Updated: Thanks to Kristin Keeffe, Frank Report has obtained her complete statement. There were many errors in the original transcripts of the court proceedings. These have been corrected thanks to our access to the original statement written by Kristin.
Kristin Keeffe was the ninth and final victim to speak at the sentencing of Clare Webb Bronfman
The sentencing hearing took place on September 30, 2020. Kristin’s statement and the others that preceded it had such an impact on the judge that when Kristin concluded, Judge Nicholas G. Garaufis observed a period of silence that lasted between two and three minutes.
He seemed almost flabbergasted and distraught at the evil he heard from these nine victims and sat staring at Bronfman for some time.
It was a portent of things to come. After that, he called a recess and when the court resumed, there were arguments from the prosecution and the defense and a statement from Clare herself. It ended with the surprising sentence of 81 months, 21 months longer than the prosecution requested.
We have published the statements of the first eight victims already.
- Sarah Edmondson appeared by video: here.
- Ivy Nevares appeared by video: here.
- Jane Doe 14, a DOS slave, appeared by video: here.
- Jane Doe 12, appeared live: here.
- Toni Natalie appeared live: here
- Sally Brink appeared live: here
- Susan Dones appeared live here
- Barbara Bouchey appeared live here
Kristin Keeffe was an inner-inner circle member of Keith Raniere’s group for more than 20 years. She arrived before Nxivm was born.
She is the mother of Keith’s oldest known child, Gaelyn, who is 13. When he was born, she was required to lie to the Nxivm community in order to preserve the fiction that Keith was a celibate. In addition, he had promised several women in his harem that they would be the mother of his first-born child.
Kristin left Raniere in February 2014 and went into hiding, emerging only after his arrest. She made her first public appearance in my film The Lost Women of Nxivm.
When Kristin first left in 2014, she and her son came to live in an apartment I own in the Florida Keys. She stayed for more than a year. Meantime, Clare hired private detectives to find her and they finally did. Instead of confronting her with the alleged purpose of their investigation – to serve her a summons for child custody for Keith – the detectives were fired by Clare.
Then a suspicious thing happened: Clare hired a couple to befriend Kristin, without telling her that they were employed by Clare. They succeeded in befriending Kristin, while reporting to Clare all of Kristin’s doings. When the moment was ripe, another anonymous person was employed to threaten Kristin with a series of terrifying text messages threatening her that if she did not get away from my property and disassociate from me, she would be in grave danger.
Realizing she had been found out, she fled and went into hiding again, but staying in contact with me. There is a possibility that plans were afoot to kidnap her son and possibly arrange for Kristin to appear to have committed suicide. She escaped with her life and her son safely.
It was ironic that the couple hired to befriend her approached her on the canal behind the apartment in a kayak – just as another Kristin, some 17 years ago, presumably disappeared on a kayak.
Kristin Keeffe appeared at the sentencing hearing wearing her mask and she began her speech with her mask on.
THE COURT: Ms. Keeffe, you have ten minutes, ma’am.
MS. KEEFFE: Your Honor, there are a couple of instances where I’m going to use initials for people that were other victims in the case. I just want to point that out so it doesn’t give us some confusion.
THE COURT: So you’re just going to use initials?
MS. KEEFFE: Just one or two times.
THE COURT: That’s fine.
MS. KEEFFE: Your Honor, this is a difficult thing for me to read. Clare Bronfman has caused me unimaginable pain. I have a 13-year-old son with Keith Raniere named Gaelyn. Throughout Gaelyn’s life, Keith had never paid us child support. When Gaelyn was born, Keith convinced me to lie and not tell anyone that I was Gaelyn’s mother and Keith his father. He told me to tell everyone that I had adopted Gaelyn.
Keith had me convinced that Edgar Bronfman, Clare’s father, would harm Gaelyn if he found out Keith was his father. When Clare found out about Gaelyn, she concurred to this with Keith. I never would have believed this otherwise. I was so scared. Clare Bronfman insisted repeatedly over many, many years that her father was an evil, wicked man capable of orchestrating a wide variety of crimes and violence, and he was after Keith and NXIVM. I believed I had to live this lie to protect my son.
