Bronfman’s Curcio Hearing: Animated heiress’ angry stare at Penza causes Geragos to tell her ‘chill out’

MK10ART's painting of Clare Bronfman.
Clare Bronfman confirms she is comfortable with Mark Geragos being her attorney despite his daughter, Teny Geragos, representing her Vanguard – and co-defendant, Keith Alan Raniere.
By Village Diane
Here are some of my thoughts and observations on today’s hearing.
The hearing started late, 4:30 instead of 4:00 PM because a previous case ran late.
The first thing you notice about Clare is how thin she is. Although she was wearing loose clothing, you could see how stick-thin her arms are, and how tiny her shoulders. Her shoulder blades protrude in the back, and sharply when she crosses her arms in front. It certainly looks as if she is still on the NXIVM diet.
Before the hearing, Clare was smiling and laughing with Mark Geragos and the outside lawyer brought in to help Clare with the Curcio case, I believe her name is Donna Newman. As the time to start the hearing grew nearer, Clare seemed to become more preoccupied, and her smiles seemed forced. The lawyers were in good spirits. Geragos kept up a steady banter. He is quite the raconteur.
Some people say they see an aura of evil around Clare, but I don’t see it. The most significant thing about her is how insignificant she looks. You would not notice her in a crowd. Small framed, glasses; unmemorable features. You should pardon the stereotype: she looks like everybody’s high school Latin teacher. Only thinner, much thinner.
Judge Garaufis proceeded to thoroughly explain the conflict of interest issues. He asked Clare how she had found Garagos. Clare said she found him by researching online. The judge joked that it was like online dating.
He asked Clare if someone had personally recommended Garagos to her. I think Clare said no, but I can’t be sure as I found it hard to hear her at times.
There was a discussion about the trust used to pay for Raniere’s lawyers, and whether certain expenses are paid together or separately. Clare said separately.
Garaufis explained the possibility of Geragos hypothetically mentioning something to his daughter over dinner, that might negatively affect Clare. Garaufis also explained what conflicts might arise when the trust fund paying Raniere’s lawyers runs out.
Judge Garaufis said this was the 7th Curcio hearing on this case. There were not many spectators today and no photographers that I could see.
I know this account is light on the legal stuff, sorry. Here is a fun account of the hearing, with some observations I missed:

” … Clare Bronfman starred daggers at prosecutors when she appeared in Brooklyn federal court …Tuesday — seething so much that her own lawyer had to tell her to chill out.

“’Stop looking,’ attorney Mark Geragos instructed Bronfman as two female prosecutors strolled in.

“The wealthy scion typically appears expressionless in court, but was unusually lively Tuesday — until the government lawyers walked in and she suddenly tensed up. It wasn’t clear why she was so perturbed.

“Bronfman … came to court in a grey sweater, navy blue pants and an Apple watch around her left wrist…

“Bronfman … confirmed that once the money set aside in a trust for their legal bills runs out, her co-defendants will have to pay their own way…

“Tuesday’s hearing was the last of seven Curcio hearings for all of the defendants in the Nxivm case, and the judge ended the day by patting himself on the back for making it through.

“’That’s a record for one case,’ he said.”

Teny Geragos represents Keith Raniere. She says that her first duty will be to her client, Keith Raniere, despite the fact that her father, Mark Geragos, represents co-defendant Clare Bronfman, [who incidentally is paying both father and daughter for their legal services.]
Mark Geragos was in court today and had to advise Clare to stop staring at the prosecutors.

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Frank Parlato


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  • By my calculations from the initial arrest towards the end of March 2018 and then learning that only 25% of the defence trust fund was left in January 2019, the remainder of that tap should be running out towards the end of this month surely?

  • Evidently Clare’s game plan, keeping all the defendants united, especially by bankrolling their defense, crumbled so now it”s every woman for herself.
    I bet she even deserts Keith, who spent her money like water.

    Allison comrs out the biggest loser in my opinion. She lost everything, even her sanity.

    One must keep in mind all the girls and women NXIVM hurt; otherwise, decent folks might be sucked into forgiving when no one has ever yet been truly, honestly remorseful.

    Let’s not forget the two suspicious suicides. I wonder if they will ever be closely looked at or just forgot about.

    Too bad we couldn’t…force the truth out of Keith and the 5 women who went into that hotel room.

