Days after Keith Raniere, the leader of a cult-like “women-only mentorship group” in upstate New York was arrested on federal sex trafficking charges, actress Kristin Kreuk broke her silence to deny she helped recruit “sex slaves” for the group.
According to a criminal complaint filed Monday, Raniere ran a pyramid scheme in which male “masters” collected “collateral,” including information and photos, from female “slaves” in order to coerce them into sex or other tasks.
Some were even branded with Raniere’s initials.
“During the branding ceremonies, slaves were required to be fully naked, and the master would order one slave to film while the other held down the slave being branded,” according to the criminal complaint.
Kreuk, best known for “Smallville” and “Beauty and the Beast,” joined the cult around 2005 and had been linked to the goings-on, including allegedly drawing women into Dominus Obsequious Sororium (DOS) group with her celebrity.
“When I was about 23, I took an Executive Success Programs/NXIVM ‘intensive,’ what I understood to be a self-help/personal growth course that helped me handle my previous shyness, which is why I continued with the program. I left about five years ago and had minimal contact with those who were still involved,” Kreuk wrote in a statement Thursday night.
“The accusations that I was in the ‘inner circle’ or recruited women as ‘sex slaves’ are blatantly false. During my time, I never experienced any illegal or nefarious activity. I am horrified and disgusted by what has come out about DOS.”
She also said she was “deeply disturbed and embarrassed to have been associated with Nxivm.”
Raniere, meanwhile, denied all wrongdoing.
“Over the past months, there have been extensive independent investigations performed, by highly qualified individuals, and they have firmly concluded that there is no merit to the allegations that we are abusing, coercing or harming individuals,” he said in a statement on the Nxivm website.