Led by Keith Raniere, the group, based in Albany, N.Y., billed itself as a self-help organization. It offered workshops and classes that promised participants greater self-fulfillment.
Mack became so involved, federal prosecutors said, that she began recruiting other women into a secret sect within Nxivm in which women were branded with Raniere’s initials and were forced to have sex with him.
“I was lost,” Mack said Monday, while pleading guilty to racketeering and racketeering conspiracy charges related to her role in the group.
In a lengthy, tear-filled confession at U.S. District Court in Brooklyn, Mack admitted to luring women into Nxivm (pronounced NEX-ee-um), where they were extorted and coerced into following Raniere’s orders.
“I must take full responsibility for my conduct,” Mack, 36, said.
The racketeering counts were among the least lurid ones that Mack faced. When the actress was arrested last year, she was also charged with sex trafficking and conspiracy to commit sex trafficking and forced labor.
Her arrest was part of a larger federal case against high-ranking members of Nxivm, including Raniere and four others. Federal authorities had begun investigating the organization after The New York Times published an article in late 2017 detailing the inner workings of the secret sorority within Nxivm.
Mack’s Hollywood ties boosted the case’s profile and grabbed headlines. After prosecutors announced the charges against her, other actresses said that Mack had tried to get them to join her “women’s group.” Several female journalists also shared that they had received emails from Mack trying to pitch them on joining a female empowerment organization.
Prosecutors said the secret sect’s purpose within Nxivm was to groom sexual partners for Raniere, who is 58. It was called DOS, an acronym for a Latin phrase that roughly translates to “Lord/Master of the Obedient Female Companions,” court papers said.
Mack faces up to 20 years in prison on each count to which she pleaded guilty. She is scheduled to be sentenced in September.
This article originally appeared in The New York Times.