Lionsgate Wants Judge to Acknowledge Certain Facts About NXIVM

Seduced examines the experience of India Oxenberg, a former member of NXIVM, who was recruited into DOS, and wound up branded, giving collateral and ordered to seduce Keith Raniere.

Marc Elliot is suing the producers of Seduced: Inside the NXIVM Cult, Lionsgate Films Inc., Lionsgate Entertainment Inc., and Starz Entertainment LLC, [Lionsgate].

Lionsgate is calling it a SLAPP suit, asking the judge to dismiss the case, and looking for the judge to order the plaintiff, Marc Elliot, to pay its legal fees.

In support of their anti-SLAPP motion, Lionsgate filed a Request for Judicial Notice.

Seduced features audio and video recordings from NXIVM events, interviews with witnesses, news coverage of NXIVM, and the criminal trial of Raniere, commentary from outside experts on NXIVM, with clips illustrating their commentary, which focus on the psychology and practices of cult-like groups, drawing parallels between NXIVM and other groups.


Marc Elliot joined NXIVM in 2010. He rose through NXIVM’s ranks, becoming a coach, advancing to proctor, and earning his living through NXIVM. The group developed a special project under him, promoted his story to people who attended ESP trainings, filmed a documentary about how NXIVM changed his journey with Tourette’s, and promoted the documentary at international film festivals.

After Raniere was convicted , Elliot continued to support NXIVM, advocating in favor of reducing Raniere’s sentence and vacating his conviction based on prosecutorial misconduct.

Judicial Notice

The Federal Rules of Evidence addresses judicial notice in Rule 201. What it is, in effect, is asking the judge to agree that certain “facts” are true because they are obvious and indisputable: i.e., facts whose “accuracy cannot reasonably be questioned.”  

In a civil case, the judge’s word on these noticed facts is said to be final, though not so in a criminal case where the jury can question any judicially adjudicated fact it might dispute.

The purpose of this motion for judicial notice in the Elliot case is to have the judge rule that certain facts are true and is in support of their anti-SLAPP motion.

Lionsgate has submitted a series of exhibits and is asking the judge to look at them and decide they are facts:

   – Episode One explores NXIVM’s recruitment strategies and how India Oxenberg became involved with the group.
     – Episode Two explores NXIVM’s curriculum, ideology, and indoctrination.
     – Episode Three delves into the practices of the DOS secret society and India Oxenberg’s personal experience as a “slave” to her “master”, actress Allison Mack, under “grandmaster” Raniere.
     – Episode Four covers the public reaction to Raniere’s criminal activities, Catherine Oxenberg’s efforts to rescue her daughter, and the trial and conviction of Raniere and NXIVM leadership.

What Lionsgate’s attorneys want the judge to adjudicate as facts from these exhibits are:

Plaintiff names Raniere 44 times in the FAC. The prosecution of NXIVM leader Keith Raniere for sex trafficking, forced labor, and racketeering is related to this litigation.

Since Elliot names Raniere 44 times in his complaint, Lions Gate argues “It is related to this litigation.”

“Episode Four of the Series focuses on the criminal investigation and trial of Raniere, which ended with a 120-year federal prison sentence.

Plaintiff’s name and story battling Tourette Syndrome fill three pages of the memo Raniere’s legal team submitted advocating for a lighter sentence.

This is a defamation case brought by an admitted NXIVM member, regarding Lionsgate’s contributions to the public debate about NXIVM.

Exhibit 3 reflects how both local and national media outlets published in-depth coverage about NXIVM and Keith Raniere prior to the federal criminal investigation.

Exhibit 4 reflects how, beginning in 2017 and throughout the criminal investigation and prosecution, NXIVM and Raniere garnered significant media coverage across print media, television, podcasts, and docuseries. Such coverage provides “evidence
of the ‘media frenzy’” surrounding NXIVM and Raniere,

Exhibit 5 is judicially noticeable to the extent it reflects how Plaintiff himself has been the subject of media coverage following Raniere’s criminal conviction.

