Nicki Clyne retains NYC criminal ‘super’ lawyer; but who’s paying for it?

By Frank Parlato
On May 4, Assistant US Attorney Moira Penza told the Federal Court in Brooklyn that, in addition to indicted co-defendants, Keith Raniere and Allison Mack, the US Attorney’s office may be bringing charges against others in the NXIVM sex cult case.
Penza told the court that new defendants may be charged within the next few weeks.
Although Penza did not name targets, it is believed that Nicki Clyne, the former actress, who became a sex slave follower of Mack and Raniere, may be one of these.
Clyne has retained New York criminal lawyer, Edward Sapone, a founding partner of Sapone & Petrillo, LLP of New York City.

According to an online profile  Sapone “focuses his practice on handling state and federal criminal defense cases that involve the following matters: white collar, financial, fraud, violent and narcotics crimes.”

Since Clyne appears to have little or no money for a retainer for a top shelf lawyer – she works in a vegan restaurant, – it seems likely that the current cult leader, Clare Bronfman, is footing the bill for her attorney.

According to his online profile  “Mr. Sapone has been named in The National Trial Lawyers: Top 100, and he holds an Avvo ‘Superb’ rating. He has received a Citation of Honor from the president of the Borough of Queens, the Hon. Helen M. Marshall, and from New York State assemblyman Francisco P. Moya, as well as a Proclamation of Honor from New York State Sen. Jose Peralta.

“A faculty member at the National Institute for Trial Advocacy, Mr. Sapone has taught at the Maurice A. Deane School of Law at Hofstra University. In demand as a legal analyst, he has appeared on a number of media outlets, including Court TV, MSNBC, CNN and Univision. Mr. Sapone is the president of The New York Criminal Bar Association, and he is a member of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, the Association of the Bar of the City of New York, the Federal Bar Council and the New York State Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.”

He has been selected to “Super Lawyers” from 2014-2018.

Bronfman – the enormously wealthy Seagram’s heiress who, along with her sister, Sara Bronfman- Igtet – have funded the criminal cult for 18 years – is likely paying at least 12 lawyers to defend members of the cult.
Bronfman is believed to be paying for the following:
   – Keith Raniere’ five lawyers, [Marc A. Agnifilo, Paul DerOhannesian, II, Danielle Renee Smith, Jacob Kaplan, Teny Rose Geragos];
   – Allison Macks’ three lawyers [Sean Stephen Buckley, Steven Gary Kobre, William F. McGovern];
   – The team of medical malpractice attorneys representing human fright experimenter Dr. Brandon Porter and human female brander, Dr. Danielle Roberts. (Abrams Fensterman Michael S. Kelton lead attorney);
  –    –  India Oxenberg’s civil attorney, Carla DiMare, [retained to sue India’s mother Catherine Oxenberg and others]; and
Bronfman’s own lawyers [Dennis Burke, William Savino and others].


About the author

Frank Parlato


Click here to post a comment

Please leave a comment: Your opinion is important to us! (Email & username are optional. To leave a name, click on the email icon)

  • Bronfmans’ are paying for these losers since the only reason Raniere gained such a following was due in part to the sisters money. I’m sure these two are trying to cover their own butts in paying for legal fees. It won’t truly be over until both of them are also behind bars – if only for a few days since I know their wealth and status will keep them from paying any real price, such as their freedom.

  • Just wanted to say that although I used the term “deviants” and “wackjobs” to describe these ladies……I honestly do feel sorry for the Oxenberg daughter even though she may have culpability.

    I honestly do hope that India Oxenberg is given special consideration for her mom’s brave & public crusade to bring down this cult.

    Yeah I know that’s not a ‘legal’ argument. LOL. However, I do think that the public would be outraged if Catherine Oxenberg’s daughter was punished severely…..especially after her mom is the one who bravely brought these embarrassing personal moments to the public eye in order to help her daughter.

    Plus she was only a teen when Keith first sunk his hooks into her (19)… that should deserve more leniency if she’s charged as CC-2.

    Hopefully she’ll see the light and realize that she won’t be seen as a “nelson mandela”……while also realizing that she can’t save Keith by her testimony so it’s not even worth it to try.

    • I continue to be amazed by the cognitive dissonance enveloping those entrapped by NXVIM. I know that many people tend to attribute to worst motives and dispositions to these people, but I see strangely cleft souls. Nikki Clyne’s blog is both thoughtful and moving. Framed against the backdrop of this horribly unfolding story, it evokes a sense of tragic and sad puzzlement.

      • I agree with you. I was a reader of her blog since before she was killed off on Galactica and the idea that the person who wrote those posts could be wrapped up in something that vile was a brain break.

