The actress told the judge she had “remorse and guilt” for her actions, the AP reported.
Attorneys for Mack, 38, have not yet responded to The Washington Post’s request for comment.
Though the actress faced a maximum sentence of 40 years in prison, federal sentencing guidelines put it at closer to a range of 14 to 17½ years. Before Mack’s sentencing in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York, her attorneys requested no jail time for their client. They wrote in a memo issued days before that she recognized she had “committed grievous wrongs," according to the Hollywood Reporter.
The memo also noted that Mack had “publicly denounced” Keith Raniere, 60, the NXIVM leader sentenced in October to 120 years in prison for running the sex-trafficking ring. NXIVM (pronounced “nexium”) billed itself as a self-help organization but was also exposed as a pyramid scheme.
In a letter filed with the memo, Mack apologized to “those who have been harmed by my actions.” She wrote of Raniere, “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 regret of my life,” she added.
Though Mack did not testify against Raniere, federal prosecutors said she eventually worked with them and “provided the government with a recording that, at trial, served as crucial evidence of Raniere’s role in devising the branding ceremony.”
Mack, who must surrender for prison on Sept. 29, began acting as a child and rose to prominence playing Chloe Sullivan in the CW’s “Smallville,” the Superman origin series that premiered in 2001 and ran for 10 seasons. In 2006, she attended a NXIVM seminar in Vancouver alongside her co-star Kristin Kreuk, according to the New York Times. Though Kreuk left the group and later stated she had “never experienced any illegal or nefarious activity,” Mack stayed on and eventually became a high-ranking leader of an all-women subgroup called DOS. She was accused of recruiting “slaves” who had their pubic areas branded with Raniere’s initials.
In 2018, Mack was arrested and indicted on federal charges related to sex trafficking and conspiracy to commit forced labor. She and another of Raniere’s high-profile co-defendants, Seagram’s heiress Clare Bronfman, both pleaded guilty to the roles they played in enforcing his orders. Unlike Mack, however, Bronfman has stood by Raniere. Last fall, before receiving a sentence of nearly seven years in prison for fraud, Bronfman stated that Raniere and NXIVM “greatly changed my life for the better.”
NXIVM was the subject of an HBO docuseries called “The Vow” from filmmakers Jehane Noujaim and Karim Amer, the former of whom had once participated in a NXIVM program after being recruited by Bronfman’s sister, Sara, and another member named Mark Vicente. The filmmakers, who are married, realized something was off with NXIVM when Vicente and his wife, actress Bonnie Piesse, abruptly cut ties with the organization. Vicente and another former NXIVM member, actress Sarah Edmonson, appear in “The Vow” as they work to expose Raniere and his ongoing behavior.
The Washington Post’s Hank Stuever described “The Vow,” which premiered last August, as “chilling” and noted that, in an era of widespread deception and “political gaslighting,” it served as a reminder of how “skepticism can save your life.” The series was renewed for a second season, and HBO released a teaser trailer suggesting it would follow Raniere and other prominent NXIVM members to court.
Some of those who left NXIVM expressed their concerns over Mack receiving a lighter sentence because she cooperated with prosecutors. Former member Ivy Nevares told the Daily Beast, “I tend to believe any woman, be it from NXIVM or not, would feel too light a sentence for Allison might somehow normalize or condone women abusing other women.”
In her recent letter, Mack wrote that she was “sorry 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.”