More than 80 people have filed a lawsuit against Nxvim founder Keith Raniere and other adherents to the cult-like group, claiming they lured victims into forced labor and medical experiments.
Former Nxivm members Sarah Edmundson, Toni Natalie and Mark Vicente joined together with 80 people who are listed as Jane or John Does in the lawsuit filed late Tuesday in Brooklyn federal court.
They claim that Nxivm used psychological treatments that amounted to a “pseudo-scientific hodgepodge of psychotherapeutic methods.”
Treatments were sold as expensive self-improvement courses to “thousands of unsuspecting people” — and many lost a fortune and left traumatized in the process, the lawsuit charges.
“Nxivm preyed on earnest, intelligent people who wanted to better themselves and the world through what they thought to be a humanitarian undertaking of unprecedented scope,” Neil Glazer, a Philadelphia-based lawyer representing the plaintiffs, said in a written statement.
Some plaintiffs claim were recruited into DOS, a sex-slave ring that Raniere launched within the group. Females in DOS were forced to have sex with Raniere and have the Nxivm honcho’s initials branded on their skin.
Raniere was convicted in June in Brooklyn federal court of racketeering and sex trafficking and faces up to life in prison when he is sentenced — though his sentencing date was recently postponed indefinitely.
Among the defendants to the suit are members of the Nxivm “inner circle” who pleaded guilty to charges and await sentencing.
They are Seagram booze heiresses Claire and Sara Bronfman, Lauren Salzman, Nancy Salzman, bookkeeper Nancy Russell and “Smallville” TV actress Allison Mack.
The plaintiffs to the lawsuit say that they feel safe to come forward with their claims now that Raniere and other members have faced justice and await justice, their lawsuit states.
They also say they believe there remain “many victims witnesses hiding in the shadows, frightened at the prospect of seeing their lives further destroyed” if they decide to come forward.
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