  • This attorney advertises himself as a highly regarded public spokesman on legal issues, so he should be willing to come out and talk about how his newest client is completely innocent of any wrongdoing. If he isn’t willing to publicly answer questions about his client, that makes me wonder if he is hiding something.

    “Mr. Sapone has appeared as a legal analyst on CNN, Headline News, Court TV, MSNBC, Fox 5, TRUTV, and Univision, as well as international radio broadcast. He has been a subject of print news and magazines, and his cases have been printed in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg Business Week, Crain’s New York Business, the NACDL Champion, and numerous New York City and local newspapers.”

    • This attorney claims to represent CRIMINALS. He can’t come out and claim that his client is innocent, when he advertises that his clients are criminals! By definition, his clients are in fact CRIMINALS.

  • Wouldn’t it be better for Nicki Clyne to get herself deported for immigration fraud ASAP for her fake lesbian “marriage”, so that she would be barred from entering the U.S. to face charges on the sex trafficking stuff?

    • Why are you calling Nicki Clyne a fake lesbian? How do you know NXIVM slaves don’t keep cucumbers as pets?

    • If even Canada would protect someone from being tried for human rights crimes in the US.
      They would just wait until she came home and pardon her, because no crime in Canada is a permanent one.

  • We usually assume that CC2, stated in the Raniere indictment to operate “Delegates” service, is India, stated in Frank Report to operate “Delegates.”

    It was surprising then that India was not arrested at the same time as Allison. India lives in the same apartment as Allison did, and was awakened during the arrest.

    Certainly India should perceive a need to lawyer up. Nicki on the other hand seems less in the sights of the EDNY Feds.

    So it is surprising to hear that Nicki is lawyering up, and not India.

    Could we be wrong, and CC2 is Nicki rather than India? Is that why India wasn’t picked up with Allison? Does Laura Darby know if Nicki was in Clifton Park when Allison was arrested?

    Or maybe the lawyers are for both India and Nicki.

    Or maybe we just haven’t discovered India’s lawyers. Maybe Catherine hired some for her, perhaps in California, and it slipped under the radar.

    • Allison Wack seems to be getting a lot of sleep lately – it looked like she just woke up on that tape when Vanguard was arrested

    • India has a lawyer Clare Bronfman is paying for it. She got India a lawyer first before she got one for Niki. They all have top tier lawyers. Keith has 5, Allison 3, India and Niki have each 1. This is getting real expensive for the Bronfmans. India is CC-2 there’s a couple of articles like, 3 pages back that go into the details about India.

    • Nicki is one of the Originals. She is in deep and knows everything. She was also running the The Knife with Rosa Laura and Jens. IN DEEP. Her mom is no help either as she’s just a brainwashed unfortch.

  • The funny thing about this case is…

    Retaining a top lawyer in a case like this isn’t likely to produce any different results than using a public defender.

    Because this isn’t a typical case where the clients can be perceived as respectable white collar people who may have had a simple lapse in judgment.

    This also isn’t a case of a mob boss who — even in the face of being violent — is still perceived as a respectable guy to a certain extent (e.g. he’s not perceived as a sexual slave deviant and a wackjob who preys upon unwitting/helpless women).

    These ‘super’ lawyers can’t prevent the jury from seeing the actual emails, documents, videos and photos which show that their clients went from being successful TV actresses to becoming sexual slave deviants & wackjobs who pledged their undying loyalty to a chubby 57 year old guru sex master.

    They can’t prevent the jury from seeing the blackmail material and the photos of the branding.

    They can’t prevent the jury from seeing evidence of the constant legal harassment of anybody who tried to blow the whistle on these illegal schemes.

    The more these lawyers try to ‘normalize’ that behavior for the jury (in the face of actual emails, photos, videos and documents which prove otherwise)…..the more those same lawyers will lose all credibility with the jury.

    It’s a loser of a case for attorneys of that stature.

    Likewise…Keith can’t be helped by having Allison, Nicki or India admitting full responsibility and falling on their swords…..since the evidence against Keith (in the form of documents, videos, emails and testimony) is just as damning as the evidence against the girls.

    Attacking the victims (on cross examination) is about the only avenue where these lawyers could show off their superior lawyering skills.

    However, the problem is that even if they get the victims to admit that they didn’t object to sex with Keith (and even if they have emails which show they consented)……the blackmail material and coercion they were placed under will nullify that consent.

    So I don’t see any real chances to hit a homerun during cross examination.

    Any “aura of respectability” which these top lawyers could attach to their clients will be thrown out the window at that point.

    Also… The DOJ isn’t gonna toss any charges based upon the status of the attorneys here (there’s just too much bad media about female abuse to be able to get any favorable deals cut).

