Catherine Oxenberg says daughter India "moving forward" after exiting sex cult NXIVM
It was previously reported in April that Princess Elizabeth of Yugoslavia and her daughter Catherine Oxenberg were in New York in a bid to rescue Catherine's daughter India from the clutches of multi-level marketing organization cum sex cult NXIVM. It appears as though their bid has been successful, with numerous reports saying that India has officially exited the cult. Speaking to Megyn Kelly, Catherine said her daughter is "moving forward" and will “share her story when she is ready.” The mother and daughter reunited in June, People reported. Catherine confessed that she felt guilty about bringing her daughter into the cult after she attended their first NXIVM class back in 2011.
She abandoned the “sex-slave cult masquerading as a self-help group for women" after getting " weird and creepy vibes." But India stayed to become one of the cult's prominent members.
“I brought her in. And that’s why I feel responsible for getting her out,” Catherine told Kelly. “At first I felt horrendous guilt that I had participated in bringing my daughter into an organization that was this deviant and dangerous.”
Keith Raniere, the founder of NXIVM, was arrested by the FBI in Mexico on March 27, and soon after, five of his counterparts were taken in by law enforcement as well. This included 35-year-old 'Smallville' actress Allison Mack, who was believed to have been 'second-in-command' to Raniere, helping him lure and recruit unsuspecting women to the cult.
India's escape from NXIVM will surely come as a relief to her family and friends. The 26-year-old was deeply entrenched in the cult as recently as four months ago and had even moved to Brooklyn from the Albany area — where the alleged cult is headquartered — to reportedly be closer to the incarcerated Raniere. She had supposedly taken up a job at a local vegan and vegetarian restaurant named Plantmade.
India was said to be steadfast in her dedication to the disgraced cult leader, with NXIVM's former publicist Frank Parlato saying, "India remains loyal to Raniere, and has vowed to go to prison to protect him. She thinks she’s doing noble things. She told someone, 'I will be like Nelson Mandela.'"
The relationship between Catherine and her daughter have been frayed at best, with India said to be not even on speaking terms with her mother. However, Catherine has remained steadfast in her dedication to getting India out of the cult, even penning "Captive: A Mother’s Crusade to Save Her Daughter from a Terrifying Cult" in which she wrote about the disturbing teachings she had uncovered about NXIVM. She wrote that the organization taught members that women were “overemotional and weak-willed."
A New York Times investigative report had previously revealed that the organization 'branded' women with Raniere's initials, and Catherine confirmed the claim, admitting that her daughter had indeed been branded with Raniere's, as well as Mack's initials with a hot cauterizing iron. She also all but confirmed her daughter's exit from NXIVM on Dateline NBC, saying, "She figured it out. She did it. She’s the hero in all of this."
But India's representative hinted at the possibility that the relationship between the pair is still frosty. "India Oxenberg disagrees with things that have been said about her in the media, and the way she has been portrayed in the media," said the rep in a statement. "She also disagrees with her mother’s viewpoints. She looks forward to giving her story about what happened in the future."