Ghislaine Maxwell, the British socialite and former girlfriend of Jeffrey Epstein, has been arrested by the FBI officers investigating the late disgraced financier’s sex crimes. Ms Maxwell, 58, was detained in the town of Bradford, New Hampshire, on Thursday morning and is expected to make a virtual courthouse appearance later today.
According to an unsealed indictment at the Southern District Court of New York, she is facing six charges, including enticement and conspiracy to entice minors to travel to engage in illegal sex acts, transportation and conspiracy to transport minors with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity, and two counts of perjury.
Federal prosecutors said in court papers she had “enticed and caused minor victims to travel to Epstein’s residence in different states” and that Maxwell would assist in their “grooming for and subjection to sexual abuse.”
Prosecutors charged that Ms Maxwell was well aware of Epstein’s preference for minor girls, and that he intended to sexually abuse them.
The charges date back to 1994 and involve three unnamed victims, the youngest of whom was 14 when she allegedly met the British socialite, who is the daughter of late British media magnate Robert Maxwell.One of the girls, referred to as “Victim 3” in the indictment to protect her identity, was allegedly underage when she was groomed and abused in London between the years 1994-1995. The indictment alleges that Ms Maxwell “encouraged Victim 3 to give massages to Epstein.”
Among the most sensational accusations was a claim by one Epstein victim, Virginia Roberts Giuffre, that Ms Maxwell arranged for her to have sex with Prince Andrew, Duke of York, at her London townhouse.
Ghislaine Maxwell apparently met Jeffrey Epstein when her father bought the New York Post and sent her to New York to represent his interests. There, she also ran in the society crowd that included Donald Trump.
Ghislaine Maxwell’s father was a controversial figure and also embropiled in scandal of the financial variety. Ian Robert Maxwell MC (born Ján Ludvík Hyman Binyamin Hoch; 10 June 1923 – 5 November 1991), was a British media proprietor, Member of Parliament (MP), and fraudster. Originally from Czechoslovakia, Maxwell rose from poverty to build an extensive publishing empire. After his death, huge discrepancies in his companies’ finances were revealed, including his fraudulent misappropriation of the Mirror Group pension fund.
Early in his life, Maxwell, an Orthodox Jew, escaped from Nazi occupation, joined the Czechoslovak Army in exile in World War II and was decorated after active service in the British Army. In subsequent years he worked in publishing, building up Pergamon Press to a major publishing house. After six years as an MP during the 1960s, Maxwell again put all his energy into business, successively buying the British Printing Corporation, Mirror Group Newspapers and Macmillan Publishers, among other publishing companies.
Maxwell had a flamboyant lifestyle, living in Headington Hill Hall in Oxford, from which he often flew in his helicopter, and sailed in his luxury yacht, the Lady Ghislaine. He was litigious and often embroiled in controversy, including with regard to his support for Israel at the time of the 1948 Arab-Israeli War. In 1989, Maxwell had to sell successful businesses, including Pergamon Press, to cover some of his debts. In 1991, his body was discovered floating in the Atlantic Ocean, having fallen overboard from his yacht. He was buried in Jerusalem.
Maxwell’s death triggered the collapse of his publishing empire as banks called in loans. His sons briefly attempted to keep the business together, but failed as the news emerged that the elder Maxwell had stolen hundreds of millions of pounds from his own companies’ pension funds. The Maxwell companies applied for bankruptcy protection in 1992.