    Any deals cut by the DOJ will be based upon the cooperation of the defendants and will be the same deals they’d offer to a public defender.

    I just don’t see the status of the lawyers as being a factor here.

    The defendants are just too deviant, kooky & unsympathetic to build any credibility, IMO.

    • The women are sympathetic because they’re victims themselves. While getting off for that is of course crazy it can go a long way towards softening things as much as possible. The question is which, if any, of the slaves will do that instead of trying to protect the one that broke them in the first place. The ones that do would probably benefit from a good lawyer to push that narrative.

    • I don’t know why the Vanguard himself even needs a lawyer, much less 4 lawyers. Why can’t he use his patented Rational Inquiry method to hypnotize the jury and tell them to look at the “blue light”? All he has to do is just tell the jury that if the the blue light is not well lit, they must acquit!

  • So there’s that.. let’s stop comparing them to Charles Mansons followers. They didn’t kill anyone. Although it sounds like Keith may have

  • Do you think Allison had an inferiority complex to Kristin? Working all those years together and she was always the Jan to kristin’s Marsha Marsha Marsha. Get into nxivm and suddenly she is her equal and even surpassing her , from the group Kristin was so crazy about and brought her in to. It was a big ego boost to Allison. On this topic, Nicki is weird. Women who smile like little kids in every picture they take are usually messed up. Not smiling, but smiling so big, with every tooth showing kind of smile. Have you watched her top 10 nxivm videos. Ughhh! No talent. Not funny

  • But wait, why would Claire hire a top self attorney for Nicki but people with little criminal defense experience for Allison and India. I mean, I know it’s said she’s massively jealous and hateful towards ranierre’s women so why the special treatment? Especially since Frankreport said Brofman paid her fifteen bucks an hour.

    Maybe someone else is really paying? She still seems close with her Galactica castmates. Maybe she woke up enough to make a desperate plea for help from Olmos or McDonnel?

  • So now it appears that Allison Mack, India Oxenberg and Nicki Clyne are all a trio of criminals potentially involved in sexual and human trafficking.
    In NXIVM women’s empowerment means turning women into pimps.
    Allison Mack should be called Pimp #1.
    India Oxenberg can be Pimp #2.
    And Nicki Clyne , Allison’s wife, brings up the rear as Pimp #3.

    This is the same kind of society one finds on the South Side of Chicago.

    In honor of Pimps 1 and 2 and 3 I present you with the unofficial anthem of the South Side of Chicago.

    • In case anyone calls me a misogynist or a woman hater, I present you with the example of heroic women who are real role models for girls.
      When the Southwest Airlines jet lost an engine over Pennsylvania a few weeks ago the female pilot Tammi Jo Schults, who was one of the first female Navy fighter pilots in America, coolly and calmly brought the plane down for a landing saving all of the passengers but one.
      As the wounded passengers were being taken off the plane Pilot Schults attended to the uninjured passengers trying to calm them down.
      Tammi Jo Schults is a hero.
      My brother and nephews got to meet Astronaut Peggy Whitson who grew up on an Iowa farm and graduated with an advanced degree in Science.
      Astronaut Whitson became the first female head of the Astronaut Office and has just broken the orbital endurance record for all American astronauts in the International Space Station.
      Peggy Whitson is a hero.

      Allison Mack, India Oxenberg and Nicki Clyne are clowns in the NXIVM freak show who bring shame upon all females everywhere.

      • Do you like troll Elvis Costello message boards to malign the 1977 hit “Allison”? You’ve made your point and making it ad nauseum robs it of force.

        • Since when is telling the truth “trolling”?

          These acting divas don’t understand the saying “Don’t Do the Crime if you Can’t Do the Time.”
          Is being a “cute” white girl a “Get out of Prison Free” card?

          • The key word here is not “your point”, but the “ad nauseum” *(i.e. multiple times, one every thread, over and over again).

    • A trio of abused and brutalized pawns is more accurate. The entire point of indoctrination is to give yourself tools. The fact that they were used to harm others doesn’t make them more evil than the cauterizing pen used to brand them. I think they’ve been warped into actually believing that they are empowered and empowering people.

  • From what I can ascertain from the ABA guidelines, current representation would appear to be kosher because all counsel contracted by Bronfman money have been accepted by their cients. The individual with the most challenging legal ethics would be Allison Mack because her family is seeking to persuade her to accept a plea deal. I would be really curious to see the internal dynamics of her defense team; are they purely mercenary? or are they conflicted in representing a brainwashed client and would like her to accept a plea deal? Are the lawyers split? If she is successfully de-programed, will she seek outside counsel (again, it depends on the legal counsel)? (I recall one lawyer appearing rather uncomfortable going into court). All these considerations could apply to other people as well (except Raniere).

