Village Diane: Observations and photos from court yesterday of Allison Mack, Clare Bronfman, Keith Raniere and Kathy Russell

Village Diane tells us more about what she observed at court yesterday.

By Village Diane



Kathy Russell with her lawyer, Justine Harris, outside the Brooklyn courthouse on April 8, 2019

A hearing was held yesterday at 1 pm on Kathy Russell’s motion to dismiss because, her lawyers said, she was deceived into testifying before a grand jury that later indicted her.

Keith Raniere, Clare Bronfman and Kathy attended the hearing. Allison had already pleaded guilty an hour earlier and was excused from attending.

Marc Agnifilo, Raniere’s attorney, was also in the audience evidently as an observer.

Kathy’s lawyers argued that she was already a target of the investigation when she appeared before the grand jury last year, but the prosecution misled her, saying she was not a target.

This, they argued, is grounds for dismissal.

There was discussion over whether Kathy Russell should have known or have been told she was a target. The government already had evidence against her and her grand jury testimony was not the first step in her indictment.

There was a lot of back and forth between Kathy’s lawyers and the prosecution.

The judge read something on the record, as I understood it, to the effect that there is no guarantee of non-prosecution when someone appears before a grand jury.

The judge reserved decision on whether to dismiss the case against her.

Kathy had a gray suit on with black pants and a pinkish top. She had her hair pulled up.  It didn’t look like it was styled.



Keith Alan Raniere: Does he have an overbite?

Keith Raniere was not wearing his prison jumpsuit. He’s in front of jurors now and permitted to wear good clothes so as to not prejudice jurors.

He was clean shaven, wearing a black suit and a white shirt and wore a tie.

He also had a haircut – his hair was shorter and there was a little gray at the temple. Otherwise, his hair was dark.

This photo of Keith Raniere taken around January 2018 by the New York Times – prior to his arrest on March 26, 2018 shows what appears to be a dye job with the temples deliberately left with a touch of grey to give him a distinguished look.

I noticed that Keith has a very prominent overbite. It gives him a menacing appearance. With his overbite, Keith looks a little like Homer Simpson’s long lost evil cousin.

{Another observer noted that Keith was again staring at Toni Natalie in court. It is not clear if he is trying to menace her – or if he is merely haplessly signalling that it was him he meant, and not her, in the timeline he created 20 years ago – where he told her he would either see her dead or in prison.]



On her 40th birthday, Clare Bronfman arrives at court with her mother, Georgia Havers, and attorney, Mark Geragos.

It was her 40th birthday and Clare did not look happy. She looked haggard. When she was chatting with lawyers, my impression was she was trying to put on a happy face.

I imagine Clare had a pretty lousy 40th birthday present from Allison, who pleaded guilty and may be a witness against her.

The last time I saw the two of them together Allison and Clare hugged and kissed. That’s Hollywood friendship I guess.

At the hearing yesterday, they did not meet. Clare was not at Allison’s hearing and Allison was not at the hearing for Kathy Russell.

Keith, Clare, and Kathy did not look at each other in court from what I observed.

[Another observer told Frank Report that when they met, Clare gave Kathy Russell a big hug and they kissed each other repeatedly. So much so that the observer said to herself, “Go get a hotel room.”

Clare seemed to be making a kind of biting face when she was outside after court. But it was not cold. It was a beautiful day in New York. It was not from the cold.

Unless she was talking and putting on a good face for the people around her – when she seemed to be trying to appear more cheerful – she had a pinched expression.

Her lawyer, Mark Geragos, was more subdued than he was at previous hearings.

They were chatting once in a while. Clare would smile, but it didn’t look like a happy smile.  But, of course, what should she be happy about?

[Editor’s note: Clare’s mother, Georgiana Bronfman Havers (née Rita Webb) accompanied Clare to court on her birthday. Clare’s sister, Sara Bronfman-Igtet, has not made an appearance in support of her sister. A source tells Frank Report that she has been advised not to travel to the USA under any circumstances. She is reportedly living in Provence, France with her husband, Basit Igtet, and their two daughters in a lavish new home she had built near her resort hotel, Domaine des Andéols.

Clare Bronfman with her mother Georgia Havers and what looks like one of her lawyers, Kathleen E. Cassidy.



