Long gone are her days of jet-setting and glamorous parties around the world. These days Ghislaine Maxwell (59) is languishing behind bars in a Brooklyn jail as she awaits trial at the end of the month.
She recently attended a pre-trial hearing in New York in a blue prison uniform and leg shackles, which her attorney, Bobbi Sterheim, claims made it impossible for her to walk, forcing her to “get on her hands and knees” and crawl into a police van.
The hearing saw the former British socialite, who is accused of procuring girls as young as 14 for her late boyfriend, convicted paedophile Jeffrey Epstein and his famous pals including Prince Andrew between 1994 and 2004, suffering some legal setbacks when a federal judge rejected a series of motions filed by her defence team requesting that certain evidence be included or excluded in the trial.
Judge Alison Nathan ruled any evidence suggesting the case against Maxwell was brought for “political” reasons could not be introduced in front of the jury. She also said victims will be allowed to testify using pseudonyms, which her team had opposed.
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However, Maxwell scored one victory when the judge ruled to exclude emails that showed her arranging massages for women over the age of consent.
Maxwell, who was arrested in July last year, has pleaded not guilty to all charges.
Her legal team also argued she was being mistreated in jail. Earlier this year her older brother, Ian Maxwell, said the way his sister was being treated was “degrading” and “amounts to torture”.
He told the BBC she was held under 24-hour constant surveillance in a 1,8 x 2,7 m cell with no natural light and that the food was “basically inedible”.
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Ian also said she had not been able to prepare adequately for her trial because of her detention conditions. He said he believed his sister was losing her hair, having trouble with her eyesight and her ability to concentrate. However he added she remains “resolute” and denied suggestions she was a suicide risk.
The siblings' father was late disgraced British billionaire, Robert Maxwell, who was found guilty of plundering hundreds of millions of dollars from his own companies' pension funds. He died in 1991 after suffering a heart attack and falling over the side of his luxury yacht off the coast of Morocco.
Epstein committed suicide in a New York jail in 2019 rather than face the chance of life in jail for his crimes.
Sources: dailymail.co.uk, bbc.com