Catherine Oxenberg, best known known for portraying Amanda Carrington on the 1980s soap-opera Dynasty, has come forward with some serious allegations against a controversial cult-like group that's keeping her daughter away from her.
Oxenberg and her then 20-year-old daughter, India, first became familiar with Nxivm, a self-improvement program led by Keith Raniere that supposedly helps people with their personal development journey, in 2011.
The pair attended a meeting together, but Oxenberg was not comfortable with the program. She thought what they were offering was "weird and creepy." India, on the other hand, was curious to discover more about the organization and now, six years later, she's so involved that she has cut communication with her family.
In an exclusive interview with People Magazine, Oxenberg shares the terrifying details of the "secret sisterhood" and talks about her fight to get her daughter, who she describes as "the sweetest, most non-confrontational, easiest child of all my children," back before it's too late.
When India first joined Nxivm, Oxenberg didn't want to pass judgement without knowing the full story. However, when she found out about inner-workings of the program from a friend that just left the group, she knew she had to act.
"You need to save your daughter," Oxenberg's friend and former Nxivm member Bonnie Piesse told her. "You need to save India."
She continued, "India was in a bad situation. One time she told me that she wasn't going to eat for three days [out of ] penance to try and correct her behavior."
The actress explained that when her daughter first started dealing with the cult-like organization, she would attend expensive classes and coaching workshops that cost upwards of $3,000. She also began to recruit friends and started using her inheritance money to cover the costs of the program.
A few years later, Oxenberg is barely in touch with India and believes that she is in grave danger as part of a group that allegedly "brands" its members and forces them to follow very restrictive diets.
Following her conversation with Piesse, Oxenberg tried reaching out to her estranged daughter, but that only further confirmed her fears.
The former soap star said that India told her, ""˜Mom, my hair has been falling out, and I haven't had a period in a year. Maybe I should see a doctor?'"
The 26-year-old took her mom up on the invite she extended during their chat and came home for a visit this past May, but when Oxenberg confronted a "super skinny" India and asked her to seek help, she left the next day and stopped all communication between them.
"I'm helpless. I've lost my child and will do whatever I can to get her back," said Oxenberg.
Oxenberg and Piesse aren't the only women making these scary allegations against Nxivm. A 40-year-old woman by the name of Sarah Edmondson also spoke to People and revealed that being a member of the controversial organization was "the most painful, traumatic moment" of her life.
Edmondson explained that she was branded below the hip with Raniere's initials shortly before she quit the group last March.
Despite the claims that Oxenberg and former Nxivm members are making, India insists she's fine and even posted a status update on Facebook on October 19.
"I'm absolutely fine, great actually. I would never put myself or the people I love into any danger."
Nxivm also responded to the claims with a statement to the New York Times in which they called the story "a criminal product of criminal minds."
However, the New York State Governor's Counsel has launched an investigation. This isn't the first time that Raniere has been caught in the middle of a scandal. A few years ago, he was forced to pay a monetary settlement after two federal investigations uncovered that his discount card business was a pyramid scheme.
As the investigation deepens and the story develops, more information about India and Nxivm will become available to the public. For now, we'll just have to sit back and hope for the best.