She is seen as the former right-hand man of sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, but she herself claims to be innocent. The lawsuit against Ghislaine Maxwell starts on Monday in New York. The 59-year-old American is suspected of recruiting underage girls between 1994 and 2004 for her ex-partner, the American financier and multimillionaire Jeffrey Epstein.
Epstein, who was arrested in 2019 on charges of human trafficking and sexually abusing dozens of underage girls, committed suicide in his cell before a lawsuit could be filed against him. He was convicted in 2008 for provoking paid sex with a 14-year-old girl.
Maxwell met Epstein in the 1990s. A socialite in New York, she helped Epstein hire staff for his six homes, for example. She is also said to have helped him recruit underage girls and young women. She allegedly recruited women to give massages to Epstein, which resulted in the sexual abuse of the women. She would also sometimes have taken part in the sexual encounters and would have paid at least one of the girls for her services.
Also read: Ghislaine Maxwell, the ‘pimp’ of millionaire Jeffrey Epstein
One of those women, Annie Farmer, was 16 at the time and says she was invited by Maxwell to visit Epstein’s ranch in the US state of New Mexico. She was supposed to attend an event for students there, but that event turned out not to exist. Maxwell took her shopping and to the movies and gave Farmer an unsolicited massage when the girl was topless. Farmer’s statement and that of three other women form the basis of the charges against Maxwell.
Adult Massage Therapists
Recently, Maxwell said during an interrogation that she “has committed no crime.” Ghislaine Maxwell’s brother, Ian Maxwell, told AP this month that his sister’s lawsuit is “the most ‘over-hyped’ lawsuit of the century,” which aims to “break her.” “The case has been pieced together so that Ghislaine has to face charges that Epstein never faced,” said Ian Maxwell. Years ago, Maxwell also said she was innocent. Making a statement in 2016, she said: “A very small part of my job was finding professional, mature massage therapists for Jeffrey. As far as I knew, everyone who came to his house was an adult and a professional.”
Rachel Barkow, a criminal justice professor at New York University, told The New York Times that it will be difficult for Maxwell to “detach from Epstein” and “make it clear that she is a different person than him.” Arlo Devlin-Brown, a former federal prosecutor, added that if her lawyers want to portray Maxwell as a victim of Epstein, it is best to focus on “Epstein’s manipulative qualities.”
If found guilty, Maxwell faces her eighty years in prison. She was arrested in 2020 after it was unclear where she was staying for a long time. She appeared to have been living in a house in the English city of Bradford since Epstein’s arrest. She allegedly bought it with cash to protect her identity. She has been in prison since her arrest. Her four bail applications were denied; the flight risk would be too great.