Who is India Oxenberg? India Oxenberg is Hollywood royalty — and literal royalty. She is the daughter of actress Catherine Oxenberg and granddaughter of Princess Elizabeth of Yugoslavia. She's also a member of the notorious sex slave cult NXIVM and her family thinks she's been brainwashed. On Sunday, she was seen at her restaurant job in Manhattan looking exhausted. Catherine Oxenberg has spent the past few months trying to extract her daughter from the cult. India refuses to talk to her mother.
NXIVM's leader, 57-year-old Keith Raniere was arrested on charges of sex trafficking and forced labor conspiracy in Mexico in late March. Last week, "Smallville" actress Allison Mack was arrested in Brooklyn on similar charges. She is believed to have been Raniere's second-in-command and responsible for luring young, waif-like women to the group. NXIVM members were allegedly put on an 800 calorie a day starvation diet, forced to have sex with Raniere, and branded with a symbol indicating they are a member of the group. How did India Oxenberg get involved in NXIVM and what will happen to her next?
1. She went to her first NXIVM meeting with her mother.
India's mother, Dynasty actress Catherine Oxenberg, learned about NXIVM from a friend in 2011 and thought it might be a good way to bond with India. She attended a class with her daughter but found the experience to be weird and creepy. India, however threw herself into the program. Over the next several years, India burned through her inheritance and bank balance to pay for the pricey Nxivm classes.
2. A princess is trying to rescue her.
Her 82-year-old grandmother, Princess Elizabeth of Yugoslavia flew to New York City to attempt to pull her granddaughter out of the cult. India's mother and grandmother are reportedly doing everything they can to get the 26-year-old to listen to them. India still refuses to talk to her mother. She did meet with her grandmother.
3. India lived at the cult headquarters.
India recently moved back to Brooklyn from the NXIVM headquarters in Albany, New York. Her "master" Keith Raniere is in federal prison in Brooklyn.
4. Her family thinks she's been brainwashed.
In October 2017, Catherine Oxenberg went public with her effort to free her daughter from the notorious sex cult. Catherine, Princess Elizabeth, and India's employer all feel that India has been brainwashed by Raniere and Allison Mack. Catherine Oxenberg became concerned when she learned that her daughter was not eating, had not had her period in a year, and was losing her hair. A former member of NXIVM told her this info.
5. India is Allison Mack's personal sex "slave."
India has been identified as a co-conspirator in the case against Raniere and Nxivm. In the criminal complaint, India is identified as co-conspirator #2. it is also revealed that she is Allison Mack's slave. Mack is identified as co-conspirator #1 in the complaint.
6. India's father was a notorious drug trafficker.
Catherine declined to publicly reveal who India's dad was for her whole life. However, he has been involved behind the scenes for the entirety of his daughter's life. He came forward publicly upon news of the sex cult scandal. Her dad is William Weitz Shaffer. In 1992 he pled guilty to importing marijuana from Thailand. He allegedly made $50 million on his drug smuggling. He holds out hope that India will break free from the cult.
7. India is an actress.
India's mom is actress Catherine Oxenberg and her stepfather is actor Casper Van Dien. Acting is in her blood. She appeared in a movie with her mother and step father in 2002 called The Vector File. She also starred in the Lifetime reality series I Married A Princess.
8. India's mother played a big role in getting the authorities to shine a light on Nxvim.
Catherine Oxenberg brought the seedy practices of Raniere and Mack to light last fall when she undertook a global campaign to get her daughter out of the cult. Catherine's efforts to free her daughter likely saved other women from being recruited to the cult.
9. India is willing to go to jail for Raniere.
India remains devoted to Nxivm and Raniere and is willing to go to jail for him, according to a former publicist for Nxivm.
Amy Lamare is a Los Angeles based freelance writer covering entertainment, pop culture, beauty, fashion, fitness, technology, and the intersection of technology, business, and philanthropy. She is deeply devoted to her chocolate Labrador and an avid long distance runner. You can find her on Instagram and Facebook.