1. New details emerge of Smallville star’s alleged involvement in sex cult.
In the weeks before her Hollywood facade crumbled, and former Smallville actress Allison Mack’s alleged involvement in the sex cult NXIVM emerged, she was leading a double life, friends say, who had no idea Mack’s “female mentorship” program was actually a sex cult.
“I didn’t think she was part of a cult because you think of cult members as cutting themselves off from family and friends,” one friend told The Hollywood Reporter in a profile piece on the former actress. “She didn’t do that [with me.]”
Mack, 35, allegedly joined NXIVM in 2006 and has since been charged with sex trafficking and forced labour. She is awaiting an October trial. The cult’s leader, Keith Raniere, is also facing a lengthy prison sentence after being indicted on multiple counts of sex trafficking.
Sources told The Hollywood Reporter while Raniere is alleged to have led the cult, Mack “had drunk enough Kool-Aid”, claiming she may have been brainwashed by Raniere in her relationship with him.
They also told the news outlet Raniere would allegedly starve his ‘sex slaves’, limiting the girls to just 900 calories a day, and instructed women not to remove their pubic hair.
One woman, who said she had spoken with a handful of former slaves, said Mack “threatened to release the collateral she had gathered on them if they didn’t sleep with Raniere”.
“She berated them and told them they were worth nothing, that they were weak and couldn’t uphold their word,” she said.
Another added Mack was “incredibly intimidating, cruel and punitive”.
In a statement last month, United States Attorney Richard Donoghue detailed how Mack is alleged to have recruited for the cult.
“As alleged in the indictment, Allison Mack recruited women to join what was purported to be a female mentorship group that was, in fact, created and led by Keith Raniere.
“The victims were then exploited, both sexually and for their labour, to the defendants’ benefit. This Office and our law enforcement partners are committed to prosecuting predators who victimise others through sex trafficking and forced labor.”
To read the Hollywood Reporter’s full profile, click here.
2. 14-year-old Victorian schoolgirl killed after hit-and-run crash involving a truck.
The 14-year-old, named by media outlets as Aivy Nguyen, died in hospital on Wednesday, hours after she was struck on Whitehorse Road in Ringwood about 7am when the driver did not stop.