Actress Nicki Clyne says she's 'proud' of being branded NXIVM 'slave' & her experience was 'consensual & positive'

ACTRESS Nicki Clyne, a branded "slave master" in the controversial NXIVM "sex cult," has broken her silence saying she feels "proud" and "positive" about everything she did in the in the group.

Speaking out for the first time since NXIVM leader Keith Raniere was arrested, the star leapt to the group's defense, telling The Sun: “Right now the most important thing is that the world knows that I am saying, ‘I am proud of who I am, the choices I’ve made and I believe that it was very positive for me.’”

A self-described self-help group, NXIVM was placed under the spotlight in 2018 when former members made a series of shocking revelations about the group.

They revealed they had been forced to hand over explicit naked pictures or false accounts of abuse, had been beaten with paddles, made to starve themselves, and unwittingly branded with Raniere's initials on their groins.

Other women claimed they had been made to seduce or have sex withRaniere, with a 31-year-old woman testifying in court as to how she was blindfolded and tied down to a table while Raneiere watched another woman perform a sex act on her.

Raniere is facing life in prison after he was convicted last June on seven felonies, including sex trafficking, forced labor and racketeering – and is due to be sentenced on October 27.

Raniere – who followers called "Vanguard" – was also found guilty of acts of extortion, identity theft and the production, and possession of child pornography.

Now in a bombshell first interview, fellow high-ranking member Clyne has controversially revealed she still supports Raniere and the choices she had made, adding: "We made bold choices. I accept that. I was part of a group that really tried to uphold accountability, discipline, honor, and trust amongst women, which is something I think is important and needed.

"I think there were misunderstandings and things that are still misunderstood.

"And, and obviously I'm being careful with my words because it's a very sensitive situation and this is the first time I'm speaking about it…

"Right now the most important thing is that the world knows that I am saying, 'I am proud of who I am and the choices I've made. And I believe that it was very positive for me.'"

Clyne, 37, who has not been charged with any crime, was a first-line slave – and a master – who recruited her own slaves, in the secretive sorority at the heart of NXIVM called DOS.

The women of DOS had to make a life long vow to their "master," provide explicit and damaging collateral, be at their leader's beck and call – and carry out readiness drills and punishments whenever asked.

Then they were reportedly blindfolded and branded with a cauterizing ironin secret ceremony – which many former members claim was a terrifying and excruciating experience – and were shocked when they realized they were branded with the initials AM and KR.

Sarah Edmondson, one of the first women to come forward, said: "I wept the whole time. I disassociated out of my body."

However Clyne claims she never saw or carried out any abuse, saying: "I didn't participate in and I don't in any way endorse any victimizing of anyone else.

"I am adamantly opposed to any type of abuse to women or to any person or any type of oppressive environment.

"This was a positive consensual choice."

Clyne admits she was branded – but is adamant it was a very positive experience for her, which she does not regret.

When asked if she knew she was going to be branded with the intials of KR and AM, she said: "If I were a man, it would be completely irrelevant and offensive to be asking me a question like that.

"And I think that's the type of double standard that we need to examine as a society if women are going to be seen as equals."

When pressed, she added: "I believe I have the right to make my own decisions in my life. And that includes what I do to my body.

"And I made decisions knowingly and taking full responsibility for what those were. I never felt deceived and I certainly didn't deceive anyone else."

While other women such as Edmondson claim that the group was misrepresented to them, Clyne claims she never "misled anyone" nor was misled herself.

"It was a secret society – that was the whole point," she added. "But I never misrepresented what it was."

It has been widely reported, included in hit HBO documentary The Vow, that Raniere was having sex with multiple followers – with many accusing him of using sex as a manipulation tool.

When asked if she had sex with Raniere or knew about any other women who he was having sex with, Clyne said: "I don't feel it's really my place – or the place – to know and judge people's personal lives in that way."

She added that it was "never" her "experience," when asked if Raniere ever used sex to manipulate women.

