Clare Bronfman

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Clare Bronfman
Born1979 (age 38–39)
ResidenceClifton Park, New York, U.S.[1]
Known forEquestrian career, philanthropy, humanitarianism, human rights activism
Parent(s)Edgar Bronfman Sr
Georgiana Bronfman Havers (née Rita Webb)
RelativesSara Bronfman (sister)

Clare Bronfman (born 1979) is an American equestrian and philanthropist. She is the youngest daughter of the billionaire philanthropist and former Seagram chairman, Edgar Bronfman Sr.[2]


Bronfman's father (Jewish Canadian billionaire Edgar Bronfman, Sr.) met her mother (Rita Webb, the daughter of an English pub owner from Essex, England) in Marbella, Spain.[2][3] The two married in 1975, two years after Edgar Bronfman's divorce from his first wife. Webb gave birth to Sara the following year, and had Clare two and a half years later.[2]

Shortly after Clare's birth, Webb, who had renamed herself Georgiana, asked Edgar for a divorce. They remarried in 1983, but again divorced. After their parents' second divorce, the girls would visit their father at his estates outside Charlottesville, Virginia, and in Westchester County; his home in Sun Valley; and his apartment on Fifth Avenue. However, their lives would be centered in England and in Kenya with their mother.[2][4]

Equestrian career[edit]

Bronfman started her equestrian career at the age of 17, and after only three years began to qualify and compete at the elite level.

In December 1999, Bronfman competed in the Millstreet Indoor International Horse Show, riding her horse Enchante against 56 other entrants. Although she did not win the £20,000 purse, she competed closely with accomplished equestrians such as Katie Monaghan-Prudent, Tim Stockdale, Billy Twomey, and the winner, Robert Splaine.[5]

It was not until May 2001 that Bronfman would achieve her first victory in international competition, this time aboard Charlton (Cavalier). She won the Grand Prix at CSI-A Eindhoven, claiming the £10,000 winner's purse after a narrow victory over Dermott Lennon, who finished with the fastest time but faulted on a jump.[6]

Bronfman also participated in the World Final of the Samsung Nations Cup Series (Jumping) in Madrid, Spain on September 23, 2001, again aboard Charlton. As part of a team including Alice Debany Clero and Richard Spooner, she made a magnificent showing, scoring 5 faults in round one and none in round two. Thanks to Bronfman's spectacular performance, the team ended up placing seventh in the competition.[7]

On May 26, 2002, exactly a year and a day after winning the Grand Prix at CSI-A Eindhoven (NED), Bronfman won the Grand Prix in Rome (ITA), once again riding Charlton. For Bronfman the victory was especially sweet; after missing the original cut for the team, she was brought in as a last-minute replacement owing to an injury sustained by a competing horse. Her teammate Laura Kraut finished second behind her. The two American women put on an impressive performance. In a competition dominated by men, they were the only riders to participate in the jump off after double clear rounds. Their team ended up placing 6th in the competition due to their superb riding.[8]

At the CSI-A competition in Bremen, Germany, from October 3 to 6, 2002, Bronfman performed the best out of the five riders representing the U.S. Aboard Lord William (Lord Caletto - Rocky, by Rousseau) a Westphalian gelding, she placed second in the Der Joker competition, and second again in another class aboard Enchante, a Selle Francais gelding.[9] Just two weeks later, from October 17 to 19 aboard Lord William, she won the speed and handiness competition. Bronfman placed 13th in the main competition aboard Enchante, making her the highest placing American in the competition after Kaye Levy, who placed 32nd overall.[9]

At the height of her equestrian career, Bronfman was ranked 12th in the U.S. and 80th overall in the world. Bronfman has said that she owes a great deal of her success to her mentors and trainers; she enlisted the help of three world-class equestrians—Peter Leone, a silver medalist in the 1996 Olympics; Lauren Hough, a member of the 2000 Olympic team; and Henk Noreen, a world-renowned Olympic coach based in Belgium—as well as key mentors Nancy Salzman and Keith Raniere, who provided guidance and support.[10]


Nxivm Indictment

Through NXIVM founder Keith Raniere and her sister, Sara, Bronfman became involved in NXIVM's personal advancement program and "Executive Success Program" ("ESP") workshops. Clare was described as being "a bit withdrawn and certainly the type to stay in and read while everyone else goes out."[4] The sisters became committed followers and financial backers of NXIVM and Raniere, relocating to upstate New York to work as NXIVM trainers.[11][12] Clare Bronfman also served as event coordinator for "Vanguard Week," an annual festival celebrating Raniere's birthday, stating that "the purpose of 'V Week' is to get the chance to experience a civilized world... [and] craft for ourselves a more fulfilling, purposeful life."[11][13]

In 2003, a Forbes magazine article reported that Edgar Bronfman, Sr. "once took a course" from NXIVM "and endorsed the program," but had not then "talked to his daughters in months and has grown troubled over the long hours and emotional and financial investment they have been devoting to Raniere's group. One daughter, Clare, 24, has lent the program $2 million, at 2.5% interest, the senior Bronfman says (she denies this)," and quotes her father as stating, "I think it's a cult."[14]

In 2018, Raniere and associate Allison Mack were arrested and indicted on several federal charges involving a cult alleged to operate within NXIVM, namely, "DOS"; charges included sex trafficking, sex trafficking conspiracy, and conspiracy to commit forced labor.[15][16][17][18][19] In a post on the ESP website, Bronfman insisted that "neither NXIVM nor Keith have abused or coerced anyone," but confirmed the existence of DOS, stating: "[W]hile I am not and never have been a member of the sorority… [it] has not coerced nor abused anyone. In fact, the sorority has truly benefited the lives of its members, and does so freely. I find no fault in a group of women… freely taking a vow of loyalty and friendship with one another to feel safe while pushing back against the fears that have stifled their personal and professional growth. It's not for any of us to judge how they, or anyone else, choose to advance their lives and values."[20]