Being a mother is the most important thing in my life, my most treasured experience. Keith and Clare made me lie about my own motherhood and the lie distorted all my relationships and all my experiences. It was extremely isolating for me and you can’t imagine the grief and distress that I felt and the fear that I had for my son.
Keith and Clare used their story as a basis to justify Keith not claiming paternity of my son and not paying child support. Clare told me her father was “tracking all of their finances”.
I met Clare in 2003 shortly after I was hired by Nancy Salzman and Keith to assist with NXIVM’s legal affairs. I worked with Clare closely for the next 11 years.
THE COURT: I’m sorry. Are you a lawyer?
MS. KEEFFE: No, paralegal.
THE COURT: I see
Ms. Keeffe: So I worked with Clare the next 11 years, the last five of which she was my direct boss. Over time, Clare used my fear of her father to manipulate me and took control of every aspect of my life. She used it as an excuse to front costs for Keith associated with Gaelyn’s childcare and to justify Keith not paying his child support. She also fronted other expenses of Keith’s that were enormous so he didn’t have to take a salary from NXIVM or claim he had any assets.
So the Court understands, the true scope of what Clare did, in a very short period of time from 2003 through 2006, I witnessed her and her sister make cash distributions of approximately $100 million to NXIVM and NXIVM-related endeavors despite the fact that NXIVM as a business was only grossing about $4 million a year.
Clare has stated and continues to state these distributions were “loans,” despite that neither Clare nor Keith ever expect this money to be repaid. They both told me as much.
Eventually I fled NXIVM in 2014 out of sheer terror arising from the following. This is not an exhaustive list.
NXIVM was rapidly and most obviously becoming a sex cult in 2012 to 2013, and I didn’t want my son to be raised in such an environment. Keith was sleeping with almost every woman in the higher ranks of the company and his behavior was growing increasingly and quite publicly out of control.
Clare was publicly engaging in widespread visa fraud involving Mariana [Fernandez] and Sylvie, some of which involved women who were providing childcare to my son, KK and BM, while Nancy and Keith were openly embezzling cash from the various companies and storing it at Nancy’s house, some of which was seized by the Government after their arrest. I knew Nancy and Keith were not claiming these monies as income. And I thought this in combination with Clare’s phony loans could lead to serious criminal charges being filed some day.
I was quite sure Clare, Nancy and Keith might end up in prison and I told them as much. I saw Clare mentally descending over several years into a type of dangerous megalomania. I never met the “humble ascetic” Clare that supporters speak of now.
While I worked for Clare at various times, she rode a million dollars horse, bought a 6,500 square-foot mansion and flew around in her 11 million-dollar private jet, all a matter of public record.
Clare’s illegal conduct was never about money. For her, it was about her having coercive control of people, including myself. This caused me extreme psychological duress.
Clare demoted me and refused to pay me a livable wage. I went from making a modest $50- 55K a year to being paid $13,000 a year after I protested the continuing litigating of Barbara Bouchey. Which I thought it was wrongful. I could not support myself and my son alone on this which Clare knew. I started to feel like her prisoner. I was her prisoner.
My car was repossessed. My townhouse was a NXIVM-owned property and I had lived in it for free for five years. Out of nowhere Clare sent me a bill for $5,000 saying I owed back rent, knowing full well I couldn’t pay it.
She was trying to psychologically break me and she almost did.
I realize the real reason Clare was fronting a large portion of Keith’s expenses was to keep Keith FAKE judgment-proof, to disempower me and make it impossible for me to obtain child support for my son. I felt so powerless.
I saw many people around me whose lives fell apart mentally and financially while under Clare’s supervision, and she exhibited zero conscience about this. I was sure NXIVM would end in some type of violence. I grew terrified of this. I knew something bad would happen and it did. I became sick with worry about the state of Daniella [the woman confined in a room for two years]. I couldn’t stop thinking about her. I felt I had to report what happened to her to the police, which I did.
