Clare Bronfman leaves court after her bail hearing in July 2018. She was released on $100 million bail and subject to home confinement.

Clare Bronfman to Judge Garaufis: I Will Not Disavow Keith Raniere, Nxivm or DOS!

Clare Webb Bronfman wrote to her sentencing judge, the Hon. Nicholas G. Garaufis, Senior U.S. District Judge,  Eastern District of New York, who sits in Brooklyn to explain herself.

She is scheduled to be sentenced on September 30th.

Clare pled guilty before Judge Garaufis, in April 2019, to two felony counts: harboring an illegal alien for financial gain [Sylvie] – and identity theft [for helping Keith Raniere steal funds from the estate of Pam Cafritz].

Sylvie was recruited into Nxivm by Bronfman after she was hired to tend to Bronfman’s horses. She became deeply involved with Nxivm, micromanaged by Clare, who essentially oversaw a starvation diet with an insane over-training regime that made Sylvie ill.

To keep Sylvie in Nxivm and under her control,  Clare illegally kept her in the USA, and ultimately the poor woman joined DOS and became a slave of Keith Raniere, who, despite her being married, coerced her into enduring oral sex with him.

The sentencing guidelines at the time of Bronfman’s pleading were estimated to be between 21-27 months. When she pled, the judge warned Bronfman that he was not bound to any guidelines and could sentence her from zero to up to the maximum sentence of 15 and 10 years for the two crimes and that he could, if he chose, sentence her to consecutive sentences.

In other words, he could hand her a 25-year sentence if he determined that was what she deserved.

The only provision in the plea deal that gave Bronfman minimal protection was that she reserved the right to appeal the judge’s sentence if it exceeded 27-months.

In December, the judge said he was considering an upward departure for Clare – meaning he was thinking about handing her a sentence of more than 27 months. This may have been because of the large number of alleged victims who have written to the judge to exclaim they were abused by Bronfman – and/or it may have been because of what the judge read in Clare’s “Pre-Sentencing Report”.

Since then, Bronfman fired her lawyer Mark Geragos and hired Ronald S. Sullivan, Jr. According to one attorney involved in the case, the judge told Sullivan that Bronfman can withdraw her plea deal and stand trial. Evidently, she has chosen to keep her deal and not face trial and is, instead, throwing herself at the mercy of the court.

As you will see in a subsequent post, her new lawyers have submitted a lengthy Sentencing Memorandum that argues she not serve any time in prison.  In addition to this, several dozen of Clare’s family members, fellow NXIVM/ESP members, employees have written letters to the judge in support of her. We will be publishing – and analyzing – those letters.

And perhaps most significantly, Clare has written to the judge herself, expressing her feelings about being sentenced.

We are publishing that letter in full:

By Clare Webb Bronfman

Dear Judge Garaufis,

Thank you for the opportunity to speak with you directly and for taking the time to read this. First, and most importantly, I want to apologize. I never meant hurt anyone, however I have and for this I am deeply sorry.

I would like to apologize in particular to [editor’s note: the name is redacted but it is clear she is referring to Sylvie, a DOS slave that she brought into the USA illegally].

Although I wanted to make her life better, I made it worse. I imagine my actions and the last several years have been enormously difficult financially as well as painful for her emotionally, and I am truly sorry for everything she has had to go through.

Additionally, I wish to apologize to the Court, to my family and to others who have suffered as a result of my actions. I wish I could turn back the clock or take away the pain, but I can’t. Instead, I will honor the consequences this Court gives me, learn from the many lessons the last several years have taught me, and commit to leading a law-abiding life committed to helping others.

Your Honor, I wanted to take the time to answer some of the questions I am sure you have of me, however, please know I am doing so in order to share with you the world from my eyes, rather than to gain any leniency.

Thank you in advance for being willing to read this and I am sorry you are even in the position where you have to determine a punishment for me.

For much of my life I was ashamed of my wealth, I felt it made me different, when all I wanted was to be accepted. Over the years the way I have tried to honor what was gifted to me is by working as hard as I can, and by trying to help others have opportunities, such as my hope
with [redacted {Sylvie}].

Sadly, I failed in getting outside of my own struggle, to be able to think of and how different she is from me, how different her life experience is and how unfair it was to burden her with my struggles and solutions to them. In the process I hurt her instead of helping her, for which I am very sorry.

