Toni Natalie says she started dating Keith Raniere in the early 1990s. The two even lived together for about seven years.
Natalie says she was part of NXIVM's first Executive Success Program in 1998.
“Watching what I saw and experienced Nancy [Salzman] do and what I thought were therapy sessions done in a large group form was a little unnerving, to say the least,” Natalie said.
According to Natalie, what she saw frightened her and make her feel uncomfortable. She left the program and Raniere in 1999. Since then, she's been in constant litigation with the NXIVM founder.
“There were two federal investigations," Natalie said. "There was a criminal charge filed against me and several others. There was a civil case filed.”
Barbara Bouchey found herself in a similar situation when she left in 2009. She was one of the highest-ranking members to leave NXIVM. Bouchey says Raniere filed lawsuits to keep her from damaging the company.
“It’s been almost nine years that they have been legally stalking me and abusing and harassing me, and I have not felt safe,” Bouchey said.
So when the news broke of Raniere's arrest on Monday, both felt a sense of relief. He was charged with sex trafficking in connection to a federal complaint claiming sex, slavery and branding were all part of a secret society within NXIVM.
“I was shocked," Bouchey said. "I was horrified. I was saddened.”
According to the complaint, the secret society was created in 2015. It was after Bouchey left NXIVM, but she says she could see the seeds were being planted while she was still there.
"Certain women were trying to get to thin weight, and he did have sexual relationships with numerous people,” Bouchey.
Raniere appeared in federal court in Fort Worth, Texas, on Tuesday. He waived his right to an identification hearing. His preliminary and detention hearings will take place in the Eastern District of New York.
“I hope that the people that are still involved look at this and get out and get some help to get away from him, because he’s not what they think he is,” Natalie said.
Raniere remains in the custody of U.S. Marshals. A spokeswoman for the agency says he'll be transferred to New York sometime in the next two weeks.