After the death of Jeffrey Epstein in a New York jail, focus has shifted to the British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell, a close friend of the financier who has been accused in lawsuits––including one filed Wednesday––of helping him recruit and groom girls for sexual abuse.
Statements from authorities suggest the multi-millionaire’s death will turn the criminal investigations toward potential co-conspirators. “Let me assure you that case will continue on against anyone who was complicit with Epstein,” U.S. Attorney General William Barr said on Monday. “Any co-conspirators should not rest easy.”
Who is Ghislaine Maxwell?
Maxwell, 57, is the ninth and youngest daughter of British publishing and media mogul Robert Maxwell.
She is a well-connected socialite who has been photographed in parties with several prominent politicians, princes and entrepreneurs, including Prince Andrew, Bill Clinton and Donald Trump.
According to Tom Bower, one of Robert Maxwell’s biographers, Ghislaine Maxwell was born in Paris, grew up in England and studied at Balliol College, Oxford.
In 1991, her father was found dead in the Atlantic ocean near the Canary Islands, where he had been sailing his yacht, the Lady Ghislaine––named after his daughter. Shortly after his death, it was reported that he had committed a massive fraud by plundering his employees’ pensions to keep his companies afloat.
What was Maxwell’s relationship with Epstein?
The nature of Maxwell’s relationship with Epstein is not clear. While it was apparently romantic initially, Maxwell later became more of a close friend to Epstein, but has also been alleged to be his “procurer” and “madam” by Epstein’s accusers.
The two reportedly met in New York in the early 1990s, where Maxwell had moved after her father’s death.
She reportedly introduced Epstein to a number of her powerful friends including Prince Andrew. Queen Elizabeth’s second son has also been caught up in allegations. One of Epstein’s alleged victims, Virginia Giuffre, said in a lawsuit that the prince was one of the men she was coerced into sexual encounters with.
A spokesperson for Buckingham Palace said in a statement, “It is emphatically denied that The Duke of York had any form of sexual contact or relationship with Virginia Roberts [Giuffre]. Any claim to the contrary is false and without foundation.”
What is she accused of?
Maxwell has never been charged with a crime related to Epstein. However Giuffre and Araoz have accused Maxwell in lawsuits of grooming and recruiting underage girls for abuse.
Giuffre alleged in a lawsuit that Maxwell recruited her as a masseuse for the financier in 2000, when she was 16 or 17 and working at Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in South Florida.
In 2015, Giuffre sued Maxwell for defamation after the media heiress called her a liar. Some 2,000 pages of documents from the case were <a target="_blank" href="https://www.reuters.com/article/people-jeffrey-epstein-documents/court-releases-documents-related-to-financier-jeffrey-epstein-idUSL2N25511X" …read more
Source:: Time – World