By Newsweek |
Who Is Ghislaine Maxwell? Jeffrey Epstein's Alleged Fixer and Ex-girlfriend Is Back Under the Spotlight
Ghislaine Maxwell, a longtime associate and former romantic partner of billionaire predator Jeffrey Epstein, is back under the spotlight after his indictment on charges of sex trafficking minors.
Maxwell, 57, has previously been accused of aiding and abetting 66-year-old financier Epstein in his alleged molestation of minors, which she has denied.
Now, Maxwell faces renewed suspicions in the wake of Epstein's indictment by prosecutors in the Southern District of New York, though she is not named as a co-conspirator or currently accused of any crime.
She is a daughter of disgraced publishing mogul Robert Maxwell, who drowned in an apparent suicide in 1991 after it emerged that he had embezzled money from an employee pension fund.
Born and educated in England, including at the exclusive boarding school Marlborough College and then the prestigious University of Oxford, Maxwell is a socialite who emigrated to America following her father's death.
A wealthy and well-connected member of the elite class, Maxwell mixed with the likes of Prince Andrew and the Clintons. She's also been pictured together with Epstein, who was convicted in 2008 of soliciting minors for prostitution, and Donald Trump.
Back in 2015, a woman named Virginia Roberts filed a legal complaint in Florida which accused Maxwell of acting as a madame for Epstein by soliciting minors, including herself, for him and his powerful friends to sexually abuse, The Guardian reported. Maxwell denied this.
Among those accused are Epstein's lawyer and the Harvard professor Alan Dershowitz, and Prince Andrew, who both deny all the allegations against them.
A separate lawsuit bought by Sarah Ransome in Manhattan accused Epstein and Maxwell of coercing her into sex, though a difference being that she was in her 20s at the time. The lawsuit was withdrawn following a settlement, New York Post reported.
Then in April, another woman called Maria Farmer came forward with a sworn affidavit that Epstein sexually assaulted her in the 1990s, and that he and Maxwell molested her 15-year-old sister, according to the Miami Herald.
Moreover, last week the United States Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit ordered the release of sealed court documents in a settled Epstein-related lawsuit between his accuser Roberts and Maxwell, The Hill reported, meaning new evidence of her alleged involvement may appear.
According to the latest Epstein indictment, he "sexually exploited dozens of minor girls at his homes in Manhattan, New York, and Palm Beach, Florida, among other locations," with his victims as young as 14 years old paid to recruit more vulnerable girls for abuse. The abuse would often take place during naked massages.
If convicted, Epstein faces a long sentence and may die in prison.