(Trends Wide) — British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell has gained worldwide notoriety as the ex-girlfriend and social partner of convicted pedophile and financier Jeffrey Epstein.
Now, after more than a year in federal custody, he faces trial on sex trafficking charges in New York. The 59-year-old woman has pleaded not guilty to all charges.
Maxwell is charged by New York federal prosecutors with conspiring and enticing minors to travel to engage in illegal sexual acts, and transporting minors to engage in criminal sexual activity for allegedly grooming and recruiting underage girls from 1994 to 1997 .
She is also charged with sex trafficking of a minor from 2001 to 2004, as well as one count of conspiracy to sex trafficking.
Epstein committed suicide in August 2019 while awaiting trial.
In the wake of the financier’s death, public pressure increased to hold those who might have helped him accountable, perhaps including Maxwell and a group of young women who allegedly worked for her, not just because of her actions, but also because of her own role.
Maxwell’s supporters argue that she has been held in unusually harsh conditions since her arrest on July 2, 2020; her requests to be released on bail have been repeatedly denied. At her most recent bail hearing, Maxwell’s attorney said prison officers subjected her to physical and emotional abuse, forced her to endure poor and unsanitary living conditions, sleep deprivation and insufficient nutrition, and that she had Difficulty reviewing millions of legal documents.
A pre-trial hearing in early November heard that she had not requested a settlement with the prosecution. His attorney, Bobbi Sternheim, held that Maxwell was not guilty of a crime to justify a plea deal.
Maxwell spoke at the hearing only to say, “I have not committed any crime.”
Who is Ghislaine Maxwell?
The socialite Brittany was born in 1961 and grew up in the idyllic Oxfordshire countryside. She is the daughter of Robert Maxwell, a Czech-born newspaper mogul and British legislator, who died under mysterious circumstances. The media mogul fell from his luxurious yacht, named “Lady Ghislaine”, near the Canary Islands, in 1991. It was discovered posthumously that he had committed massive pension fraud against his employees.
According to Roy Greenslade, who worked for the media mogul as editor of The Daily Mirror, in the early 1990s, Maxwell “adored” Ghislaine “in a way he did not do with his [otros] sons”.
“He was a monstrous father,” Greenslade recalls. “He treated his whole family very badly.” But when it came to the youngest of her nine children, Maxwell “treated her with more leniency than any of them.”
In his biography of the mogul, “Maxwell: The Rise and Fall of Robert Maxwell and His Empire,” Greenslade recalls one particular night when he was sitting in an office with Maxwell and the reckless teenager walked in. He says Maxwell gave his daughter a reprimand for “always taking risks, doing stupid and dangerous things” after having a near-fatal accident after diving into a boat.
“She was pretty smart in dealing with him,” Greenslade explains, adding that she always spoke sweetly to her father in a way that she found difficult to challenge.
After Ghislaine left, Greenslade says Maxwell turned to him with pride in his voice: “She’s just like me.”
That, Greenslade says, is evidence of perhaps why he favored her more than the others.
The media mogul died in 1991 with an investigation that ruled that his death was due to a heart attack combined with accidental drowning. However, some believe that Maxwell’s death was suicide with his business empire on the brink of ruin.
There was applause at the time for the way Ghislaine handled the family tragedy. “People who were there at the time (when Maxwell died) said she treated him brilliantly,” Greenslade said. “Dry eyes, dealing well with the press.”
After his father’s death, Maxwell moved to the United States.
“He probably ran out of money,” Greenslade says, despite many speculating that he earned income from a secret trust.
In America, Maxwell lived a public life and socialized in exclusive circles that included people connected to politics.
According to eyewitness accounts, Maxwell was invited to Chelsea Clinton’s wedding and was even taken behind the scenes at the Clinton Global Initiative summit in 2009. However, Bari Lurie, a spokeswoman for Chelsea Clinton, says the sole reason why that Clinton knew Maxwell was because socialite I was dating a friend of hers.
Maxwell was also photographed in 2000 with Donald Trump and his future wife, Melania Trump, alongside Epstein.
Maxwell was also in the background of the infamous photograph of Prince Andrew, which shows him with his arms around the waist of a young woman named Virginia Roberts. Roberts alleges that she was trafficked by Epstein, with the help of Maxwell, and forced to have sex with her friends, including Prince Andrew, when she was a minor. The prince has emphatically denied having sex with Roberts and says he “does not remember the photograph being taken.”
In 2012, Maxwell founded the charity, the TerraMar Project, which sought to promote ocean conservation. However, the non-profit organization ceased operations in December 2019, according to the records of the UK Company of Companies. The same year, federal prosecutors in New York uncovered a criminal charge against Epstein of operating a sex trafficking ring between 2002 and 2005, where he paid girls as young as 14 to have sex with him.
How are you connected to Jeffrey Epstein?
Ghislaine Maxwell was the ex-girlfriend who became the social partner of Epstein, who died by suicide in his jail cell, at age 66, while awaiting trial on federal charges of sexual abuse of underage women and running a trafficking ring. sexual. He had pleaded not guilty to the charges.
The couple is said to have separated in the 1990s, although the socialite He stayed close to the pedophile. Her name has been mentioned frequently in a memorandum of documents released earlier this year alleging that she was a supplier to Epstein and other high-profile individuals.
In 2003, Epstein described Maxwell as her best friend in a profile with Vanity Fair.
According to several people in Manhattan’s well-to-do circles, including two of his friends, Maxwell introduced Epstein to many of the social figures in his life.
What accusations does Maxwell face?
In particular, from at least about 1994 to at least about 1997, Maxwell aided, facilitated, and contributed to Jeffrey Epstein’s abuse of underage girls, among other things, helping Epstein recruit, prepare, and ultimately , abusing victims that Maxwell and Epstein knew were under the age of 18, “the indictment says. Those victims, according to the indictment, included girls as young as 14 years old.
An attorney for Maxwell, Jeffrey S. Pagliuca, did not immediately respond to a request for comment Thursday.
Virginia Roberts, now Virginia Giuffre, accused Maxwell of being the person who introduced her to Epstein and allegedly forced her to have sex with Prince Andrew when she was 17 years old.
She says she was taken to London in 2001, where she was introduced to the prince and went dancing at a nightclub with him, Epstein and Maxwell.
In a defamation case, filed in 2015, against Maxwell, which was settled in 2017, after the judge ruled against a motion for summary judgment filed by Maxwell, Giuffre says she was “forced to have sex” with him. Duke of York when she was a minor in “three separate geographic locations” including London, New York and the US Virgin Islands.
Giuffre says that when he left the Tramp nightclub in London, where he danced with Prince Andrew, Maxwell gave him instructions. “In the car, Ghislaine tells me that I have to do for Andrés what I do for Jeffrey and that made me sick,” Giuffre said, adding that she had sex with the prince at Maxwell’s home in the Belgravia area of London.
Prince Andrew, 61, denied the claims, telling the BBC in 2019: “It didn’t happen. I can tell you categorically that it never happened. I don’t recall meeting this lady, none at all.”
The prince’s legal team is fighting to get Giuffre in New York to dismiss a sexual assault case against him.
In court filings, Maxwell and his attorney also described Giuffre as an unreliable storyteller, claiming there are errors in certain dates and figures he provided.
In October 2021, the London Metropolitan Police announced that they would not take “further action” against Prince Andrew, following an investigation launched into the Giuffre case.
Bianca Britton contributed to this report.