British heiress Ghislaine Maxwell, 58, was arrested on Thursday on charges of crimes related to a sex crime torture of businessman Jeffrey Epstein. According to the charges, Maxwell helped recruit and transport minors for exploitation by Epstein, Reuters reported. Maxwell is also twice accused of taking the false oath.
Maxwell has denied being guilty of lawlessness or knowing about Epstein’s trees.
Six charges have been brought against Ghislaine Maxwell.
Photo: Laura Cavanaugh / AFP / Lehtikuva
According to the indictment, the crimes took place at least around 1994-1997. The youngest victim of the alleged crimes related to Maxwell was 14 years old, CNN says.
The FBI arrested Maxwell at 8:30 a.m. local time in Bradford, New Hampshire. He is responding to the charges in New Hampshire, but the charges have been brought in the Southern New York District Court.
Maxwell's name has already appeared in the accounts of several of Epstein's alleged victims. Demands for his arrest grew when Epstein committed suicide in August 2019 and was no longer responding to several sex crime charges himself.
Maxwell is the daughter of media mogul Robert Maxwell. The woman, who grew up in Britain, moved to the United States at the same time as her father died in 1991.
Around the same time, a woman known as a social celebrity met businessman Epstein and the duo began a relationship. Although the relationship later broke down, the duo remained close and often spent time together. The couple spent time at Epstein’s lavish house in downtown New York, among other places, and flew on Epstein’s private jet.
Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell were close friends.
Image: Ho / AFP / Magazine image
CNN reported last year that it was Maxwell who introduced Epstein to many public figures. According to The Guardian, Maxwell had, among other things, a connection to the British royals through Prince Andrew. Accusations of sex with minors have also been made against the prince.
In a 2003 Vanity Fair interview, Epstein described Maxwell as his “best friend”.
- He was always the most interesting, lively and unusual person in the room, described the author of the article Maxwell.
- The contents of his Rolodex (business card carousel) hit almost everyone else that comes to mind.
Jeffrey Epstein was sentenced in 2008 to 18 months in prison for juvenile sex offenses. However, he sat on the sentence for only 13 months before being released on parole.
Jeffrey Epstein received his first conviction in Florida. Photo of a businessman's apartment in Palm Beach.
Photo: Joe Skipper / Reuters
It was not until the second decade of the 21st century that Maxwell's name began to emerge in the allegations of several women related to Epstein.
In 2015, Maxwell was alleged to have insulted the honor of Virginia Roberts Giuffre, an alleged victim of Epstein, by claiming that Giuffre had lied in a sex circle. The lawsuit was settled in 2017.
In documents that became public last year, another woman also claimed that Maxwell would have lured her to Epstein for work and taught her to give erotic massages to Epstein and later to his acquaintances.
Later, several other women also shared how Maxwell had enticed them to meet Epstein and exposed them to exploitation. Maxwell has also been charged with sexual abuse.
Last year, for example, Maria Farmer, a former employee of Epstein and Maxwell, said in an affidavit that she had been exploited by Maxwell and Epstein in the 1990s. The woman also alleged that Maxwell had been involved in the sexual abuse of the woman's minor sister.
- I trusted her because she was a woman. He made us trust him and he made us care about him. My sister even said she felt special when Ghislaine drew her attention because she had that kind of popular girl style, she was one of them. He knew everything, Farmer said later in an interview with The Guardian.
- Ghislaine dominated the girls, said Sarah Ransome Panorama, who claims to be a victim of Epstein, in an interview last year.
- He checked all the girls. He knew what Jeffrey liked ... this was very much a joint venture.
Maxwell largely disappeared from public view in 2016 and lived a quiet life at a time when allegations against Epstein intensified and eventually led to charges.
Epstein was arrested on July 6, 2019 for crimes related to the sex trade. He committed suicide while in pre-trial detention in August 2019.
Passers-by in front of a house owned by Jeffrey Epstein in New York.
Photo: Eduardo Munoz / Reuters
The Washington Post reported last August that neighbors had told Maxwell to live in a secluded mansion off the coast of Massachusetts. The New York Post reported in August last year that Maxwell had been seen eating a burger in Los Angeles.
However, with the charges brought, the silence ended and Maxwell involuntarily returned to the public eye.