Photo by Village Dianne:

Allison Mack leaves court, flanked by her attorneys,  Sean S. Buckley. [l] and William F. McGovern, after pleading guilty to two felony counts – racketeering and racketeering conspiracy, She dodged the major bullet of sex trafficking with which she was also charged. While Clare Bronfman paid for Allison’s attorneys, they seem to have done quite a splendid job for Allison Mack in negotiating a plea that clearly will spare her years in prison had she been convicted. We won’t see Allison for a while, unless she testifies at trial.  She is scheduled to appear in court on Sept. 11, at noon for sentencing.

At her hearing where she pleaded guilty on Racketeering and Racketeering Conspiracy charges, before and after her teary allocution, she had a quiet, thoughtful demeanor. She smiled a few times but was quiet and thoughtful. She was not the smiling Allison Mack we saw at previous hearings.

During the hearing where Allison Mack pleaded guilty, there was a 10-page document that I believe came from the defense to the judge.

The judge asked her a series of questions about it, including whether she had been offered any promises or told anything not contained in the 10-page agreement.

She said no.

The judge told her that she faced a maximum of 20 years on each of the two counts and that they could run consecutively. He said despite what anyone might have indicated as to what she might or might not expect to receive as a sentence – it was solely up to him to determine her sentence.

She said she understood.

He asked her if she signed the agreement, she said yes.

I noticed that Allison was clearly off the Raniere-diet. She was a little plumper around the hips.  She doesn’t look bad. She’s still very presentable looking. But I wouldn’t call her skinny. I would say a nice, happy medium. Maybe a touch on the slimmer side but a nice happy medium.

Assistant US Attorney Moira Penza is now thinner than Allison Mack.

When Allison came out of the courtroom with her lawyers, she looked somber.

When reporters hurled questions at them, her lawyers said, “No comment.”

It looks like Allison may not be keeping up with going blonde. There were some blonde streaks in the back but her hair was dark blonde.

Allison Mack gets media attention after leaving the courthouse on April 8, 2019 after pleading guilty to two racketeering felonies and ending the prosecution against her for sex trafficking, sex trafficking conspiracy and forced labor conspiracy.

Did Allison Mack plump up a little?


Photo Village Diane

The jury pool – I saw them lined up outside the courthouse. There was a long line.

[Another observer said the line of prospective jurors – estimated to be around 250 – went around the block.]




About the author

Frank Parlato


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  • Village Diane,

    Thank you for the excellent reporting and your time spent in court.

    Clare has a red string (Kabbalah) bracelet?

    Did you happen to notice in the top photo of Clare Bronfman with her mom, Clare appears to be wearing the string (Kabbalah) bracelet of Judaism?

    I wonder how many of the jurors are Jewish?

    Clare Bronfman takes the f*cking cake. I wonder to how many time she actually went to temple in the last 20 years? My guess is 0.0.

    • Bronfman isn’t wearing it on the correct wrist: But that’s fitting, as she’s stupid as a rock. Since the left side is considered the receiving side, the right side must be the giving side, and Bronfman has given a lot of people the “evil eye” in the form of ridiculous lawsuits for decades. Worn on the right side, it’s a sort of mark of the devil, the Old Testament 666.

  • Putting raniere in a suit and tie. Isn’t that the same thing as putting lipstick on a pig? I imagine this is also a once time use item because his stench ruins it. Who pays for this suit? Taxpayers? Just his freshly strip searched hairy ass in his volleyball outfit complete with knee pads. They will undoubtedly come in handy in the future.

    • More like putting a suit and tie on a pig. The cost probably comes out of Bronfman’s stash. He won’t be able to bring his knee pads into prison. The knees will get sore, but it won’t hurt too much because his anal cavity will be hurting more.

    • There’s already an elephant in Africa missing it’s tracking device. The WWF are a bit puzzled that it keeps popping up in Brooklyn. 🐘

  • Minor correction: Kathy’s long hair was worn down. It was Clare whose hair was pulled up in the front, and down in the back, and appeared not to be styled.

    Sad day for Clare. Allison gave her a kick in the head for her birthday.

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.” In addition, he was credited in the Starz docuseries 'Seduced' for saving 'slave' women from being branded and escaping the sex-slave cult known as DOS.

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 premieres on May 22, 2022.

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