One of the hardest times of my life was my father [ billionaire Edgar Bronfman Sr.] dying. Of the many gifts my father gave me, the most meaningful to me was our relationship, in particular the last two years of his life. Taking care of him was both painful and beautiful and when he died the void and pain was beyond anything I have ever experienced, a feeling which still haunts me today.

Shortly afterwards, I learned one of my closest friend’s cancer had grown to stage 4 [Pam Cafritz]. Over the next two years I did everything I could to find medicine to help her, however, the inevitable day came.

Honestly, I still have not been able to feel the pain of her death. After my father, I didn’t think I could handle it. Pam was also Keith’s life partner of 20 years, as well as ’s closest friend.

As our office was handling all of Pam’s personal finances, we continued to do so. I avoided dealing with the Estate or discussing it with Keith as I imagined the pain he was going through and didn’t want to interfere.

Looking back, there were other options. I could have asked someone else to handle it, I could have put my feelings aside and been responsible, but I didn’t. I failed Pam and I failed this Court.

Your Honor, I am truly sorry. I have spent numerous hours of self-reflection, and while I cannot change the fact that I made these choices and acted as such, I hope to remedy the effects of them.

I also want to take this opportunity to answer some of the other questions people may have of me, again, with the hope to share things from my eyes in order for others to understand me and some of my choices.

Many people, including most of my own family, believe I should disavow Keith and NXIVM, and that I have not is hard for them to understand or accept. However, for me, NXIVM and Keith greatly changed my life for the better. Most of my teenage years and early 20s, I was ashamed of who I was, constantly focused on my shortcomings and ridden with self-hate.

NXIVM changed that. I learned a sense of who I am beyond my faults and the tools of how to transform things I didn’t like about myself into traits and behaviors I do. I started to embrace myself and turn outwardly to care for and help others.

One of the most important aspects of NXIVM for me was the people and the community. For the first time in my life I wasn’t afraid to be with people. I built meaningful friendships and I was surrounded by people who were seeking to improve their lives. They supported and helped me to overcome patterns of self-loathing, insecurities, shame and fears. I found the things I felt most passionate about, fulfilled by and deeply cared about and I also found areas I was able to excel at outside of horses.

Additionally, I had a deep desire to learn about being a responsible leader and about business so I could honor the wealth and position my father and grandfather [Samuel Bronfman] gifted me with, and through Keith’s guidance, I was able to stop feeling ashamed of my wealth, and accept and embrace the responsibility of it.

I was given opportunities to build myself and my new-found love of business within the various companies, and, Keith encouraged and supported me building businesses outside of NXIVM.

Through my many years with NXIVM, I started to enjoy life, to feel accepted, loved and happy. Subsequently, many members of the community became like family to me and I cannot find it in me to now turn my back on those friendships, nor deny how profoundly Keith and NXIVM impacted my life. Even though some of them have now been labeled as bad for remaining friends, I experience them as some of the most kind hearted and well intentioned people I know.

I am also deeply grateful as many people and family members have submitted letters of support, which may lead to further financial, reputational and social damage. I believe family does that, they stand behind those they love despite negative consequences, and I am
immensely privileged to have that not only with my blood relatives, but also my friends.

However, while I am deeply grateful for all of the support I have received, I am also very sorry that it has caused them all so much grief and hardship.

People also believe I should have disavowed DOS, but from the information I had, it did not make sense for me to do so. When I found out about DOS, and with the blog [Frank Report] reporting many accusations, there were certainly things I was scared by and questions I had about it, however I never assumed bad intent so I asked a few of my friends to help me to understand it.

I was never told about anything sexual or damaging of any nature, and I was assured by them and by professionals that: there was no harm being done; no one was being forced to do anything; and to the contrary, people were experiencing improvements in their life through their membership in DOS.

I also understand when people question how I could not have known about DOS, I even asked myself the same question. While some of my closest friends were members of DOS, it was never unusual for them to be doing projects that I was not involved in. In fact, there were
many companies within NXIVM I was not involved in let alone social settings. I was also traveling a lot and when I was home in Albany, I was usually busy working, and when I was with my friends, no one talked about anything unusual and I had no reason to suspect a secret
society existed. I am a private person, and I am always respectful believing that if people don’t share their private lives with me, they probably don’t want me to ask, so I don’t.

I truly didn’t know about it, and that is my solemn word before this Court.

