Ghislaine Maxwell has accused prison guards of intimidating and humiliating her by standing over her while she used the toilet after she was ‘falsely accused’ of being in possession of illegal documents behind bars.
Just weeks ago, she was called out by guards for not flushing the toilet, a claim she adamantly denied blaming rotting pipes for causing the stench.
In a letter submitted to a judge on Monday by attorney Bobbi Sternheim, the British socialite, 59, claimed a senior guard at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn stood ‘knee to knee’ with her while ‘she sat on the commode’ on Saturday.
Moments earlier, guards had confiscated some documents from Maxwell which they claimed she had obtained by her lawyers during a visit in breach of prison protocol.
In court papers obtained by DailyMail.com, Maxwell’s legal team denied the violation and claimed that the guards waited until her lawyers were gone and ‘took undue advantage of her.’
Ghislaine Maxwell (pictured in a court sketch from her latest court appearance last week) has accused prison guards of intimidating and humiliating her following a visit from her attorneys on Saturday
The 59-year-old British socialite claims a senior guard stood knee to knee with her as she sat on a commode as punishment for an alleged infraction. Pictured: A typical combination toilet and sink fixture found at MDC cells
The incident occurred days after Maxwell’s first in person court appearance after nine months in Brooklyn’s Metropolitan Detention Center (pictured)
It marks the latest twist in the increasingly bitter row over Maxwell’s conditions in the federal prison where she is being held until her trial for allegedly procuring underage girls for Jeffrey Epstein.
Her lawyers and prosecutors have previously argued about whether Maxwell can wear an eye mask and whether or not she is flushing the toilet in her cell.
In Monday’s filing, Sternheim said she and fellow attorney Leah Saffian attended a scheduled two-and-half hour in-person legal conference with Maxwell on Saturday during which they were under ‘constant watch of four to five guards.’
After the meeting, she received an email from MDC legal counsel Sophia Papapetru, who claimed had Maxwell ‘received paperwork that was not in her possession upon entering the legal visiting area.’
Papapetru cited MDC rules which ban lawyers from giving clients materials during a legal visit and said the documents had been confiscated and would be given back to Sternheim during her next visit.
Sternheim, who denied the breach, said ‘guards seized all of Ms. Maxwell’s legal papers, consisting of multiple letter-sized manila folders containing documents and a composition notebook within a Redweld folder.
‘The guards told Ms. Maxwell they believed she improperly retained documents given to her by her attorneys and that this was a very serious offense.’
Maxwell is being held in the federal prison until her trial for allegedly procuring underage girls for Jeffrey Epstein
Ghislaine Maxwell pleaded not guilty to new sex trafficking charges added to an indictment three weeks ago. Pictured: A courtroom sketch of Maxwell from her appearance last Friday
According to Sternheim the guards told Maxwell: ‘We want you to know that what you did was a very serious infraction.
‘It was so serious that it is worthy of an incident report and a disciplinary. It has been decided this time you will receive a caution.’
After the incident, Maxwell requested and was given permission to use the bathroom.
‘But unlike any other occasion, the guard team leader stood knee to knee with Ms. Maxwell while Ms. Maxwell sat on the commode in the small area containing one toilet and a sink,’ Sternheim wrote.
‘In addition to denying Ms. Maxwell any privacy, the guard confronted her in a confined space off-camera.
‘Although Ms. Maxwell was ultimately informed that she would not receive a disciplinary infraction for the incident, being falsely accused of “a very serious offense” and having a guard standing over her while she used the commode caused Ms. Maxwell to feel intimidated and humiliated.’
A padlocked black sedan with dark tinted windows believed to be carrying Maxwell was seen driving to the Brooklyn prison
Padlocks were seen on the dark Dodge Caravan that is believed to have driven Maxwell back to prison
As a result of being ‘falsely accused’ Maxwell feels a ‘heightened insecurity under the control of her officious handlers,’ Sternheim added.
The incident has put a ‘chill’ on attorney-client communication because Maxwell feels she can’t bring legal documents to meet her lawyers.
In an emailed response to Papapetru, Sternheim claimed the ‘accusation is inaccurate as is the information reported to you by your staff.
‘Nothing in Ms. Maxwell’s legal papers was given to her by me or by Leah Saffian, Esq,’ she said.
Sternheim has claimed that the conduct of the guards was ‘reprehensible’ and said they ‘took undue advantage’ of Maxwell by waiting until her lawyers had left the prison.
Maxwell fears the confidentiality required to prepare her defense has been ‘irreparably breached’ and worries her confidential documents have been copied and disseminated, though Sternheim provided no grounds for such a claim.
The attorney wrote that in future Maxwell is ‘fearful that she will be subject to retaliation, baseless allegations, and unwarranted and unprovoked discipline.’
Maxwell’s complaints about the conditions inside the MDC have been a recurring issue in her ongoing bid for bail.
Her lawyers have alleged that she is being woken up every 15 minutes with a flashlight by guards to check on her.
They claimed Maxwell has lost weight, her hair is thinning out and that she is a ‘shell of her former self.’
They also allege the water coming out the taps is brown and that Maxwell’s food has melted into its microwave packaging, making it inedible.
Maxwell is currently appealing her third bail denial and during a hearing earlier this week her lawyer David Oscar Markus revealed that she doesn’t have an eye mask to cover her eyes from the flashlight.
He said that she is using a sock as a makeshift face mask or a towel.
Earlier this year officials at the MDC claimed that Maxwell leaves her cell messy and doesn’t flush the toilet which causes it to smell.
Sternheim fired back that Maxwell ‘flushes frequently to avoid plumbing problems’ and said that if she doesn’t then ‘gases escape from the drains’ which cause the odor.
Maxwell, 59, denies sex trafficking and perjury among other charges.
She is due to go on trial in July though a judge is set to rule soon if it will be delayed.