I finally recognized that Clare campaign to prove her father was behind this widespread illegal conspiracy to destroy Keith and NXIVM and anyone close to Keith was born out of spite and vindictiveness on Clare’s part and might not be true. She had spent millions of dollars trying to prove her father’s crimes, including $1.1 million to Canaprobe [A Canadian PI firm] and hacked his computer to have his emails read.
Kristin Keeffe with Nancy Salzman and Pamela CafritzWhen Edgar’s health started to seriously fail in September of 2013, Clare showed up at his home with a film crew to interview him to get him to confess to his crimes on camera before he died. Naturally, he didn’t confess.
Then a month before Edgar died, Clare told me, ‘Oh, I made up with my father.’ Just like that, like the past ten years of her threatening me hadn’t happened and she was completely indifferent to all the lies I had to tell about my and my son’s life.
After all of that I knew and saw happening, I had no choice but to flee NXIVM and Clifton Park, New York, and report everything I knew to the authorities, which I did.
We had to give up our home, our beloved pets, everything. I had so much fear about what Keith and Clare might do to my son and what revenge she might take on me. I made several reports to the authorities and I eagerly cooperated with the prosecution team here in the Eastern District of New York.
I don’t have any baby pictures of Gaelyn.
You can’t imagine the loneliness and fear I’ve felt and what it was like to have to give up everything I owned and every single friend I had and completely disrupt my son’s life to both protect us and do the right thing for others I saw being harmed. It’s been a long, hard struggle but it was the only choice to make. Unfortunately for me and my son, Clare continues to harm us to this day.
In March of this year, in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic, I sought directly and through my attorney enter into a private settlement agreement for child support with Keith Raniere once and for all
THE COURT: I’m sorry. Can you take your mask off while you make the rest of your statement if you don’t mind?
MS. KEEFFE: I don’t mind.
THE COURT: Okay. Because I’m having trouble understanding you.
MS. KEEFFE: Okay.
THE COURT: Just remove your mask.
MS. KEEFFE: Did you understand what I said so far?
THE COURT: No, no just finish up.
MS. KEEFFE: Okay. In March of this year in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, I went directly to my attorneys to enter into a private settlement agreement for child support with Keith Raniere once and for all. I and my son are worthy and deserving of child support from Keith and we were always worthy and deserving and this should have been paid.
With COVID-19, I worry I have not done enough, fast enough to rebuild a life for my son and me. I worry about the fragility of my long-term health. What will happen to my son if I die?
Through Keith’s attorney, Marc Aginfilo, and my attorney, WIlliam Dreyer, we came to an agreement for a lump-sum payment by Keith to settle child support payments owed in full. I knew that Keith had inherited money from Pamela Cafritz when she died in 2016, and I learned the summer the amount was $8 million. Keith continues to represent Gaelyn’s child support will be paid from his interest in Pam’s estate.
Just recently, I learned through Matthew Dorsey, the attorney for the Pam Cafritz’s estate, the horrifying reality. The sole reason the estate funds have not issued to Keith yet was because Pam Cafritz’s personal tax returns had never been filed to substantiate the income forming the basis of her estate, and the funds might never issue into Keith’s name or it could be months or years before they do.
This was a huge wake-up call and the fresh wound for me to deal with because of Clare and her crimes. More secrets and lies. I am crushed and this is causing me enormous emotional pain, which I’m trying to hide from my son. Clare conspired with Keith to deliberately not settle Pam’s estate, and it’s still not settled.
Instead, Clare fraudulently used Pam’s identity to funnel money to Keith and Marianna [Fernandez] and their baby together that Keith would otherwise have claim as income to avoid taxes, which Clare pled guilty to.
The simultaneous consequence of Keith and Clare’s tax avoidance though, their crime is depriving my son of proper financial support from his otherwise extremely wealthy father.
Moreover, Clare established the $500K KAR Trust for the baby’s benefit.
I am asking the Court to make Clare responsible for her crimes and the damages to my son and I as a result. We really need to be made whole. I would also like to have any of our things that we were forced to leave behind in Clifton Park returned, if Clare still has them somewhere, especially Gaelyn’s baby pictures.
Thank you, Your Honor,
(Pause in proceedings.)