Nancy Salzman, the co-founder and former president of NXIVM, has been sentenced to 42 months in prison. Salzman, who was close with cult leader Keith Raniere, pleaded guilty to racketeering charges in March 2019, and received her sentence in a Brooklyn courtroom on Wednesday.
In a sentencing memo, prosecutors had asked that Salzman be sentenced in the upper range of the recommended 33 to 41 months, and they got their wish: “The conduct underlying the defendant’s conviction warrants a substantial sentence,” wrote assistant U.S. Attorney Tanya Hajjar in a pre-sentencing court filing.
Salzman was featured, though not interviewed, in the phenomenon that was the HBO docuseries “The Vow” last year. The second season of the show — directed and executive produced by Jehane Noujaim and Karim Amer — is currently in production.
Sarah Edmondson — the NXIVM whistleblower who was one of the stars of “The Vow,” if such a characterization can be made about a documentary — was one of the former members of the cult who testified at the sentencing about Salzman’s abusive behavior. According to The Daily Beast, Edmondson submitted a video statement, saying she’s “not sure you will ever understand how your lies and faulty teachings affected me and others.”
Edmondson added: “I still have dreams about you, where I’m being punished by you for something trivial and I can’t speak up for fear of public shaming.”
Salzman is the fifth NXIVM member to be sentenced. In July, her daughter, Lauren, was sentenced to time served and five years of probation; in September 2020, Clare Bronfman (an heir to the Seagram’s fortune, and Raniere’s financial benefactor) was sentenced to 81 months; in October of last year, 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.
The finale of “The Vow” in October of last year teased the possibility that Raniere and Nancy Salzman might appear in the second season.