BROOKLYN, NEW YORK — U.S. District Judge Eric Komitee held a hearing today on the matter of Sarah Edmondson, et al vs. Keith Raniere, et al,
The judge told Glazer “as far as the accusations that I’ve seen or the things that you’re calling a threat, I see no basis to establish that the defendants are doing anything directly.”
The judge did not impose sanctions against Clyne, Porter and Roberts.
He reviewed his previous order reminding the pro se defendants that they may not identify anonymous plaintiffs for the time being.
He directed Clyne, Roberts and Porter not to contact plaintiffs. Clyne told the judge she had been contacted by plaintiffs numerous times and criticized publicly by Glazer. She asked if the non-contact order could apply to plaintiffs as well and to prohibit Glazer’s from making derogatory remarks to the media.
The judge declined to issue a gag order but directed the plaintiffs, which number more than 60, most of them identified only as Jane or John Doe, not to contact Clyne, Porter, and Roberts.
Glazer told the judge that Michele Hatchette threatened to identify anonymous plaintiffs, referring to her Instagram video where she said, if the anonymous plaintiffs don’t reveal their names, she would disclose them.
The judge asked Glazer if this video was released by one of the defendants or a third party.
Glazer admitted it was a third party but that defendants were in close contact with her. The judge said there’s no basis in law where he could take away the First Amendment from Hatchette, a non-party.
While he had no power to control what third parties say to the public, “It would be unfortunate if a third party would seek to embarrass people in this case for no reason other than spite.,” Judge Komitee said.
The judge declined to take any of the disputing parties’ First Amendment rights away, other than the restriction of naming anonymous plaintiffs by the defendants.
He said in effect, “They can speak publicly as much as they want. Of course, if a third party is going to engage calling for names to be disclosed, they better not be directed by any of the defendants.”
Clyne told the judge she did not know the identities of all the anonymous plaintiffs.
Roberts asked how would she know if she is identifying someone who wishes to be anonymous since she does not know the names of the plaintiffs.
Judge Komitee told Glazer that he must reveal the identities of all plaintiffs to defendants as soon as possible since defendants need to know who they are defending against.
The judge said he would permit Glazer to contact the pro se defendants and vice versa.
Ronald S. Sullivan, an attorney for Clare Bronfman, said that she should be separated from DOS accusations of sexual abuse since she was not part of DOS.
The judge seemed to agree that the case should be bifurcated – with one part dealing with DOS allegations of sex, forced labor and peonage and the other part dealing with the NXIVM multilevel marketing consumer fraud claims.
The judge said every defendant seems to be accused of everything.
The judge said in effect, “We’ll just have to see in the motions to dismiss.” Should the judge dismiss the Bronfman sisters from the DOS claims, this lawsuit may be moot.
Brandon Porter told the judge, “Thank you, your Honor, for considering our financial situation.”
After requiring Porter, Clyne and Roberts to come from out of state to appear in Brooklyn in person, the judge said in effect, “Thank you for saying that. I don’t take things lightly. I can see you are in a situation where you have no money, so you don’t have to worry about coming to all the appearances.”.
Heiress Sara Bronfman-Igtet, who is reportedly in Portugal, and, according to her attorneys, has been outside the USA since 2019, listened to the proceedings by phone.
Eduardo Asunsolo Ramirez, a NXIVM supporter, was in court. He supports the naming of anonymous plaintiffs in the civil suit.
“If it’s fair to name the accused and destroy the accused’s reputation, let the accuser stand and be named,” he told the Times Union. “That’s justice. Let them not hide behind Jane and John Doe — that’s cowardly. You want to accuse and get money? Name yourself; stand for what you claim”
Earlier today, Glazer put in notice of another Jane Doe dropping out, Jane Doe 29, a resident of New York, one of the lesser plaintiffs who merely took some NXIVM courses and supposedly did some unspecified free labor for NXIVM.