Your Honor, I saw things unfold very differently than has been presented by the media and the Court. I never believed I was supporting anything bad or wrong, I never wanted to shield anyone from criminal behavior, I never intended to intimidate people. I did not and do
not support anyone abusing or using violence towards anyone. I just tried to do what I thought was best to honor my role as a leader in NXIVM and a good friend.

The last two years have been immensely painful, many people’s lives have been upended, a community where many of us thrived, felt purposeful, and really enjoyed our lives in has fallen apart and it has all caused tremendous pain for many people and their families.

In these last two years, I have spent my time reflecting on how all of this happened, and where I participated and why. I have tried to understand the bad choices I have made, and overcome the struggles driving me to choose them. I read each of the victim statements
relating to me and become aware of many blind spots. Reading these letters, some from people I still care deeply about, has been immensely painful, however it has also been helpful to my understanding how my actions are perceived, and how some people have experienced me, and felt affected by me.

As a result I believe I stand here a better person, a person with a deeper understanding of humanity, of the differences between people and the gravity of how I affect others.

I have also taken the opportunity to honor a promise I made to my father yet had not fulfilled; getting my GED. In the process, I fell in love with education and have taken many online college courses on many subjects, studied bar exam courses, and read many books by a wide range of authors on many topics.

Additionally, I have reconnected with my maternal family, engaged in their lives and tried to be a good friend, sister, daughter, aunt, cousin, and niece as everyone has navigated the recent pandemic and subsequent lockdowns and effects.

Your honor, I deeply regret the decisions I made that lead me to being before you, and I am truly sorry for the harm it has caused others, in particular, and for the trouble, time and expense it has cost the Court. I take full responsibility for my actions and I will respect and honor whatever punishment you feel is just.

Thank you for taking the time to read this.





About the author

Frank Parlato

Frank Report’s founder and lead writer Frank Parlato is one of the internet’s most acclaimed investigative journalists. His writing and investigations have helped expose major criminal organizations and scandals.

Frank’s work has been cited in major publications all over the world, including The New York Times, New York Post, The Daily Mail, VICE News, CNN, Rolling Stone, and more.

He is also the publisher and editor-in-chief of Artvoice, The Niagara Falls Reporter, Front Page and the South Buffalo News.


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  • I just want to say that I am delusional and I’ve been incarcerated. So, I’m not exactly a source of mental health or knowledge about how to behave appropriately in society. So, Clare, thanks for your attempt to come clean, be accountable and honest. I know you don’t want to hurt your friends or those that have been helpful to you in your life. Friendship means a lot to people like us that never had any real friends. I’m absolutely a delusional person; I believe people when I have no reason to and I let many people hurt me because of it. I think you are similar. You mistake friendship for people who used you. People who used you for your money and access to powerful people. I’ve been there. It’s hard to see who is a friend and who is not. If your pals at Nxivm were really your friends, they would have told everything important that was going on with them. They would have told you about DOS and asked you to join them.

    I don’t want to rub it in. I know you feel terrible as it is and the pain of prison may be less than the pain of isolation you now feel. I wish I could make it better.
    My advice is you try a bit harder to come clean. I suggest you write down the names of those you’ve hurt and make amends to them. I suggest you come out of your delusion and understand the lies you’ve been told so people could use you and your power. I suggest you take your power back by refusing to give it untrustworthy people and you rise up to fight against those abusers. I suggest you stop feeling sorry for your plight and realize redemption is possible through deep honesty, making amends, and taking the consequences for your actions. I’ve been in prison. It was horrible until I met someone who took me under his wing, showed me some real kindness, and showed me how to live life simply and honestly by treating others well. Prison can be a great opportunity for this. It was a place for me to be humble, to teach others basic skills like how to read, and it was a model for me to lead my life honestly.

    I hope you can find peace.

  • “I cannot find it in me to now turn my back on those friendships, nor deny how profoundly Keith and NXIVM impacted my life. Even though some of them have now been labeled as bad for remaining friends, I experience them as some of the most kind hearted and well intentioned people I know.”

    Who else said something like this … oh yes, it was Prince Andrew, who refused to entirely disavow his relationship with Epstein, saying it had “some seriously beneficial outcomes” that were unrelated to the accusations against them both. “Do I regret the fact that he has quite obviously conducted himself in a manner unbecoming? Yes,” he said.

    Child rape is “a manner unbecoming”. What was Andrew’s other memorable line: “I admit fully my judgment was probably coloured by my tendency to be too honourable, but that’s just the way it is.”

