Ghislaine Maxwell's family slam 'bizarre and cruel' US legal system

Ghislaine Maxwell’s family slam ‘bizarre and cruel’ US legal system for subjecting the socialite to ‘brutal and degrading’ treatment in jail – and deny she sex-trafficked children

  • Ghislaine Maxwell faces child sex trafficking charges over link to Jeffrey Epstein
  • Prosecutors claim she recruited 3 girls as young as 14 for paedophile Epstein
  • Plead not guilty and has been languishing in cell in New York detention centre
  • Brother Ian Maxwell has concerns about her treatment and wants her released

Ghislaine Maxwell’s family have slammed the ‘bizarre and cruel’ US legal system for subjecting her to ‘brutal and degrading’ treatment in jail.

The 59-year-old British socialite faces child sex trafficking charges over allegedly recruiting three teenage girls as young as 14 for paedophile Jeffrey Epstein to sexually abuse in the 1990s. 

She pleaded not guilty to all charges following her arrest in July 2020 – and has been languishing in a New York City detention centre ever since.

Her lawyer has claimed the one-time girlfriend of Epstein is ‘withering’ away behind bars, is losing her hair and had allegedly been abused by a guard during a pat down search.

Now her brother, British businessman Ian Maxwell, has echoed concerns about her treatment as he spoke out for the first time following his sister’s arrest. 

Ghislaine Maxwell’s family have slammed the ‘bizarre and cruel’ US legal system for subjecting her to ‘brutal and degrading’ treatment in jail. Pictured: Ghislaine Maxwell with brother Ian (right), father Robert and mother Elizabeth (far left)

The 59-year-old British socialite (a sketch of her video link court appearance last year)  faces child sex trafficking charges over allegedly recruiting three teenage girls as young as 14 for paedophile Jeffrey Epstein to sexually abuse in the 1990s

He told The Daily Telegraph: ‘To anyone familiar with the British system of law, the American system is simply bizarre, quite frankly, cruel.’

He said Maxwell – who is friends with Prince Andrew – has a concrete bed and a toilet in her 6ft by 9ft cell.   

Mr Maxwell is one of nine siblings and was previously charged with and acquitted of financial crimes connected to his disgraced media tycoon father Robert Maxwell’s business operations.

The brother added: ‘The sustained brutal, degrading – and wholly unnecessary – conditions of my sister’s solitary imprisonment are a disgrace to any civilised democracy.’

In February, Maxwell’s attorney Bobbi Sternheim wrote a letter to  Judge Alison Nathan claiming her client is experiencing ‘onerous’ conditions in jail. 

Such treatment is purported to include being deprived of sleep, being given inedible food, being ‘physically abused’ by a jail guard – and later being punished for complaining about it.

‘It is impossible to overstate the deleterious effect of the conditions under which Ms. Maxwell is detained,’ Sternheim wrote.

‘She is withering to a shell of her former self — losing weight, losing hair, and losing her ability to concentrate.’ 

Maxwell – who is on 24/7 suicide watch – is awaiting a July trial on charges that she recruited three teenage girls for Epstein to sexually abuse in the 1990s and committed perjury during 2016 depositions in a civil case. 

Epstein’s alleged madam Maxwell (left and right with Epstein) has applied for bail for a third time, by offering to give up her UK and French citizenship so that she won’t be considered a flight risk, according to new a court filing

The Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn is seen above. Maxwell’s lawyer has routinely complained about the ‘onerous’ conditions she’s being confined in

She was arrested in July 2020 following a worldwide search and has pleaded not guilty to all charges.

She has remained incarcerated without bail since July, when she was arrested almost exactly a year after Epstein was arrested to face sex trafficking charges. 

Epstein killed himself in a Manhattan jail a month after his arrest. 

In December, prosecutors said Maxwell is allowed out of her solitary confinement cell for up to 13 hours each day, has a shower to herself, in addition to her own phone, access to two computers and a TV. 

Last month, Maxwell filed a third application for bail, this time offering to renounce her British and French citizenship so she cannot seek refuge in either country. 

Maxwell is scheduled to face a July trial on charges that she recruited three teenage girls for Epstein to abuse in the mid-1990s. She has pleaded not guilty

Maxwell said she would ‘immediately’ give up her citizenship from the UK, the country where she grew up, in exchange for her release.

Giving up her citizenship with France, which has no extradition treaty with the US, would be ‘expedited’, her lawyers said.

Maxwell would also put all the money and assets she owns into an account supervised by an asset manager who would sign off on any spending.

Maxwell’s lawyers said the measures were ‘sufficient to address the hypothetical risk of flight and secure Ms Maxwell’s presence at trial.’

But they face a high bar against a judge who has twice ruled already that Maxwell should remain behind bars until her trial in July.

Maxwell (pictured in a court sketch last year) was arrested last July on child sex trafficking charges and has remained jailed on grounds she might flee

New York federal court judge Ms Nathan has said that ‘no combination of conditions’ would ensure Maxwell attends court.

In a nine-page filing, Maxwell’s lawyer Sternheim said that the 59-year-old socialite ‘will renounce her French and British citizenship to eliminate any opportunity for her to seek refuge in those countries.’

Maxwell currently has British, French and American citizenship.

‘The requisite paperwork is in the process of being completed. Renunciation of UK citizenship can be accomplished immediately upon granting of bail,’ Sternheim wrote.

‘The process of renouncing her French citizenship, while not immediate, may be expedited.’

Sternheim called citizenship a ‘priceless asset’ and Maxwell’s offer to give up citizenship from ‘the county of her birth and the country of her upbringing demonstrates her earnestness to abide by the conditions of her release.’

She wrote that doing this ‘should satisfy any concerns the court may have that Ms Maxwell may try to seek a safe haven in France or the United Kingdom.’

The letter said that Maxwell would be prepared to put all assets she and her husband Scott Borgerson own into a new account to be overseen by an asset manager.

Maxwell has repeatedly complained about the conditions inside the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn (pictured) where she is being held until her trial in July 

The account will contain all of the couple’s cash and liquid assets and anything from the ‘pending sale’ of her $2million home in London, revealing for the first time that the home is being sold.

Maxwell offered a retired federal judge William Duffey as the asset manager and said he will have to approve any expenditure from the account apart from legal fees and taxes.

The only funds in the account will be money held in escrow for lawyers. Her previous disclosures said she has $7.6million in legal retainers – and $450,000 for Mr Borgerson’s living expenses.

Sternheim said that Maxwell’s motions filed in recent months ‘significantly call into question the strength of the Government’s case against Ms Maxwell and the underlying justification for continued detention’.

She complained about how Maxwell has been ‘depicted as a cartoon-character villain’ to turn her into a ‘substitute replacement for Jeffrey Epstein.’

Sternheim wrote: ‘Ms Maxwell is determined – and welcomes the opportunity – to face her accusers at trial and clear her name’,

Maxwell’s second bail application had offered a $28.5million package with an emotional letter from Mr Borgerson.

Maxwell was a wealthy socialite, moving in elite circles until she virtually disappeared from public view in 2016 after Virginia Roberts – Epstein’s main accuser – filed a lawsuit against her (pictured, Epstein and Maxwell in New York in 2015)

That included $22.5million in assets she owns with Mr Borgerson and another $5million from friends and family.

Maxwell had earlier offered to give up her passports and submit to home confinement and electronic monitoring, but Judge Nathan rejected it.

In the third bail application, Sternheim said that the new measures enhance the already extraordinarily restrictive bail conditions’ they have put forward.

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