Exhibit 6 is a copy of the New York State Department of Health’s Office of Professional Misconduct and Physician Discipline search result for Brandon B. Porter, showing that his medical license was revoked.

Elliot appears onscreen with Porter in Episode Four, text appears noting that Brandon Porter’s medical license was revoked. Elliot alleges that commentary about “Dr.” Porter’s work with NXIVM in Seduced was defamatory to him.

As part of Lionsgate anti- SLAPP lawsuit, the defendants in Marc Elliot v. Lions Gate Films, Inc. et al, produced exhibits which evidence facts they want the judge to notice and adjudicate as fact, in support their motion to dismiss.

Here they are:

Exhibit 1, is a compilation of four DVDs; each DVD contains one episode of the four-part documentary series at issue in this dispute, Seduced: Inside the NXIVM Cult. It established the fact of Seduced.

Exhibit 2 is the ECF docket report and a pertinent docket entry referencing Elliot from the criminal case U.S. v. Raniere. federal court records from the criminal case U.S. v. Raniere establishing the fact the Raniere was convicted and was sentenced to 120 years.

This exhibit includes:

  1. An excerpted copy of the ECF docket report for USA v Raniere. The docket entry at No. 969 details Raniere’s sentence of 120 years imprisonment.
  2. A copy of criminal defendant Raniere’s sentencing memorandum, discussing Elliot support for Raniere on pages 33–36.

Exhibit 3, is an illustrative compilation of articles and media coverage about NXIVM up to October 2017 showing that NXIVM had some bad press prior to Raniere’s arrest. This exhibit includes:

.A copy of articles by

  1. Barry Meier, Inside a Secretive Group Where Women Are Branded, NY Times (Oct. 17, 2017).
  2. Suzanna Andrews, The Heiresses and the Cult, Vanity Fair (Oct. 13, 2010).
  3. Cult of Personality, Forbes (Oct. 13, 2003).
  4. Albany Times Union’s landing page featuring its coverage of NXIVM. I accessed this website

Exhibit 4 is an illustrative compilation of articles and media coverage about NXIVM from late 2017 onward, covering allegations of sex trafficking and the related criminal cases. The fact they want to establish is there was a media frenzy after DOS was exposed.

  1. Jeff Truesdell, Dynasty Star Catherine Oxenberg’s Fight to Save Daughter from Group That Allegedly Brands Women, People (Oct. 25, 2017).
  2. ABC News’s landing page featuring their coverage of NXIVM. Out of the 160 search results featuring the term “NXIVM,” the earliest is dated December 15, 2017.
  3. Associated Press, NXIVM leader Keith Raniere convicted in lurid sex cult case, Los Angeles Times (June 19, 2019).
  4. Lauren Kranc, How NXIVM Seduced Hollywood Stars and America’s Most Powerful Elite Into a Barbaric ‘Sex Cult’, Esquire (Sept. 8, 2021).
  5. Albany Times Union’s landing page for the NXIVM On Trial podcast. 
  6.  CBC Radio Podcasts’ landing page for the Uncover— Escaping NXIVM podcast. 
  7. HBO’s landing page for the documentary series The Vow.
  8. Starz’s landing page for the documentary series Seduced: Inside the NXIVM Cult.

Exhibit 5, is an illustrative compilation of national news media coverage of Marc Elliot speaking publicly following Raniere’s criminal conviction to establish that Elliot was out front and center defending Raniere

  1. Reuters photojournalist slideshow pictures: NXIVM sex cult founder Keith Raniere sentenced to 120 years in prison, Reuters (Oct. 27, 2020). The first photo in the slideshow shows Plaintiff Marc Elliot standing in front of news microphones outside a United States Courthouse.
  2. The caption reads “Michele Hatchette, Nikki Clyne, Marc Elliot, Eduardo Asunsolo and Suneel Chakravorty, supporters of NXIVM cult leader Keith Raniere, speak to reporters following the sentencing hearing in the sex trafficking and racketeering case against Raniere, . . .”
  3. A screenshot and link to a CBS link to a CBS This Morning Video interview segment, Former “Battlestar Galactica” actress part of alleged “sex cult” speaks out, CBS This Morning (Sept. 29, 2020)
  4. Plaintiff Marc Elliot appears as one of five interviewees accompanied by the chyron “Former NXIVM Members Speak Out.” January 27, 2022.

