Allison Mack’s lawyers have insisted the former “Smallville” star isn’t guilty of forced labour if the Church of Scientology isn’t guilty of the same.
According to the New York Post, those defending Mack have argued that this case bears “no relation” to other cases where forced labour was found.
The actress is facing charges over her alleged involvement in a secret sex slave cult supposedly run by self-help guru Keith Raniere under his NXIVM company.
Both Mack and Raniere have pleaded not guilty.
Mack’s lawyers wrote in court papers filed Friday in Brooklyn Federal Court: “The government argues that Ms. Mack obtained forced labour through ‘threats of serious harm,’ with serious harm being the embarrassment that would result from the exposure of one’s collateral.
“Courts have found, however, that such an outcome, albeit embarrassing, does not amount to serious harm under the statute.”
The Post claimed lawyers also cited a 2009 case, which saw a couple try, and fail, to sue the Church of Scientology for forced labour.
The lawyer continued, “The court did not find that plaintiffs were compelled to remain in the organization even though, if they chose to leave, they would be ‘excommunicated’ from their friends and family and labelled a ‘dissenter.’
“The threat of reputational damage and isolation from loved ones therefore did not qualify as serious harm.”
Mack’s lawyers were also said to have referenced other cases where forced labour was found, claiming they included, “squalid living conditions, extreme isolation, threats of physical harm, lack of immigration status, lack of education, and unfamiliarity with English.”
They added the alleged victims in Mack’s case were “educated, English-speaking adults, who were not forced or compelled to join the organization, nor kept physically isolated, and who could leave the organization at any time.”
News of Mack’s sex trafficking cult arrest emerged in April before she was released on $5 million bail.