    “Interest of Person Paying for a Lawyer’s Service

    [13] A lawyer may be paid from a source other than the client, including a co-client, if the client is informed of that fact and consents and the arrangement does not compromise the lawyer’s duty of loyalty or independent judgment to the client. See Rule 1.8(f). If acceptance of the payment from any other source presents a significant risk that the lawyer’s representation of the client will be materially limited by the lawyer’s own interest in accommodating the person paying the lawyer’s fee or by the lawyer’s responsibilities to a payer who is also a co-client, then the lawyer must comply with the requirements of paragraph (b) before accepting the representation, including determining whether the conflict is consentable and, if so, that the client has adequate information about the material risks of the representation.”

    from comments on rule 1.7

  • It *is* executive success programs.

    For the lawyers retained by NXIVM due to all the legal problems they get into and litigation by harassment they engage in.

    That’s about it.

    For everyone else it’s a soul sucking, time wasting enterprise.

    But as long as you can repeat “happy, happy, joy, joy” to yourself, and fakely smile for the cameras, I guess some people can fool themselves into believing the delusion.

  • Nicki, Nicki, Nicki: you dirty little girl. I tried to warn you. But your wild heart got the best of you. Now look.

    I will think about forgiving you–or not.

  • Why does Nicki not try to make money out of her former role in BSG? The others meet from time to time and I bet get paid pretty well for it. I guess she should be able to sell autographs and pictures as well. Did she leave in that bad blood?

    • She has been routinely attending sci-fi conventions since she left the show. Several each year as a featured guest and autograph signer, panelist, etc. Her social media covers a lot of her appearances. Not sure how much they pay though.

      • Usually a very small stipend, and whatever people are willing to pay for autographs. No NXIVM “stars” are big enough to command real autograph prices. Probably a couple dollars each?

          • Smallville had the ratings to go 10 seasons and BSG is largely considered one of the best shows by critics. The shows weren’t third rate and at the time the “stars” were either at a high point, or poised to take off.

        • Well Grace Park expects 60 bucks for a signation… Who pays that kind of money for a signed picture + 60 seconds of chat or whatever you get. I never went to such a convention and will never do, but I have to work for my money.
          I think Allison would make similar sums of money. The question that remains is how much of taht money is actually theirs and how much goes to the convention center, taxes and whatnot.

        • Nicki charges $30 for an autograph, $10 for a selfie, and “free high fives”. At least at the convention I saw her at, which was a small one.

    • No one from her to the producers to the other cast members have given any hint that there was bad blood there. I think there are some social media pictures of her with James Callis and, I want to say Lucianna Carro but I’m not sure, from as recently as the spring of last year.

      Her tendency to not appear alongside other BSG Alumni is most likely an order from Keith, can’t have a drone spending an entire weekend with people that spent four years working together with the kind of crazy long days actors tend to work. They might notice something odd and it’s easier to keep them from than blood.

About the Author

Frank Parlato is an investigative journalist.

His work has been cited in hundreds of news outlets, like The New York Times, The Daily Mail, VICE News, CBS News, Fox News, New York Post, New York Daily News, Oxygen, Rolling Stone, People Magazine, The Sun, The Times of London, CBS Inside Edition, among many others in all five continents.

His work to expose and take down NXIVM is featured in books like “Captive” by Catherine Oxenberg, “Scarred” by Sarah Edmonson, “The Program” by Toni Natalie, and “NXIVM. La Secta Que Sedujo al Poder en México” by Juan Alberto Vasquez.

Parlato has been prominently featured on HBO’s docuseries “The Vow” and was the lead investigator and coordinating producer for Investigation Discovery’s “The Lost Women of NXIVM.” Parlato was also credited in the Starz docuseries "Seduced" for saving 'slave' women from being branded and escaping the sex-slave cult known as DOS.

Additionally, Parlato’s coverage of the group OneTaste, starting in 2018, helped spark an FBI investigation, which led to indictments of two of its leaders in 2023.

Parlato appeared on the Nancy Grace Show, Beyond the Headlines with Gretchen Carlson, Dr. Oz, American Greed, Dateline NBC, and NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt, where Parlato conducted the first-ever interview with Keith Raniere after his arrest. This was ironic, as many credit Parlato as one of the primary architects of his arrest and the cratering of the cult he founded.

Parlato is a consulting producer and appears in TNT's The Heiress and the Sex Cult, which premiered on May 22, 2022. Most recently, he consulted and appeared on Tubi's "Branded and Brainwashed: Inside NXIVM," which aired January, 2023.

IMDb — Frank Parlato

Contact Frank with tips or for help.
Phone / Text: (305) 783-7083