In season 2 of 'The Vow,' Clyne reveals the last day she saw Mack and opens up about her relationship with founder Keith Raniere.
As season 2 of HBO’s true-crime docuseries, The Vow, continues to pull the curtain back on NXIVM founder Keith Raniere’s wellness group revealed to be a Ponzi scheme and sex cult, it also details the arrest of former high-ranking leader Allison Mack, the Smallville actress who made headlines for her devotion to the organization and allegations of abuse made against her by other members.
In the premiere, "Tests of Loyalty," former member and continued Raniere supporter Nicki Clyne speaks out on camera for the first time, sharing details about her involvement in NXIVM while also revealing what happened the last day she saw her then-wife, who was arrested in April of 2018 on charges related to sex trafficking and conspiracy.
"We were moving when they came to arrest Allison," Clyne recalls in The Vow. "This guy came up to me and shows me his badge and he's like, 'Is Allison Mack in there?' And when she saw [them], I was like, 'Allison, they are here to arrest you.' And she just started shaking."
Clyne then helped her wife, whom she married in 2017, get ready to be taken away by the authorities. "I was like, 'What do you need?' And they were like, 'She needs shoes without lace. She needed to take off her jewelry,'" she says.
"I thought I was going to see her later that day. I don't even think I gave her a hug. I was just like, 'I'll see ya in a little bit.' And that was it," the Battlestar Galactica actress continues, adding that "it's been a very isolating experience without Allison and also without Keith."
As ET previously reported, Mack initially pleaded not guilty to the charges against her. But soon after she was taken in, other high-ranking members, including co-founder Nancy Salzman and her daughter, Lauren, were also arrested for their respective involvement in the cult. Lauren eventually admitted to enslaving women and pleaded guilty to charges of racketeering.
A year later, in April of 2019, Mack entered a plea deal to racketeering charges, saying in court that she "must take full responsibility for my conduct," which allegedly included recruiting sex slaves for DOS and branding female members with Raniere’s initials. One former member, India Oxenberg, also claims that she was forced to lose weight and maintain a strict diet, and if she did not meet her master’s demands, she suffered "severe" punishments.
In December of 2020, Mack filed for divorce from Clyne. And the following year, in June of 2021, she was sentenced to three years in prison and ordered to pay a $20,000 fine and complete 1,000 hours of community service. A few months later, she reported to federal prison and is now an inmate at FCI Dublin, a low-security federal prison in the East Bay area outside San Francisco, California.
Later in the episode, Clyne revisits the home where Raniere lived in Albany, New York, and talks about why she joined NIXVM, after first being recruited by former member and whistleblower Sarah Edmondson. "Even though I was having success on TV, I felt like I wasn’t getting traction," she says, explaining that she “didn’t feel fulfilled” until participating in one of NXIVM's programs.
"[Keith] helped me learn to trust and learn to love. It's important to be a part of a community that supports each other. I had come to rely on that support," she continues, noting that since Raniere’s arrest, "I don't have that anymore."
After becoming a devoted member and even reportedly quitting Battlestar Galactica to "follow Raniere," Clyne reveals in the docuseries that she was "in a physical relationship with Keith for many years." She adds, "I kept it a secret. A lot of people in the community didn't know who Keith's partners were or if he had any. I felt very clear on what I was signing up for."
Clyne, who was also a member of DOS, explains that the secret group has "been misunderstood because I helped create it.v In fact, despite having an intimate relationship with Raniere, she says "sex was not the focus of anything. Like, people are so obsessed with sex. It was also a walking group. It was also a go-for-coffee group. We were people who had relationships that were incredibly important and meaningful to us that we planned to have for the rest of our lives."
Although Raniere has been found guilty on counts of sex trafficking, racketeering and conspiracy charges in 2019 and then sentenced to 120 years in jail, she maintains her support of him and the organization. In September of 2020, she spoke out in his defense, claiming that he had been wrongfully convicted.
In The Vow, Clyne says, "I feel proud of my decisions and I stand by them. And I know how hard that must be for people to understand considering the lens through which this situation is being portrayed."
The Vow Part II airs Mondays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on HBO and HBO Max.