Raniere was arrested in Mexico in March 2018 and brought back to the US where he was arraigned in Texas, tried in New York in 2019, and is due to be sentenced on Tuesday.

Despite his conviction and the evidence against him, Clyne says she still believes that Raniere is a "good person" and is campaigning for him to be re-tried – claiming that prosecutors have not given him a "due process" in court.

On Thursday, the government rejected Raniere's bid for a retrial – and accused Clyne of telling the DOS "slaves" to put their collateral on to hard drives, which the gave to her lawyer, and then delete it from their computers.

Clyne said this was "untrue," adding: "This is categorically false it never happened. I never gave anyone hard drives and I never asked anyone to hand anything over to me. That never happened."

Her fellow "slave" Michele Hatchette also confirmed to The Sun she never did this.

Clyne, who is adamant she is not and has never been brainwashed, said: "I think that there are a number of issues with the way his [Raniere's] trial was handled, with the way the whole thing was investigated, how he was essentially kidnapped in Mexico, and how the trials happened.

"I hope that we can get that evidence out and really the most important thing is that due process is upheld.

"We started the group Make Justice Blind and created a movement for public accountability for prosecutors, because this is a big problem in this country."

Clyne says she has reviewed lots of the evidence and witness testimony regarding NXIVM and DOS and admitted she had "mixed feelings" – and felt "sad" for anybody suffering from their experiences.

But she was clear she would not speak about anyone else's experiences, only her own.

"All I can say is that I was not involved in, nor did I witness, any type of coercion or abusive behavior," she said.

"I can't speak to anyone else's experience. I think that that is really for them to express and live with.

"For me personally, I just know a very different story and intent behind the practices and the concepts."

Clyne says her hopes for the future are that Raniere will be granted a retrial and that people on both sides can find peace.

"We had a beautiful community of people committed to bettering and bettering the world around them," she said.

"It would be, I think, a shame if that were to be destroyed because of what's happened.

"What I hope in the immediate future is that the due process or lack thereof is investigated thoroughly and that Keith can be tried, under the laws, as well as under a more rigorous investigation.

"I hope that the people who feel hurt can find peace. I hope that the people who have hurt others can be forgiven. We're all here on this planet to find happiness or joy…

"The situation has clearly caused a lot of divisions. And I think that if we can learn to look at ourselves and find forgiveness on both sides for areas we feel hurt, it can be an example of something really powerful for the world. So I guess that's my hope."

Clyne, a successful actress, also opened up about how her life had been destroyed after NXIVM imploded and a sensational trial gained worldwide attention.

"All the things that I cared about were destroyed – my career, my community, I struggled a lot when this started happening," she said.

"But interestingly, it really helped me build an internal strength and knowingness of who I am and who I want to be and overcoming the challenges and the obstacles.

"Being so misunderstood and misrepresented, has given me the courage to now stand up for what I really believe in, even though I understand it's unpopular.

"I'm willing to do that because I think it's important. I think it's important that there's a different example for women out there than being a victim.

"I think bad things can happen to you. And there are people who are victims of bad things and that's real, and it should be exposed, but it doesn't have to define your life."

Speaking about why she decided to break her silence, Clyne said: "I want to speak and voice my opinions as an adult woman who makes her own choices and takes responsibility for those choices.

"I made the decision to be part of ESP [NXIVM'S Executive Success Program] to achieve objectives to better myself. And I feel strongly that I achieved those objectives.

"By doing that I think it's very wrongful for society to assume this kind of infantilization of women just because they disagree with their choices or more likely in this case, misunderstand those choices.

"And I acknowledge that there are many different stories out there about what happened and different people have shared their perspectives with the media.

"I simply want to be able to share my perspective, which is that I had a very positive experience. I'm stronger, more resilient…

"I really hope that people can view this situation with a slightly more critical lens. I think that if we were a group of men this certainly wouldn't have risen to a legal case, and I don't know if it would have even been in the news to be quite honest, so it's been difficult.

"I think the biggest reason I've been silent is really just trying to navigate this in a way that is honoring myself and all women."

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