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Clare Bronfman’s attorneys want Nxivm judge to lay off about Mark Geragos and his troubles

[Clare Bronfman arriving at court yesterday. Photo by VillageDianne]

We hear that today’s hearing regarding Seagram heiress Clare Bronfman and any potential conflicts regarding her attorney, Mark Geragos, was not nearly as eventful as yesterday’s, when Clare fainted in the courtroom. She collapsed yesterday after Judge Nicholas Garaufis had brought up the stunning information that indicted attorney Michael Avenatti had been working for her behind the scenes.

This morning, Clare’s attorney Donna Newman submitted a letter to the judge pushing back at the judge’s questions, and we found it a fun read. We have the full document for you below.

Newman starts out by dealing with the Avenatti matter, explaining that it was Geragos who brought him in, but it was tangential to the criminal case and over with already — no harm, no foul, in other words.

Mr. Geragos brought Mr. Avenatti into this case for a limited purpose and that related to the discussion described in the government’s letter of March 26, 2019, and any follow-up that might have ensued. Ms. Bronfman was aware that Mr. Avenatti was going to represent her for this purpose, although the exact nature of his representation was not formalized or documented. To Ms. Bronfman’s knowledge, it was not contemplated that Mr. Avenatti would represent Ms. Bronfman before the Court in any proceedings in the Eastern District of New York. His services on her behalf in connection with any action have been terminated.

As for the judge’s concern that Clare wasn’t being forthcoming to him when he previously asked her about who was representing her, Newman says that the judge just didn’t ask the right question.


Ms. Bronfman understood Your Honor’s questions to be directed to the potential conflict raised by the relationship between her attorney Mr. Geragos and attorneys at the firm that represents Mr. Raniere, including Mr. Geragos’ daughter. I have reviewed the transcript of the March 19th Curcio hearing which I attach for the Court’s convenience. At no time during that hearing did the Court ask Ms. Bronfman a question which would have suggested Your Honor was asking her to tell the Court the names of all the attorneys with whom she has or is consulting with about this case or the names of the attorneys whom have communicated with the Government on her behalf whether or not that attorney had filed a notice of appearance.

And Newman also objects to the judge asking Clare about the mess that Mark Geragos finds himself in.

I will object to any questions that call for Ms. Bronfman to reveal contents of her discussions with her attorneys. In addition, I object to the following questions: Question 6 – “Based on your review of that letter, do you understand that Mr. Geragos may believe himself to have criminal exposure in connection with the matters under investigation by the SDNY and FBI?” Ms. Bronfman should not be called upon to speculate as to Mr. Geragos’ beliefs.

In other words, back off, judge. Clare likes Geragos and wants to stick with him, even if his world is on fire right now.

Here’s the document itself…

Nxivm Doc 472: Letter from … by on Scribd


Posted by Tony Ortega on March 28, 2019 at 17:30

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Tony Ortega is a journalist who was formerly the editor of The Village Voice. He’s written about Scientology since 1995, and in May 2015 released a book about Scientology’s harassment of Paulette Cooper titled ‘The Unbreakable Miss Lovely,’ and more recently a compilation of his stories, ‘Battlefield Scientology.’ He continues to monitor breaking developments in the Scientology world, as well as other subjects at The Underground Bunker. You can reach him by sending him a message at tonyo94 AT (Drop him a line if you’d like to get an e-mail whenever a new story is posted.)


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