Exhibit 6, the New York State Department of Health’s Office of Professional Misconduct and
Physician Discipline physician search result for Brandon B. Porter. The record reflects that Porter’s medical license No. 253486 has been revoked due to “professional misconduct . . . in a manner which evidences moral unfitness.” The record links to the Board’s Order, which details the allegations and Board’s determination.



About the author

Frank Parlato


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  • New York Times


    Tying and Re-Tying the Knot
    Couples recount the experience of having two or three wedding events because of the pandemic, a trend some experts say will continue to influence how many celebrate.

    By Jenny Block
    March 9, 2022

    [ … ]

    A desire to let others share in the joy of their wedding is in part what inspired India Oxenberg, 30, and Patrick D’Ignazio, 31, to plan a second celebration for this summer, about a year and a half after they legally wed on Dec. 3, 2020 in Los Angeles before only their officiant, Marilyn Townsend, a notary public.

    “It was basically a courthouse wedding but in a backyard,” said Ms. Oxenberg, a producer at the network Starz, who initially preferred the intimacy that came with getting married amid the pandemic.

    “The most important thing to me was signing the papers and making it official and not having to coordinate with multiple family members,” said Ms. Oxenberg, who met her husband in 2018 after escaping Nxivm, the cultlike criminal enterprise. After that traumatic experience, she added, a small event was all she wanted.

    But Mr. D’Ignazio hoped for something more. “I have a lot of friends and family who wanted to come to a wedding,” said Mr. D’Ignazio, a chef who is opening a restaurant in Key West, Fla. “I wanted to have a wedding.”

    He ultimately helped Ms. Oxenberg see the benefits of a second celebration. “Patrick has really been the one to show me the importance of this ceremony,” she said. “Our families have never met. They’ve only talked briefly on the phone, one of the crazy factors of Covid.”
    Ms. Oxenberg, who lives in Los Angeles, and Mr. D’Ignazio, who lives in Key West, where Ms. Oxenberg will soon join him, are expecting between 100 and 150 guests to attend their second event on Sept. 3 at Mr. D’Ignazio’s parent’s vacation home in Groton Long Point, Conn. It will also include a ceremony, led by one of Mr. D’Ignazio’s close friends.

    [ … ]

    • Of course, it was. He ordered Nancy Salzman to sue Continental Airlines for not giving her roll around laptop case back that she forgot.

      It was too late to sue them.

      She sued anyway saying she was worth a crazy amount of money per hour due to the loss of information on her computer.

      It was the most stupid thing she did.

      Well, maybe not, now that I think about it.

      She lost, of course, just like Marc Elliott is going to lose this stupid case.

      • What was the stupidest thing Nancy did?

        1. Suing Continental over a laptop.
        2. Spilling the beans to Susan Dones about all the illegal activity.
        3. Not following her instincts about Keith being a psychopath and agreeing to go into business with him.
        4. Observing the pathetic, psychotic, disturbing way Keith went after Toni, and not using it as a gift to prompt her and Lauren to escape from the clutches of Stinky.
        5. Believing the past-life, Nazi bullshit that keith spouted.
        6. Lending Kristin Keeffe and Toni Natalie money.
        7. Lying to everyone about Keith’s greatness – while she knew it was bullshit.
        8. Breaking up with Mark Drexel.
        9. Allowing Lauren to get sucked into Vanguard’s harem.
        10. Letting the lice infested, STD ridden, smelly liar touch her.

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.

IMDb — Frank Parlato,_Jr.

Contact Frank with tips or for help.
Phone / Text: (305) 783-7083