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Allison Mack

Allison Mack Arrested for Alleged Role in Sex Trafficking Case

Smallville actress Allison Mack has been arrested in connection to a high profile sex trafficking case, according to police. Mack, best known for her role as Chloe in the popular TV show, was indicted Friday 20 with charges of sex trafficking, sex trafficking conspiracy and forced labor conspiracy.

In a statement released by the Justice Department, the United States Attorney Donoghue said, “As alleged in the indictment, Allison Mack recruited women to join what was purported to be a female mentorship group that was, in fact, created and led by Keith Raniere.

“The victims were then exploited, both sexually and for their labor, to the defendants’ benefit. This Office and our law enforcement partners are committed to prosecuting predators who victimize others through sex trafficking and forced labor.”

Mack was allegedly second-in-command within a New York-based organization called NXIVM (pronounced Nex-e-um). The group, which markets itself as a ‘self-help’ group, was founded by Keith Raniere (the only male member of the so-called cult) in 1998. Raniere was arrested last month in Mexico for the same charges. Both Mack and Raniere deny all allegations made against them.

According to reports, the organization required thousands of dollars for new recruits to participate in courses, and to rise through the ranks and recruit others to do the same.

According to CNN, Mack apparently co-founded a secret society within the organization called ‘DOS’, in which women recruited other women under false pretences for sexual purposes. New recruits are dubbed ‘slaves’. When they have recruited new women, their position transitioned to that of ‘master’.

In more twisted events, some of the organization’s recruits were purportedly branded with Raniere’s initials on their pubic regions using a cauterizing pen while other women held them down.

Mack had allegedly received payment and other benefits from Raniere in exchange for the women engaging in sexual activities with him.

FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge Sweeney said, “As this pyramid scheme continues to unravel, we ask anyone who might have been a victim to reach out to us with information that may further our investigation.”

If convicted, both Mack and Raniere face “mandatory minimum sentences of 15 years’ imprisonment, and up to life imprisonment.”

Further reading: Bill Cosby Sexual Assault Retrial to Begin

Stranger Things

Stranger Things Creators Sued for Plagiarism

The creators of the hit Netflix TV series Stranger Things (2016) and Stranger Things 2 (2017), Matt and Ross Duffer (known in Hollywood as the “Duffer Brothers”), are being sued by producer Charlie Kessler for plagiarising his short film Montauk (2012). Kessler has said that he originally pitched his short film and a feature script (titled The Montauk Project) to the Duffer Brothers back in 2014.

Stranger Things, which first aired on Netflix in 2016, was originally sold to the major streaming service under the same title, Montauk. As with Kessler’s short film, the show had initially been set in Montauk, Long Island. The show was later named Stranger Things and the location shifted to Indiana.

The original logline of the series after it received the greenlight from Netflix’s executives reads: “Described as a love letter to the 80s classics that captivated a generation, the series is set in 1980 Montauk, Long Island, where a young boy vanishes into thin air. As friends, family and local police search for answers, they are drawn into an extraordinary mystery involving top-secret government experiments, terrifying supernatural forces and one very strange little girl.”   

Similarly, Kessler’s narrative involves a young boy that goes missing, a nearby military base conducting experiments on children and a supernatural monster from another dimension.

A spokesperson for Kessler has said of the case: “After the massive success of Stranger Things that is based on the Plaintiff’s concepts that the Plaintiff discussed with the Defendants, Defendants have made huge sums of money by producing the series based on Plaintiff’s concepts without compensating or crediting Plaintiff for his concepts.”

Kessler is suing the Duffer Brothers for breach of implied contract and seeks monetary damages at trial.

The Duffer Brothers have since denied these claims. Alex Kohner, the directors’ lawyer, said in a statement to the Press Association, “Mr Kessler’s claim is completely meritless. He had no connection to the creation or development of Stranger Things. 

“The Duffer Brothers have neither seen Mr Kessler’s short film nor discussed any project with him.”

Kohner added: “This is just an attempt to profit from other people’s creativity and hard work.”

Stranger Things is one of the most popular television shows on Netflix. Netflix experienced its most popular streaming day of the year when the first episode of the second season aired in October 2017.

Further reading: Matt Damon and Ben Affleck to Support Inclusion Rider