More than three months after her initial arrest for her alleged involvement in what has been described as a sex cult, one of Allison Mack’s Smallville co-stars has broken his silence on the issue. Michael Rosenbaum, who played Lex Luthor on the WB/CW series for the first seven of its 10 seasons, made his comments while a guest on the podcast This Past Weekend.
Rosenbaum, who is 10 years Mack’s senior, didn’t have much to say on the subject, claiming they didn’t spend much time together on or offset, but he recalls that Mack “was the sweetest, most professional — she was just a great girl, great actress.” Rosenbaum says he’s been reluctant to discuss the matter in the intervening months due to the shock of it all.
Mack was arrested back in April for what prosecutors say was her role in the group NXIVM (pronounced “Nexium”), a self-help group founded by Keith Raniere, which some members have described as a cult in and of itself. Mack is accused of being one of Raniere’s top lieutenants in a smaller organization tied to NXIVM, named DOS. Members of DOS have gone on record describing a culture of abuse, forced labor, and even sexual slavery. Court documents, meanwhile, outline everything from damaging collateral held against members to a graphic branding ritual.
Both Raniere and Mack are facing federal charges of sex trafficking, forced labor, and other charges. Mack is set to face trial for these charges in October.
Despite his disbelief, though, Rosenbaum did comment on what he saw as the possibility for Mack to be enticed into the group. Speaking to This Past Weekend host Theo Von, he said, “she was younger, she could have easily been mind-f*cked and given like who knows, they could have said, ‘Oh’ — and promised her this thing and she was empowered by things and somehow she fell down this.”
Rosenbaum’s comments are not new in the public speculation as to how Mack became involved in the group. Others have described DOS as presenting itself as a “women empowerment group.” Mack joined NXIVM in 2006 while working on Smallville, and friends described the actress as someone looking for ways to improve herself, which NXIVM’s core curriculum played into.
After her initial involvement, Mack became involved more heavily in other organizations associated with NXIVM, including Jness, another “women’s empowerment” group to which Mack sought to recruit other actresses and public personalities. Mack and Raniere also created The Source, which was touted as a tool for actors.
Mack isn’t the only Smallville actress with ties to NXIVM. Kristen Kreuk, who starred as Lana Lang for nearly eight seasons, was reportedly the one who recruited Mack to the organization. Following Mack’s arrest, Kreuk released a statement which claimed she left the organization years previously and had never been privy to any of the activities for which Mack has been accused.
In an indictment handed down last week by the Department of Justice, Mack, Raniere, and four other NXIVM members have been charged with racketeering conspiracy, as well as “identity theft, extortion, forced labor, sex trafficking, money laundering, wire fraud and obstruction of justice.”
If convicted, Mack and her co-defendants face up to 20 years in prison for the racketeering charges, along with a possible 15 years for the charges related to identity theft. This is on top of a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years Mack and Raniere face if convicted of the initial charges of sex trafficking.