    Did the evidence in court mention the fact that Keith Raniere told the Bronfmans that their father was trying to thwart him because he could prove that the Nazis were not so bad? Or that senior members of the cult were said by Raniere to be reincarnated Nazi leaders or Mussolini? And that Nancy Salzman was Adolf Hitler?

    Kind-hearted, well-intentioned people … and Clare Bronfman still thinks she has lessons to teach the world, about how to live as a good person.

    How could any lawyer allow a client to write a letter like this? It has to be reverse psychology. Let her write a truly honest letter, so the judge can see, she’s still completely delusional. Since she’s totally delusional, she can’t be fully responsible for her actions. Hence, the letter should inspire some leniency.

    But it’s her eagerness to go out and teach people her new insights into life, that should terrify the judge and force him to impose consecutive maximum sentences. If Clare Bronfman listened to her sister, and said, I will become a nun when I get out of jail, I will disappear into a cloister and never say another word again to the outside world ever, THEN there might be an argument for leniency.

    But to say to the judge — I have valuable lessons to teach the world, I just want the chance…

    If you really, really want to prove to the world that you’re just an ordinary person like the rest of us on the street, Clare Bronfman, then shut up and do your time, and then seriously shut up some more.

  • The names of the victim here was redacted for a reason, to protect the victim’s privacy. You are quite an asshole and piece of shit to disclose the victim’s name without her permission.

    • The victim was named in court and in the media 100 times. The court decided to use the victim’s first name – I followed the same rule. All regular readers know the story….

  • Nurse Nancy, the EM Queen, had so much to do with this, in my opinion, of course.

    You have to laugh thinking about these n’eer-do-wells literally setting up shop, Clare buying Apropos,
    In Rome Plaza, in an upstate NY old stripmall with not more than a thrift shop and a laundromat? Shake your head. Oh, no. It was obscene

    Did these ethical people ever do anything for the community? For the elderly community in the trailer park behind Rome Plaza? Give, for the court, *one instance* where Nxivm, EsP, any one of these people did anything for the community in which they lived, much less for anyone but their own. I will wait.

  • Well, it took a long time to stop chuckling at this combination piece of soap opera and scavenger fish. Not to worry, “Georgiana.” Nobody seems to have taught Clare to realize when
    The Party is Over. So history, or her story, is bound to keep on repeating itself.

    Let us pause and say “alas,” ’cause ain’t nobody goin’ to say “all ass” about Clare (the Webb of Legatus) Bronfman.

    This catastrophic denial of Clare’s is the price one often ends up paying for wanting somebody weird to be your God. Or for wanting anybody to do your own work for you. Or for blowjobs, by cracky!

    God did not live in New York state and grunt at the refrigerator while screwing everyone he could, the younger, the richer, the more gullible always chewed up the most unenlighteningly.

    Did he, Clare? Who dat? Does God have a humanoid body and a sex life, like some psycho-babbling satyr?

    There is a slice o’ pie that old Clare is avoiding here in her letter to a man who is not Santa Claus. That is her own sex with Raniere. Let’s talk about that. Do not acquiesce when the giraffe is squatting right here in the living room. Never mind trying not to be spotted in the hall of justice.

    It’d take more effort to figure out with whom Raniere DIDN’T copulate, amongst his minions. Some ethics teacher Clare picked.

    Yes, it took him awhile to get around to her, so the tale has been told and retold. But Clare Bronfman hadda da sex with her guru, too.

    That didn’t float his boat, though. It might’ve just been a case if plugging a dike. So instead, and/or evidently, Clare morphed into a litigation hound like a bottomless pit.

    And now she tries not to sound too udderly bizarre by sending off a Hallmark card full of bald gibberish. Uh-huh.

  • Well, at least she said she is going to accept the consequences instead of appealing her sentence.

    That is what she said.

    “I will honor the consequences this Court gives me,”

  • RE Clare Bronfman:

    I have written many insulting and cruel things about Clare Bronfman………After reading this letter, I’m shocked she would write something so unapologetic and without total remorse to a judge…..How pathetic can she be?

    I almost pity her for being so delusional as to believe this letter is a good idea.

    Bronfman’s attorney must be thinking Clare has sunk herself.

  • I’m glad she’s taking classes. Every little step forward gives her a new perspective on seeing the wool that was pulled over her eyes by the Nxivm machine.