Ethical Humanitarian Foundation[edit]

Clare and her sister, Sara Bronfman, formed a non-profit organization called the Ethical Humanitarian Foundation after it was "conceptualized" by Keith Raniere in 2007. Clare is listed as a being a trustee of the organization[21][22] The group claims that its goal is to move humanity "towards a more noble civilization" by adopting a "humanity first foundation".[23] She, Sara, and Keith Raniere also established a non-profit organization called the World Ethical Foundations Consortium. As part of their involvement in WEFC, Sara and Clare were credited with being able to bring the Dalai Lama to Albany to participate in the WEFC's inaugural event on May 6, 2009.[4][24]


Bronfman was arrested by federal agents on July 24, 2018 in New York City and charged with money laundering and identity theft in connection with NXIVM activities, to which she pleaded not guilty in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York in Brooklyn. She was released on $100 million bond and placed on house arrest with electronic monitoring. Also charged were Bronfman's long-time mentor and NXIVM president Nancy Salzman, her daughter, NXIVM executive board member Lauren Salzman, and former NXIVM bookkeeper Kathy Russell.[25]

A Cappella Innovations NPO[edit]

Clare is listed as a Producer for the group A Cappella Innovations, which seeks to explore how music can be applied to "humanity, civilization, and ethics."[26]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Founder Of "Nxivm," a Purported Self-Help Organization, and Five Others Charged in Superseding Indictment with Racketeering Conspiracy". United States Department of Justice. July 24, 2018.
  2. ^ a b c d Andrews, Suzanna (November 2010). "The Heiresses and the Cult". Vanity Fair. Retrieved 24 April 2011.
  3. ^ New York Times: "Edgar M. Bronfman, Who Built a Bigger, More Elegant Seagram, Dies at 84" By Jonathan Kandell December 22, 2013
  4. ^ a b c Tkacik, Maureen (23 April 2011). "Poor Little Rich Girls: The Ballad of Sara and Clare Bronfman". The New York Observer. Retrieved 24 April 2011.
  5. ^ Mulvihill, Frank. "Millstreet Indoor International Horse Show". Ireland's Horse Review. Archived from the original on 24 March 2012. Retrieved 4 June 2011.
  6. ^ Parkes, Louise (28 May 2001). "Snowjumping - Lennon on Song". Retrieved 29 November 2011.
  7. ^ "Warm Reception For U.S. Riders in Nations Cup Final". USA Equestrian. Archived from the original on 25 January 2013. Retrieved 29 November 2011.
  8. ^ "Clare Bronfman Wins The Grand Prix At CSIO Rome - Equiworld Magazine May 2002". Equiworld Magazine. May 2002. Retrieved 29 November 2011.
  9. ^ a b "US Show Jumping Riders Off to a Good Start in the European Indoor Circuit - Equiworld Magazine October 2002". Equiworld Magazine. October 2002. Retrieved 29 November 2011.
  10. ^ [1]
  11. ^ a b Köhler, Nicholas (9 September 2011). "How to lose $100 million". Macleans. Retrieved 24 April 2011.
  12. ^ Berman, Phyllis; Gillies, Andrew T.; Novack, Janet; Egan, Mary Ellen; Blakeley, Kiri (June 24, 2006). "The Bronfmans And the Cult". Forbes. Retrieved July 24, 2006.
  13. ^ Nicholas Köhler, "How to Lose $100 Million," MacLean's, September 13, 2010, pg. 58.
  14. ^ Freedman, Michael (13 October 2003). "Cult of Personality". Forbes. Retrieved 25 July 2018.
  15. ^ Siemaszko, Corky (2018-05-04). "Self-help guru denies enslaving, branding women in Nxivm sex cult". NBC News. Retrieved 2018-05-16.
  16. ^ "Feds say self-help guru coerced followers into sex, had them branded with a cauterizing pen". Washington Post. March 3, 2018.
  17. ^ "NXIVM female sex "slaves" allegedly branded with secretive group leader's initials". CBS. Associated Press. March 27, 2018.
  18. ^ "Smallville Actress Arrested for Role in Alleged Sex Cult that Branded and Enslaved Women". Time. April 20, 2018.
  19. ^ Helmore, Edward (April 22, 2018). "Smallville's Allison Mack was allegedly a 'top member' of cult that abused women". The Guardian. Retrieved April 24, 2018.
  20. ^
  21. ^ Odato, James (31 January 2011). "Papers reveal NXIVM secrets". Times Union. Retrieved 28 April 2011.
  22. ^ "Ethical Humanitarian Foundation - Keith Raniere, Founder". Ethical Humanitarian Foundation. Retrieved 28 April 2011.
  23. ^ "Ethical Humanitarian Foundation - Mission". Retrieved 25 May 2011.
  24. ^ DeMare, Carol. "Canada Tibet Committee|Newsroom". Canada Tibet Committee. Retrieved 8 June 2011.
  25. ^ "Seagram heiress Bronfman pleads not guilty in NXIVM 'sex slave' case". NBC News. Retrieved 2018-07-25.
  26. ^ "A Cappella Innovations". A Cappella Innovations. Archived from the original on 3 September 2011. Retrieved 14 May 2011.