Warner Music Group CEO Stephen Cooper — the sixth most powerful man in the music business, according to Billboard — was once involved in the notorious Nxivm organization, since revealed to be a sex-slave cult.
Nxivm ran professional development Executive Success Programs until it was exposed as a cult.
Cooper, now 72, was acting CEO of Enron in 2003, when he was reportedly listed as a Nxivm program attendee along with Sheila Johnson, co-founder of Black Entertainment Television; Antonia C. Novello, former US surgeon general; and Ana Cristina Fox, daughter of Vicente Fox, president of Mexico at that time.
Leader Keith Raniere, a k a Vanguard, was arrested earlier this year and charged with sex trafficking young women who were branded like cattle with his initials.
A Warner Music source said Cooper’s turnaround company Zolfo Cooper had one meeting with Nxivm about 20 years ago.
“This was well before any of the alarming accusations and, after this one meeting, Zolfo Cooper had no further contact with the firm,” the source said.
But Warner Music’s ties to Nxivm are much deeper. Edgar Bronfman Jr. owned Warner Music when he agreed to judge a Nxivm-sponsored “a cappella” singing competition in 2007, according to a source.
“The real goal was to recruit college students into the cult,” said Frank Parlato, Nxivm’s former publicist who has spent years exposing its dark side.
Bronfman’s half sisters Clare and Sara are said to have supported the cult with more than $150 million of the family’s Seagram’s fortune.
Clare — arrested in July and charged with money laundering — was released on $100 million bond and placed on house arrest with an ankle monitor.
Parlato expects Raniere and Bronfman and their four co-defendants to be re-charged with a superseding indictment that will push their trials to late 2019.
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