NXIVM Cult Leader Lauren Salzman, Featured in The Vow Docuseries, Avoids Prison Sentence
Lauren Salzman, 45, a former NXIVM collaborator of cult leader Keith Raniere, was sentenced on Wednesday to time served and five years of probation. Salzman, the daughter of NXIVM co-founder Nancy Salzman, had pleaded guilty in April 2019 to racketeering and conspiracy charges.
Salzman was featured in the HBO docuseries “The Vow” last year, which became a sensation. A second season of the show — directed and executive produced by Jehane Noujaim and Karim Amer — is currently in production.
Salzman is the fourth NXIVM member to be sentenced. In September, Clare Bronfman (an heir to the Seagram’s fortune, and a benefactor of Raniere), was sentenced to 81 months; in October, Raniere himself was sentenced to 120 years in prison; and last month, former “Smallville” actor and top NXIVM recruiter Allison Mack was sentenced to three years. Nancy Salzman has also pleaded guilty, and according to the Albany Times-Union, her sentencing is set for next week.
At Raniere’s trial in spring 2019, Salzman testified against him for four days. According to reports, she testified that she’d met Raniere in 1997 when she was 21. She and Raniere had a years-long sexual relationship. On the stand, she admitted to recruiting and grooming members, and in the most shocking admission, that she held a young Mexican NXIVM member named Daniela captive for two years.
In “The Vow,” Salzman was the “master” to Sarah Edmondson, the co-star of the docuseries. She recruited Edmondson — one of the NXIVM members who went public in an explosive 2017 New York Times story — into DOS, a women’s group within the cult that forced branding on its members. Edmonson ended up helping to bring down NXIVM.
The finale of “The Vow” teased the possibility that Raniere and Nancy Salzman might appear in the second season. Assuming the new episodes pick up the story with Raniere’s trial and the collapse of NXIVM, perhaps Lauren Salzman might also be featured. Last month, an HBO spokesperson told Variety that there was no update on the second season, other than that it was still in production.
In the sentencing of Lauren Salzman, prosecutors praised her “extraordinary assistance,” and said that her help was “critically important in securing Raniere’s conviction.”
Salzman’s attorneys, in their memo, said that she has started a dog grooming business, and has “a passion for working with animals, and she is excelling in this line of work.”
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