was there in New York.) "I asked Keith if he would help me become a great actress again because I felt like I was a fraud."
Raniere co-founded NXIVM in 1998 and touted the organization as a self-improvement group. It attracted a number of famous and wealthy members, like Mack. The actress rose in the ranks and became one of Raniere's closest confidants, recruiting women to join the cultlike group. Within NXIVM was a secret sorority composed of "slaves" and "masters." Mack enlisted some of the "slaves" to engage in sexual acts with Raniere, according to statements from some of the women. Victims were branded with Mack and Raniere's initials. In the 2017 interview, Mack denied any wrongdoing and told Grigoriadis that Raniere was "not the head of a harem."
"I'm not recruiting young, nubile women to be his sex slaves," Mack said. "You know, it's The Crucible, it's the McCarthy trials, it's just like, throwing accusations and spreading like wildfire."
Mack admitted friends were concerned that she was "brainwashed" and involved in a cult.
"I'm like, 'Talk to me for a few minutes. Let me tell you what we're doing,'" the Honey We Shrunk Ourselves star continued.
"I just was like walking with myself and I was going like, 'Am I crazy? Am I one of these awful people that you read about that does horrible things and thinks that she’s doing things for God?' I had a lot of conversations with myself like that," Mack added.
"Ultimately, I just sat down and I like looked at my life and I looked at my relationships and I looked at all of the things I had written, journals that I had kept — things that I had done over the last few years. And it was so consistently good," she explained.
Mack ultimately took responsibility for her role in NXIVM's illegal operation. In 2019, she pleaded guilty to racketeering conspiracy and racketeering as part of a deal with prosecutors.
"I am so sorry," Mack wrote in a letter ahead of sentencing. "I threw myself into the teachings of Keith Raniere with everything I had. I believed, whole-heartedly, that his mentorship was leading me to a better, more enlightened version of myself. I devoted my loyalty, my resources, and, ultimately, my life to him. This was the biggest mistake and greatest regret of my life."
Mack apologized to "those of you that I brought into NXIVM."
"I am sorry I ever exposed you to the nefarious and emotionally abusive schemes of a twisted man. I am sorry that I encouraged you to use your resources to participate in something that was ultimately so ugly," she continued. "I do not take lightly the responsibility I have in the lives of those I love and I feel a heavy weight of guilt for having misused your trust, leading you down a negative path. I am sorry to those of you whom I spoke to in a harsh or hurtful way. At the time, I believed I was helping. I believed in tough love and thought it was the path to personal empowerment. I was so confused. I never want to be someone who is considered mean, but those aspects of my humanity have been revealed in all of this; it has been devastating to reconcile."
Mack added, "I have experienced overwhelming shame as I have worked to accept and understand all that went on and all that I chose."
The actress also apologized to family and friends who tried "to show me the truth about NXIVM and Keith, but I didn't listen."
"The list of those harmed by the collateral damage of my destructive choices continues to grow as I become more and more aware of how my choices have affected those around me. I am grateful that I have made it through this process alive and that I was stopped when I was," she concluded. "Please know that I am dedicated to spending my life working to mend the hearts I broke and continuing to transform myself into a more loving and compassionate woman."
Mack faced a maximum of 40 years in prison, 20 years on each count, but was only given three as she helped prosecutors with their case against Raniere. He was sentenced to 120 years behind bars, which an appeals court just upheld.
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