explainer

In July, Ghislaine Maxwell was arrested. This is what her life is like in jail now.

It has been five months since Ghislaine Maxwell, the former girlfriend of the late convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, was arrested on charges she helped procure underage sex partners for the financier.

The charges followed a months-long search for the 58-year-old, who disappeared after Epstein’s alleged suicide in prison. If found guilty, Maxwell faces up to 35 years in prison. 

The daughter of the late newspaper tycoon Robert Maxwell, she has now been in jail for five months, with reports she is planning to propose a nearly $30 million bail package with the hopes of being freed by Christmas, which is also her birthday. 

Watch the trailer for Jeffrey Epstein: Filthy Rich below. Post continues after video.


Video via Netflix.

Here is what you need to know about Maxwell’s path to prison and her life behind bars. 

Ghislaine Maxwell’s arrest. 

Ghislaine Maxwell’s name and face have become synonymous with the crimes of Jeffrey Epstein. Before his death, prosecutors were preparing to argue that the 66-year-old billionaire had brought “dozens” of women, including some who were underage, to his mansions in New York and Florida for sexual encounters with himself and a host of his wealthy friends.

But following his alleged suicide in 2019, officials were forced to pivot their focus to his reported accomplices. Chief among them was Ghislaine Maxwell, Epstein’s former girlfriend. She has been named by a number of Epstein’s alleged victims, including Virginia Giuffre, as a primary co-conspirator; a “madam” whom Epstein had tasked with recruiting young women into his circle by offering them what seemed to be legitimate employment.

On July 2 this year, Maxwell was arrested in New Hampshire, where the FBI said she had been hiding. 

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Donald Trump, Melania Trump, Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell. Image: Getty.

"Recently we learned she had slithered away to a gorgeous property in New Hampshire, continuing to live a life of privilege while her victims live with the trauma inflicted upon them years ago," William Sweeney, assistant director in charge of the FBI's New York office, said at a news conference.

On the same day as her arrest, Maxwell appeared in court, accused of helping Epstein "identify, befriend and groom" multiple girls, including one as young as 14 years old.

Prosecutors allege that Maxwell helped Epstein groom young girls between 1994 and 1997. She faces six charges:

  • conspiracy to entice minors to travel to engage in illegal sex acts,
  • enticement of a minor to travel to engage in illegal sex acts,
  • conspiracy to transport minors with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity, 
  • transportation of a minor with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity, 
  • two of perjury - the crime of intentionally lying in a court of law. 

Ghislaine Maxwell’s time in prison.

Last week, Maxwell’s lawyer Bobbi Sternheim wrote a letter to the U.S. District Judge Alison Nathan, complaining about the “extraordinarily harsh conditions” Maxwell is being subjected to in the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn, New York. 

Sternheim claims that the prison is being overly harsh, to compensate for their failings over Epstein’s death. 

“It is obvious that Ms Maxwell is bearing the brunt of BOP incompetence,” Ms Sternheim wrote, referring to the Bureau of Prisons.

“Being ‘livid’ over the death of Epstein, the Department of Justice is seeking to repair the BOP’s tarnished reputation by placing Maxwell under extraordinarily harsh conditions, not in any response to Ms. Maxwell’s requirements but rather in response to the failed handling of a completely different inmate,” the letter states. 

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The December letter follows another, also sent by Sternheim, in November which claimed she gets woken up every 15 minutes to make sure she is still alive. 

“Ms. Maxwell has spent the entirety of her pretrial detention in de facto solitary confinement under the most restrictive conditions where she is excessively and invasively searched and is monitored 24 hours a day...

“Despite non-stop in-cell camera surveillance, Ms Maxwell’s sleep is disrupted every 15 minutes when she is awakened by a flashlight to ascertain whether she is breathing,” Sternheim wrote.

Ghislaine Maxwell is now behind bars. Image: Getty.

The letter also stated that Maxwell has lost her hair while in prison, as well as losing more than 15 pounds due to an inadequate diet.  

“Ms. Maxwell has not, by her conduct or by virtue of the charges, brought this type of overly restrictive confinement upon herself,” her lawyers allege.

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However lawyers of the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn say she is not being treated differently to any other inmates, adding the use of flashlights is commonplace. 

“MDC Brooklyn correctional staff utilise flashlights when viewing inmate cells overnight to ensure inmates are breathing and not in distress,” they wrote, adding she “remains in good health”. 

Now, in an effort to be released from jail before the new year, it’s understood that Maxwell will propose a bail package of nearly $30 million in a renewed effort to be released from jail before the end of the year, the Telegraph reported. 

In the details of the reported bail package, it’s understood Maxwell will reveal she has a husband, tech CEO Borgerson, who will pay for about $25 million of the bail package. During the initial bail hearing in July, when Maxwell first applied for bail but was denied, she refused to identify the identity of her mystery husband.

Maxwell’s trial is set for July 2, 2021, set by Judge Alison Nathan.

Feature image: Getty.


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