HBO’s ‘The Vow’ is the one series that will not fail to deliver twists and turns as time goes on. And, considering the organization that it is focusing to shed light on, NXIVM, it isn’t all that surprising either. Well, we’ll be honest, the “organization” or “self-help group” is more of a cult than anything, which has been proved with the federal charges against it and its enigmatic founder and leader, Keith Raniere. As the series explained in its very first episode, there have been a number of high-profile members involved in NXIVM over time – whether it be Hollywood personalities, or socialites and heiresses. Two of these people, belonging to the latter category, were Sara and Clare Bronfman.
Who Are Sara and Clare Bronfman?
Sara Rosner Bronfman and Clare Bronfman are the daughters of billionaire philanthropist and former Seagram chairman Edgar Bronfman Sr. and the heiresses of the entire Seagram empire. Back in 2002, while Clare was still an active equestrian, Sara was introduced to NXIVM by a family friend. She, in turn, introduced her little sister to it, and the two soon became heavily involved in its inner functions and workings.
Clare said that they were just students of Keith Raniere, but according to The Hollywood Reporter, the sister’s provided major financial backing to Keith and NXIVM, especially with letting them use their private jet to various seminars or to impress potential recruits. The estimated worth of their monetary support is around $150 million, and it is said that they even borrowed against their inheritances to finance Keith and the group. They are also the ones who are credited for getting the Dalai Lama to come to an NXIVM event.
Where Are Sara and Clare Bronfman Now?
Since Sarah and Clare Bronfman were both quite publicly involved with NXIVM, when the federal charges were brought against Keith and the organization, they got roped into it as well. Even though they were referred to as members of Keith’s inner circle or trusted group in court records, the charges against them have not been that severe. In fact, Sara hasn’t even been accused of a particular crime. In saying that, though, when NXIVM’s properties were seized by the government to be sold, she did agree to give up her ownership interests in them for 20% of the sale. So, she can be called out for it in any future court proceedings. Currently, she has her freedom, and at the age of 43, is married to Libyan businessman Basit Igtet, with whom she has one daughter.
Clare, on the other hand, has not been that lucky. She was arrested in New York City by federal agents on July 24, 2018, and charged with money laundering and identity theft in connection with the activities at NXIVM. She pleaded not guilty at first, but then, on April 19, 2019, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to conceal and harbor illegal aliens for financial gain, and for the fraudulent use of identification of a deceased person. For this, she agreed to forfeit $6 million to the federal government and is looking to face 21-27 months in prison. We should clarify that Clare is not currently behind bars. She was released on a $100 million bail bond and placed on house arrest with full-time electronic ankle device monitoring.
Even though Clare has pleaded guilty, her official sentencing has not yet been announced. The hearing was supposed to take place in February of this year, however, it was postponed till September. With the COVID-19 pandemic, she could have had it on video, but she denied and respectfully requested that it only be done in person, at the courthouse, when it reopens. And so, that is what will happen.
Read More: Who Was Keith Raniere’s Ex? How Did She Die?