  • I’d forgotten the “fuck toys” text from Raniere to Camilla. That text demonstrates better than any other single communication, Raniere’s attitude towards the women he had sex with. It demonstrates that he viewed the women as objects to be used and not people.

    On that basis, it can’t be fun to be Clare or Allison or Lauren and wonder how much, if any, of the things he said to you were ever true, regardless of the high-sounding words and principles.

  • Frank, This is funny as hell – but please show us the real letter that Clare submitted to the judge. We might love you and trust you, Frank, but no one believes that’s the real letter.

  • Clare Bronfman is studying for the bar exam?

    Newsflash to Clare: It doesn’t make any difference how rich you are. You still have to go to law school for at least some period of time before you can take the bar exam in any state. And most law schools require you to be a college graduate before they’ll accept you.

    That “Certificate” you got from NXIVM University?

    Yeah…that’s about as real as Keith’s 100-yard dash record.

    OMG…It’s hard to believe that you’re dumber than you are ugly.

  • What an arrogant asshole Clare Bronfman is.

    Hey, Judge Garaufis, fuck you and your criminal justice system.

    And BTW, I’d like a really light sentence.

  • Clare’s new attorneys should be sued for malpractice for allowing her to submit this letter to the judge. I’d say she just added at least a year to her sentence.

  • Even if, and that’s a big if, she didn’t know anything then she knows now so at what price her enlightenment or her entitlement to the sentimental comfort and joy her financing of a straight up and down RICO enterprise bought her. Is she on heroin?

  • She wants to play the victim saying she had no idea of the wrongdoing. But she did know. The litigations she engaged in, the ones she lied about. She knew she was lying. She was doing it to please Keith and did not care if that meant to lie and throw innocent people into a cage.

    She engaged in spying to her own father to please Keith. She knew that spying on her own father was wrong, but she didn’t care. She justified it because it was for Keith. The means justify the ends.

    I think she has been playing the naive card for a long time and knows how to use it well. She does look naive. But she isn’t. She is dangerous because she has money that can assist evil beings like Keith. Without her money, Nxvim would be nothing

  • Those “character letters” include multiple members of the Raniere dance troupe, one of whom Keith directly tasked with threatening Judge Garaufis. Sullivan is a moron for including them in the package and not protecting his client, but it appears Bronfman wishes to be martyred for this group

    • She is an adult woman and she let it happen for herself. A number of people tried to intervene. She decided she wanted to stay and punish people with her money. That’s on her. The litigations she did, the terror she inflicted came from her own hand. She should be held accountable. I think she should go to trial.

  • C-R-A-Z-Y

    Is the only way to describe this letter. Talk about cognitive dissonance and DENIAL. Clare really has no concept of the damage she caused and that other people have free will and aren’t slaves or servants.

    This reads like a letter from a plantation owner, apologizing for the ‘unfortunate harm’ she caused her slaves in Defense of her beloved South.

    CLARE IS STILL BRAINWASHED. Totally completely. More troubling, as soon as she gets out, she will continue to support her Vanguard.

    SMH smh smh. Stack the sentences and give her 20 years.

    • No, I don’t think she is brainwashed. I think this is manipulative to appear an innocent fool and get off. She knew damn well what she was doing when she lied in the litigations. She wanted to put innocent people in cages. She deserves a harsh sentence. She is dangerous and manipulative – and especially dangerous because of the money she has.

    • Here, here. No disavowal- just stunning. I’m a poor rich girl with Daddy issues who let myself get fucked over for a 100 million by a limp-dicked misogynist. You couldn’t make this up. Clare, perhaps a little more self-reflection behind bars will bring you closer to the truth.

  • This letter should say, Im sorry for lying, cheating, spying and finding pleasure in other humans pain. Im a sorry piece of uneducated shit.
    Her letter is good as toilet paper. I see Sylvie is still battling with an eating disorder and Clare still just doesn’t get it.

About Frank Parlato

About Frank Parlato

Frank Parlato is an investigative journalist.

His work has been cited in major publications all over the world, including The New York Times, The Daily Mail, VICE News, CNN, Fox News, Rolling Stone, People Magazine, and more.

Frank Parlato was the lead investigator and coordinating producer of Investigation Discovery's 2 hour blockbuster special 'The Lost Women of NXIVM.'

Frank Report is dedicated to Frank's investigative journalism and the pursuit of truth.

Read more about Frank Report's mission.

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