India Oxenberg

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India Oxenberg
Noobz Movie Shoot - India Oxenberg.jpg
Oxenberg in 2011
Born
India Riven Oxenberg

(1991-06-07) June 7, 1991 (age 30)
Occupation
  • Actress
  • writer
  • producer
  • television personality
Years active2001–present
Spouse(s)
Patrick D’Ignazio
(m. 2020)
Parents
FamilyKarađorđević

India Riven Oxenberg (born June 7, 1991) is an American film producer, writer, actress, and television personality. A granddaughter of Princess Elizabeth of Yugoslavia, she is a relative of the House of Karađorđević, the former royal family of Serbia and, later, Yugoslavia. Oxenberg began her career as a child actress, with small roles in film and television projects that her mother, Catherine Oxenberg, and then-stepfather, Casper Van Dien, were involved in. As a teenager, she was a cast member of the reality television series I Married a Princess.

From 2011 to 2018, Oxenberg was involved in NXIVM, an American multi-level marketing company that was later exposed as a cult. While in NXIVM she was introduced to a secret group "DOS" and was groomed to be a sexual partner of NXIVM's founder, Keith Raniere. In 2020, she published the book Still Learning: A Memoir. She produced and stars in the documentary series Seduced: Inside the NXIVM Cult, which details her time in the cult.

Early life and family[edit]

Oxenberg was born on June 7, 1991 to actress Catherine Oxenberg and William Weitz Schaffer.[1] Oxenberg's father was arrested in 1992 for smuggling marijuana from Thailand, reportedly profiting $50 million from drug trading.[2] She is a granddaughter of Princess Elizabeth of Yugoslavia and Howard Oxenberg, a Jewish dress manufacturer.[3][1][4] As a granddaughter of Princess Elizabeth, Oxenberg is a descendant of Prince Arsen, brother of Peter I of Serbia and a relative of the Karađorđević dynasty, a royal family that ruled over the Kingdom of Serbia and the Kingdom of Yugoslavia. Her great-grandfather, Prince Paul, ruled as Prince Regent during the minority of his second cousin, twice removed, Peter II of Yugoslavia. Oxenberg is also a relative of the British royal family, the Danish royal family, and the Greek royal family through her great-grandmother, Princess Olga of Greece and Denmark.[5][6] She is a niece of writer and fashion designer Christina Oxenberg.

She grew up in Malibu, California and graduated from Malibu High School.[7]

In 2008, Oxenberg was presented to society at Le Bal des débutantes at the Hôtel de Crillon in Paris.[8][9] She was one of two members of the Karađorđević dynasty to make her debut at Le Bal that year, alongside her cousin Victoria de Silva, the daughter of Princess Katarina and Sir Desmond de Silva.[8][10]

Acting career[edit]

Oxenberg (right) with cast members of Noobz in 2011

Oxenberg's first film was the 2001 television drama The Miracle of the Cards. In 2002, Oxenberg played the role of Mattie in the science fiction television film The Vector File.[2][11]

Oxenberg was a cast member on the 2005 Lifetime reality television series I Married a Princess, which followed her family while her mother was married to Casper Van Dien.[12][2] That year, she also had minor role in the video game adaptation of the film Starship Troopers and a role in the Syfy original movie The Fallen Ones.[11]

In 2009, she had a small role in the Disney film Princess Protection Program.[13] In 2012, she portrayed a Pixie Teammate in the comedy film Noobz.[11]

NXIVM[edit]

After leaving college after one year, Oxenberg attended a self-help entrepreneurship course hosted by NXIVM with her mother at the recommendation of a family friend.[1][14][15] They started the program together, but Oxenberg's mother later left.[1] She was mentored by Sarah Edmondson, Mark Vicente, and Bonnie Piesse.[14] In January 2015, after five years in the program, Oxenberg was approached by Allison Mack about joining a secret sorority called "Dominus Obsequious Sororium" (DOS).[16][17][18] Through this program, Mack became a mentor, called "master" by NXIVM, to Oxenberg.[16][1] Oxenberg was instructed to provide personal family secrets and pose for nude photographs for Mack, who also limited the amount of food Oxenberg could eat and required her to cook and clean for her while living with Mack in Albany, New York.[16][1][19] Throughout this process, Oxenberg was reportedly groomed to become a sexual partner for NXIVM's founder and the leader of DOS, Keith Raniere.[16][1][20] She was one of multiple women in the organization who became Raniere's sexual partners.[14] In January 2016, Oxenberg was held down and branded with the initials of Raniere.[17] She was told, at the time, that the brand was a representation of the "elements" and was unaware that it was actually Raniere's initials.[17][2] Oxenberg left NXIVM in 2018.[21]

While Oxenberg was involved in NXIVM, her mother Catherine tried to get her out of the organization and expose the cult through media in 2017.[21][17] In 2018, Catherine wrote the book Captive: A Mother's Crusade to Save Her Daughter from a Terrifying Cult.[16] In 2019, Catherine produced the Lifetime television movie Escaping the NXIVM Cult: A Mother's Fight to Save Her Daughter. Oxenberg officially left NXIVM in the summer of 2018 and moved back to Malibu with her mother.[22][23]

