Vice.com reports on the Bronfman sisters, Clare and Sara, who for years have funded “silencing” lawsuits against Nxivm and sex-slaver Keith Raniere’s adversaries. Raniere was arrested pursuant to a federal complaint wherein he is alleged to have committed sex trafficking and forced labor. He is currently in pretrial custody.
In the case of Raniere’s 20-year-old company Nxivm, which was first accused of being “cult-like” way back in 2003, many of us have been left with a nagging question: how come it took so long for all this dark stuff to come to light? Sure, the branding and blackmail came relatively late in the timeline, but based on US prosecutor statements and reporting by the Albany Times Union, Raniere was allegedly abusing young women and girls long before the FBI came after him. (The allegations against Raniere have yet to be tested in court.)
Part of the reason Raniere’s alleged abuses have stayed under the radar so long is his company’s history of aggressive lawsuits ex-members say were used to silence and intimidate whistleblowers. Over 15 years, the company launched countless legal fights in Canada and the US for everything from breach of confidentiality agreements and defamation to criminal mischief, hacking, and extortion.
Many of those lawsuits have been made possible thanks to two of Nxivm’s wealthiest and highest-ranking members, Clare and Sara Bronfman. As heiresses to the (Canadian) Seagram’s whisky fortune, the sisters have funneled “untold millions” into what one ex-member facing legal action called a “litigation machine.”
Read the complete story here.
The FBI in the Eastern District of New York alleges that in addition to being Raniere’s chief financial backer, the Clare Bronfman and Raniere “orchestrated” sending threatening “cease and desist” letters to Sara Edmondson, while posing as a Mexican attorney.