Smallville star Allison Mack has reportedly been arrested over alleged ties to a group accused of being a sex cult.
Mack is best known for her role as Chloe Sullivan in Superman origin series Smallville, appearing in the show from 2001 to 2011. She also starred in the FX series Wilfred.
According to reports, Mack has been arrested by the FBI in Brooklyn and is due to appear in federal court. She is expected to face charges of sex trafficking and forced labor.
NXIVM publicly portrayed itself as a self-help organisation, self-described as “a community guided by humanitarian principles that seek to empower people and answer important questions about what it means to be human”.
Its leader, Keith Raniere, was arrested in Mexico during March and charged with sex trafficking and forced labor conspiracy.
A criminal complaint filed by FBI agent Michael Lever described Raniere as the “master” of an “organised criminal group”.
NXIVM is alleged to have been an abusive, manipulative cult that forced vulnerable women into sex and obedience.
“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,” the complaint claimed, describing alleged ritualistic ceremonies held by the group.
Raniere faces 15 years to life, if convicted.
Raniere has denied the claims, saying: “These allegations are most disturbing to me, as non-violence is one of my most important values”.
A statement on the NXIVM website reads: “In response to the allegations against our founder, Keith Raniere, we are currently working with the authorities to demonstrate his innocence and true character. We strongly believe the justice system will prevail in bringing the truth to light. We are saddened by the reports perpetuated by the media and their apparent disregard for ‘innocent until proven guilty,’ yet we will continue to honour the same principles on which our company was founded. It is during the times of greatest adversity that integrity, humanity and compassion are hardest, and most needed.”