Oxenberg's time in the cult is discussed in the HBO 2020 documentary The Vow.[24] Oxenberg produced and starred in the 2020 Starz documentary series Seduced: Inside the NXIVM Cult.[25][26] The documentary details her life while she was an active member in NXIVM.[16][21][19] In 2020, she also published the memoir Still Learning: A Memoir, which revisits the emotional, physical, and sexual abuse she endured as a member of NXIVM, and her steps to recovery.[1][22]

Oxenberg had her NXIVM brand covered up with a tattoo of a mandala and the inscription "ancora imparo" (still learning) by a tattoo artist in New York City's East Village.[1]

Personal life[edit]

In 2018, Oxenberg met Patrick D’Ignazio, a chef, while working as a manager for a restaurant in New York City.[21] They got engaged in October 2019 and were married in December 2020.[27][28] They live in Los Angeles, near Venice Beach.[1]

Filmography[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Oxenberg, India; Minutaglio, Rose (October 19, 2020). "I Was In NXIVM For 7 Years. Here's the Truth". Elle. Retrieved November 10, 2020.
  2. ^ a b c d Brow, Jason (October 18, 2020). "India Oxenberg: 5 Things To Know About Catherine Oxenberg's Daughter Starring In New NXIVM Doc". Hollywood Life.
  3. ^ "Le Bal des Débutantes à l'hôtel de Crillon". La Revue du Liban.
  4. ^ Mason, Christopher (July 21, 1997). "Royal Flush". New York Magazine. p. 28. Retrieved December 14, 2020 – via Google Books.
  5. ^ Sisavat, Monica (October 5, 2020). "The Vow: The Surprising Connection Between Catherine Oxenberg and the Royal Family". POPSUGAR Entertainment.
  6. ^ "'The Vow' on HBO: Who Are Catherine and India Oxenberg?". Decider. September 14, 2020.
  7. ^ FitzSimons, Amanda (November 25, 2008). "Having a Ball".
  8. ^ a b Vanity Fair (December 3, 2009). "The Crillon Ball: 24 Princess Gowns and One Lady". Vanity Fair.
  9. ^ "Le Bal des Débutantes 2013". November 30, 2013.
  10. ^ "Official program" (PDF). Le Bal Paris. 2008. Retrieved November 7, 2020.
  11. ^ a b c Walsh, S. M. (August 6, 2018). "India Oxenberg: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know". Heavy.com.
  12. ^ "Lifetime Channel's 'I Married a Princess'". NPR.org.
  13. ^ "Princess Myths - Princess Protection Program Featurette" – via video.disney.com.
  14. ^ a b c Berman, Sarah (October 26, 2020). "NXIVM Survivor India Oxenberg on Why She Didn't Believe She Was Brainwashed". Vice. Retrieved November 10, 2020.
  15. ^ Licea, Melkorka (October 22, 2020). "How India Oxenberg went from an aspiring entrepreneur with dreams of launching a catering business to being lured into a cult". Business Insider. Retrieved November 10, 2020.
  16. ^ a b c d e f "India Oxenberg Was 'Afraid' of Former Nxivm 'Master' Allison Mack — 'But She Can't Hurt Me Anymore'". People.
  17. ^ a b c d "Catherine Oxenberg's Daughter India Recalls Harrowing Moment She Was Branded in Nxivm Sex Cult". People.
  18. ^ "India Oxenberg On NXIVM, Her New Docuseries & What She Thinks Of Allison Mack". Bustle.
  19. ^ a b "'I felt so much stronger': India Oxenberg speaks out about NXIVM leader's sentencing". Today.
  20. ^ Sharma, Aayush (October 26, 2020). "India Oxenberg, Princess Of Yugoslavia's Granddaughter, Talks About Nxivm's Alleged Sex Cult". International Business Times.
  21. ^ a b c d "Catherine & India Oxenberg: Surviving NXIVM". peopletv.com.
  22. ^ a b Miller, Julie (October 13, 2020). "India Oxenberg Opens Up About Her Family's NXIVM Nightmare: "It's Like Freaking Shakespeare"". Vanity Fair.
  23. ^ "India Oxenberg Thinks NXIVM's Keith Raniere Deserves Life in Prison". Entertainment Tonight.
  24. ^ "Keith Raniere slammed as 'entitled little princess' by former NXIVM member at sentencing hearing". The Independent. October 27, 2020.
  25. ^ Myrtil, Bianca (November 2, 2020). "Lost and found: How India Oxenberg regained her identity after NXIVM". Film Daily.
  26. ^ Vincenty, Samantha (October 27, 2020). "India Oxenberg Says NXIVM's Keith Raniere Starved Her to Look Like a 12-Year-Old". Oprah Magazine.
  27. ^ Roberto, Melissa (October 18, 2019). "Hope After Heartbreak! Allison Mack's Former NXIVM Slave India Oxenberg Engaged To Chef Boyfriend". Radar Online.
  28. ^ Block, Jenny (March 9, 2022). "Tying and Re-Tying the Knot". The New York Times.

External links[edit]