The stakeout is on. Media interest in where Ghislaine Maxwell is camping out has only increased since Jeffrey Epstein died earlier this month. The Daily Mail reported that she is currently living in a mansion just outside of Boston in Manchester-by-the-Sea, and her sister has been spotted in the area but Maxwell's whereabouts have yet to be confirmed. Should she surface, we'll continue to update this post.
Original story 8/13/2019: On Saturday morning, the billionaire financier and accused sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein was found dead in his jail cell at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan, the result of a suicide. The death, now under investigation by the Justice Department, came a day after shocking new details emerged in the sex abuse case federal prosecutors had been building against him.
Among the newly unsealed documents are lurid details that more deeply implicate British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell, Epstein's former girlfriend and alleged procurer of under-age partners; with his death, Maxwell, alongside other accused accomplices, could now become the focus of the investigation by prosecutors in the Southern District of New York.
There are many unresolved questions around the Epstein case, and one that is now at the forefront is this: Where exactly is Ghislaine Maxwell?
Maxwell, 57, who has previously denied similar charges through her London solicitors, has not been seen much publicly in a few years—and certainly not since Epstein’s arrest on July 6. Former friends from her years on the international party circuit, which included New York, St, Barth’s and the South of France, say they don’t even know what country she’s in.
In New York, she lived in an Upper East Side townhouse not far from Epstein’s $77 million home on East 71st Street. According to the New York Times, Maxwell's residence was purchased for $4.95 million by an anonymous limited liability company with an address that matches the office of J. Epstein & Co.; the house was sold in 2016.
Acquaintances from the 90s and early 2000s remember Maxwell as an outgoing, slightly cheeky fixture on the party circuit who dressed well and had a surfeit of British charm. Oxford-educated and well connected, she mingled effortlessly with Hollywood and New York society types. In recent years, however, she has retreated from the social scene, probably in no small part because of questions being raised about her role in lawsuits related to Epstein's alleged crimes.
Her alleged role in the Epstein case came as a surprise to some of the people who knew her socially. “We thought she was just this rich girl who was hanging around. We had no idea she might have been a ‘madam,’” said one social acquaintance on Friday.
Many in Maxwell's former social set are now struggling to understand how she came to play such a prominent role in Epstein life, allegedly helping him to procure women and young girls. One explanation might be money. Friends note that her father, the late British media mogul Robert Maxwell, died amid a financial scandal that tarred the family name and likely annihilated their fortune.
They hypothesized that a woman who had grown up in luxury might have been motivated by money pressures to abet Epstein, in return for living at the billionaire’s elbow. Maxwell played a complex role in the financier's life, overseeing his staff, handling household finances, organizing his parties, and hiring masseuses.
"There’s no way she would be doing any of this for free. People do this because they want their lifestyle paid for,” speculated one acquaintance.
The fresh information about the case revealed Friday came to light after Maxwell’s legal team lost a battle to keep sealed papers from a 2015 defamation lawsuit filed against her by Virginia Giuffre, who alleges Epstein abused her from 2000, when she was aged 16, until 2002. Giuffre also alleges Maxwell participated in the abuse; the case was settled in 2017.
Among the newly-public bombshells are Giuffre’s allegation that Maxwell instructed her to have sex with prominent figures, including former New Mexico governor and presidential candidate Bill Richardson. A spokesperson for Richardson office Friday called the claim “completely false,” and denied he ever met Giuffre.
Epstein victims claimed to have been assaulted by “numerous prominent American politicians, powerful business executive, foreign presidents, a well-known Prime Minister and other world leaders.”
Other names listed in the unsealed testimony include billionaire financier Glenn Dubin; the late MIT scientist Marvin Minsky; Alan Dershowitz, a prominent lawyer and Harvard Law professor; and Britain’s Prince Andrew. Dershowitz and Buckingham Palace have previously denied the claims, while a spokesperson for the Dubin family responded on Friday: “[they] are outraged by the allegations in the unsealed court records, which are demonstrably false and defamatory.”
President Donald Trump’s name appears on the manifest of a 1997 flight on Epstein’s private jet from Palm Beach to Newark, New Jersey. The White House had no immediate comment Friday, but Trump has previously said he had no contact with Epstein following a falling out 15 years ago.
The unsealed documents also contain records for Epstein’s online purchase of books with recherché titles like SlaveCraft: Roadmaps for Erotic Servitude, Training with Miss Abernathy: A Workbook for Erotic Slaves and Their Owners, and SM 101: A Realistic Introduction.
Despite Epstein's death, it's fair to say the story is not going away anytime soon.
“Today’s events are disturbing, and we are deeply aware of their potential to present yet another hurdle to giving Epstein’s many victims their day in court," Manhattan U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman said of Epstein's suicide. "To those brave young women who have already come forward and to the many others who have yet to do so, let me reiterate that we remain committed to standing for you, and our investigation of the conduct charged in the Indictment — which included a conspiracy count—remains ongoing.”
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