Sara and Clare Bronfman were born to their father’s third wife and are 20 years younger than some of their half-siblings. After their parents divorced, when they were 7 and 4, they left New York and grew up in Kenya and England.
For more than a decade, the Bronfman sisters used their substantial fortunes to underwrite Nxivm in a variety of ways. To raise Mr. Raniere’s profile, they arranged for the Dalai Lama to visit Albany. The group made use of a private jet they provided to ferry celebrities it was courting as recruits. Clare Bronfman also bought an island in Fiji that Mr. Raniere and other Nxivm officials used as a retreat.
Clare Bronfman’s singular focus stayed on Mr. Raniere and Nxivm. She bought an island in Fiji that Mr. Raniere and other Nxivm officials used as a retreat. Along with financing the organization, she started two nonprofit organizations to promulgate its ideas.
One of them, the Ethical Science Foundation, conducted a study to see if Nxivm’s training techniques could be used to treat people with Tourette’s syndrome.
None of the recent revelations about Mr. Raniere or Nxivm’s practices appear to have shaken her belief in the group. About a month before Ms. Bronfman’s arrest, a lawyer for Mr. Raniere unsuccessfully tried to convince a federal judge overseeing the Nxivm case to free him from prison by offering a $10 million bail package. The individual offering to finance Mr. Raniere’s bail package was not identified in court filings, but a person involved in his case said he believed that it was Ms. Bronfman.
Soon enough, the heiress herself was in court. After Ms. Bronfman was arrested in July, her own bail was set at $100 million.