  • “Shoulder blades protrude in the back” sounds like a classic description of an anorexic, at least in a country where malnutrition isn’t an issue.

    I always thought that Clare was the older sister, until I was looking something up recently and noticed that she’s actually 3 years younger than Sara – something she’s done over the years, has been hard on her.

    I think the record number of Curcio hearings, is an indication of how Bronfman’s lawyers are going to drag out every detail of this case.

    • The record number of Curcio hearings is an indication of the record number of fellow defendants that are being paid by one defendant and the record number of conflicts of interest among the various lawyers. Lawyers always drag out every detail in every case that they can (assuming they’re being paid), that’s their job.

      • Very few clients give their lawyers a blank checkbook, which means that instead, attorneys almost always exercise a certain amount of so-called judicial economy, only dragging out some of the most likely productive details, and can’t engage in the shotgun approach of dragging everything out far as possible, or carry out so-called scorched-earth legal tactics. My point is that with Bronfman, we’re likely to see the very extreme of lawyering and legal maneuvering, and the case dragged out more than usual, which is just what we’re seeing so far.

        • The defense lawyers wanted the trial sooner (or so they say, as they drag their feet on a number of issues), the DOJ was saying they needed more time to go through all of the evidence. If you give lawyers a pot of money, they’re going to go after it like a school of starving piranhas. If the funding isn’t refreshed by somebody, I agree they will get government appointed lawyers who won’t do as thorough of a job.


    Clare Bronfman found him online???


    And she paid the legal bills, so her pals would plead out and testify against her?

    Legatus Forever!

    • G,

      I would give the odds at 50/50 whether or not Clare’s statement regarding the hiring of Geragos is true. I would love to know the truth.

  • BINGO!!
    I was right! I said Clare would back out of funding the other defendants’ lawyers.

    She’s saving her money for when she gets out of prison, for herself.

    It always was all about Clare, always will be.

    Heck, she can live pretty well on 200 million.

    Unlike the others, Clare won’t have to beg for her supper. As one of the undeserved wealthy she will ride off into the sunset, probably Fiji and live a life of luxury.

    • No, you are wrong. Clare didn’t pull back the funding stream, it has been known for months that she wasn’t going to refresh the money basket. If she can, she may pull the funding for those who plead guilty, but she hasn’t done it yet.

    • I don’t know that conserving money is Clare’s primary motive here, but the way things are going, effectively does that.

      And I’m not sure just how much Clare really has left, though there’s not yet a good accounting. But to make her $100 million bail, she had to have family members sign off for half of it, a sign that she’s starting to run low. From what I did see of the assets listed as collateral, and revelations about the trusts set up at Goldman Sachs, she doesn’t have a lot of sources of ready cash left.

      If Clare did give a third of the company that holds the island to Keith, she might have to sell the island to cash out, unless she has enough liquidity to buy out his share – and possibly that of a third partner of ACK, as well. So she may not come out of this with her property holdings intact.

      Depending on what her legal debacle costs her, plus the toll of seizures and restitution, with possible taxes owed as well, and on top of that the liability of civil suits for damages that will probably be filed against here, she might well get cleaned out of remaining cash and liquid assets. She might be reduced to living off just the income from the $25 million trusts, which isn’t exactly going to put her in the poorhouse, but will leave her unable to live the life to which she had become accustomed.

      • She would get pennies on the dollar if the share of the island would even sell in this market. It’s been a terrible market for islands for quite a while. Hubby and I were trying to guess when it was going to truly bottom out before we chose to go a different direction.

        • Interesting to hear that. I would have thought that islands would be doing well with the ultra-wealthy spending money on things like super yachts, and foreign properties being popular with the Chinese and Russians. But, then again, it wouldn’t be surprising if Bronfman had got herself into yet another bad “investment.”

          I’d still guess that at some point she’ll have to sell it off, either because she needs the money or because ACK is forced to liquidate. It may well end up just being auctioned off, possibly as a seized asset, for whatever it will bring.

          There’s a property buying scheme in Scientology, that sometimes gets referred to as a destroyer of wealth, because they’re raising money from adherents and putting it into oddball buildings with specialized interiors that would only ever sell at a huge discount on the commercial real estate market. Raniere has followed in their footsteps in yet another regard, squandering followers’ wealth.

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.

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