Catherine Oxenberg Recalls Her First Impression of NXIVM Leader Keith Raniere on True Hollywood Story

By Emily Mae Czachor Oct 02, 2019 3:00 PMTags

When Catherine Oxenberg met Keith Raniere at a NXIVM event in 2012, she suspected there might be more to his professed "self-help" group than the success seminars it advertised. 

Months after her daughter India Oxenberg's introduction to the organization (whose leader was found guilty of sex trafficking, attempted sex trafficking, sex trafficking conspiracy, forced labor conspiracy, wire fraud conspiracy and racketeering in June of this year), Catherine traveled to NXIVM headquarters alongside then-husband Casper Van Dien to attend a "training." In this clip from the upcoming season premiere of E!'s True Hollywood Story, the Dynasty actor recalls seeing Raniere for the first time during an after-hours volleyball game.

"All these women are throwing their arms about him and kissing him on the lips. Not just a peck but like, slow, long, lingering kisses," Catherine tells the THS camera. "My husband looked at me and he went, 'Oh, he's having sex with all these women.'"

At this point, whether the now-disgraced NXIVM puppeteer was having more intimate relationships with those women in particular is only speculative. That said, Raniere's ex-girlfriend and formerly high-ranking NXIVM member Barbara Bouchey shares her own testimony about his polyamorous preferences later on in the new clip. 

"When I found out about the first woman, it was at a party and he put his hand up her skirt," the former financial planner explains, adding that the news nearly prompted her to leave NXIVM altogether (her final departure from the group came years later, in 2009).

"I got the inner circle trying to beg me not to leave, so I finally thought, 'OK. I'll give it the girl scout try,'" she continues, noting the dynamic still didn't sit right with her. "I could never get over my biggest hesitancy which is…don't think sex is just sex. At least not for me."

Hear more about Raniere's past—including comments from CBC Reporter Joshua Bloch and Raniere's defense attorney Marc Agnifilo—in the clip above.