Jailed Ghislaine Maxwell on former flame Jeffrey Epstein: ‘I didn’t know he was so awful’

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Convicted paedophile Jeffrey Epstein and girlfriend Ghislaine Maxwell, pictured together in 2005. (PHOTO: Gallo Images/Getty Images)
Convicted paedophile Jeffrey Epstein and girlfriend Ghislaine Maxwell, pictured together in 2005. (PHOTO: Gallo Images/Getty Images)

Her latest claims may fall on many deaf ears, but Ghislaine Maxwell now says she wishes she’d never met her late ex-boyfriend, convicted paedophile Jeffrey Epstein.

The 61-year-old, who is serving 20 years in a Florida jail for her role in procuring underage girls for the American financier, made the frank admission in her first TV interview from behind bars.

Talk TV / YouTube/ BEEM/magazinefeatures.co.za
Ghislaine on the phone during her first TV interview from her Florida jail. (PHOTO: Talk TV / YouTube/ BEEM/magazinefeatures.co.za)

Speaking on Jeremy Kyle's TalkTV show, the former British socialite says she rues the day she met Epstein.

READ MORE | Jailed sex-trafficker Ghislaine Maxwell expresses support for Prince Andrew – to the dismay of his friends

“I honestly wish I had never met him,” she says with a laugh, before adding, “I didn't know he was so awful. I mean obviously now, looking back with hindsight, of course. But at the time, I mean he had lots of friends.”

‘He [Epstein] was friendly with just about everybody you could imagine’
– Ghislaine Maxwell

During their time together they lived the highlife, socialising with presidents, politicians and A-list celebrities while flitting between their luxury homes in New York, London and the Caribbean.

Ghislaine’s role, first as Epstein's lover and later as his close confidante, was to procure beautiful teenage girls – often budding models from other countries – for Epstein to sexually abuse.

Under her watchful eye, they were groomed to act as masseurs for the millionaire businessman and many of his famous friends, who included former US president Bill Clinton and Prince Andrew.

However their debauched world came crashing down as one by one their victims started to speak out.

In July 2019 Epstein was arrested on sex-trafficking charges. He hanged himself in his federal prison cell in New York a month later while awaiting trial.

The following year, Ghislaine was arrested for the crimes of the enticement of minors and sex trafficking of underage girls. Last year she was found guilty and sentenced to 20 years in prison.

(PHOTO: Gallo Images/Getty Images)
Former US president Donald Trump, his then-girlfriend Melania Knauss (later wife), Jeffrey and Ghislaine at a party in Florida in 2000. (PHOTO: Gallo Images/Getty Images)

She has long been accused of taking part in some of the sexual abuse herself. At her trial three victims told the jury that Ghislaine had fondled their breasts and abused her position as Epstein’s close associate. Six delivered emotional speeches urging the judge to jail her for life.

But in her TV interview, Ghislaine expresses no remorse.

“I hope that they have some closure via the judicial process that took place,” she says, before adding, “And I wish them . . . to be able to heal and have a productive and good life going forward.”

READ MORE | 20 years of 'celebrity prison' for Jeffrey Epstein’s ex-girlfriend, Ghislaine Maxwell

She also reiterates her claim that the now infamous photo of her and Epstein’s “dear friend” Prince Andrew, with his arm around a then-teenage Virginia Giuffre is a fake.

Ghislaine says she has “no memory” of Virginia and the royal ever meeting.

(PHOTO: Gallo Images/Alamy)
The incriminating photo of Prince Andrew with his arm around a teenage Virginia. Although experts have verified the authenticity of the picture, he and Ghislaine have dismissed it as a fake. (PHOTO: Gallo Images/Alamy)

Early last year Andrew settled out of court to the tune of $16 million (R272m) with Virginia (now 39) after she sued him in a civil sexual assault case for having sex with her when she was 17, including on one occasion in Ghislaine's flat in London.

‘I don’t believe it's real. In fact I’m sure it’s not. There’s never been an original’
– Ghislaine on the infamous photo of Prince Andrew and Virginia Giuffre

It’s since emerged the Duke of York was placed under pressure from the palace to settle the case and not fight it – as he reportedly wanted to do – in order not to overshadow the late queen’s platinum jubilee celebrations.

Ghislaine, whose father was the late disgraced British publisher Robert Maxwell, says she has only seen a photocopy of the incriminating image of Andrew and Virginia.

“I can tell you that Prince Andrew, when there was an active case against him, had every right to get the original, to send it out for testing, to prove the point it was a fake . . . and it never happened,” she adds.

Andrew himself has previously said he has “no recollection” of meeting Virginia and insists it cannot be him in the photo as he “is not one to hug or display affection” in public.  

The father of princesses Eugenie and Beatrice is now reportedly desperate to reopen the case and clear his name. Sources say he has been given fresh hope by Ghislaine's interview, however even she reckons his chances “are zero”.

‘Andrew is desperate to get back to royal duties and presumably thinks it worth the risk to clear his name once and for all’
– An insider

But others believe it would be a foolish move for the duke to go down this road again.

"It may be one of his least wise moves yet," UK outlet The Sun warns.

"The duke spent millions of pounds — much of it coughed up by the queen and Prince Charles — to make the case go away by settling out of court.

"Now he is preparing to spend hundreds of thousands more to fight it all over again. But what, really, has changed since he wrote that monster cheque last February?" 

Sources: dailymail.co.uk, bolnews.com

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