how the publishing baron’s daughter became Epstein’s pimp – The Irish Times

When Ghislaine Maxwell arrived in New York in 1991, she seemed like the perfect candidate for its elite social scene. The British socialite’s father, British publishing titan Robert Maxwell, had sent her to launch an international magazine called the European, as part of his sprawling media conglomerate.

Robert Maxwell had also purchased the New York Daily News in March of the same year, around the time of his arrival, further enhancing his status, as ownership of this tabloid once carried influence in the real world. Maxwell’s pedigree and looks have further raised his profile.

Oxford-educated Maxwell had an impressive and attractive figure; she was about 5ft 8in tall, with a slim build and bold black hair, her “defined cheeks” drawing opinion. She had a refined English accent.

By the end of the year, however, Maxwell’s position among New York’s power players was in jeopardy: Robert Maxwell died in a boating accident on his yacht, Lady Ghislaine, on November 5, 1991. Shortly after Robert Maxwell’s death, it was revealed that £460million was missing from his company’s pension funds.

Maxwell faced financial and social ruin, decamping from a “very large” Columbus Circle residence to a mere studio a few months after his father’s death. But one of Maxwell’s new associates, the late financier Jeffrey Epstein, stood by his side.

Three decades later, Maxwell’s relationship with Epstein would come to a sordid conclusion. Following an international crime drama that resulted in Maxwell being convicted of sex trafficking, she was sentenced to 20 years in prison on Tuesday for luring girls, some as young as 14, into the abusive world of Epstein.

The pair were romantically linked from the start, and by 1992 Maxwell was managing Epstein’s Palm Beach estate, setting the stage for his longtime management of his various properties. Maxwell appears to have taken on the role of Epstein’s prosecutor in 1994.

That year, Maxwell met Kate in Paris. She brought then-17-year-old Kate into Epstein’s orbit soon after, luring him into sexual encounters with him under the false pretense of providing him with massages.

Kate testified that Maxwell’s relationship with Epstein seemed to be paying financial dividends, saying, “she told me she owned her house in New York and Jeffrey had it for her.” David Rodgers, Epstein’s longtime pilot, said Maxwell’s residences changed while she dated the businessman – owning a townhouse on East 65th Street in the late 1990s .

Prosecutors presented evidence that Epstein transferred more than $30 million to Maxwell’s bank accounts from 1999 to 2007. Their romance ended in the early 2000s and Maxwell quit working for him.

Despite their separation, Maxwell remained in high-level social circles. She started dating Ted Waitt, the co-founder of Gateway Computers. The tech billionaire’s check writing “helped secure her place at conferences as they replaced charity galas as the premier social gatherings of the late ‘s,” The New York Times reported.

The immense benefits Maxwell derived from his association with Epstein imploded in 2007. That year, Epstein reached a controversial plea deal that allowed him to avoid federal charges on child sex crime charges.

Maxwell was protected by a non-prosecution agreement, but she was not immune to negative publicity. Waitt grew tired of the imbroglio and they separated in 2010. He had, however, donated $12 million to Bill Clinton’s charitable foundation, which helped Maxwell maintain ties with the former first family. With ties forged at Clinton family conferences, Maxwell started an ocean charity called TerraMar in 2012. The New York Times noted that TerraMar had a website and raised funds, but did not appear to give out grants.

In the mid-2010s, Maxwell once again found herself under scrutiny. Virginia Giuffre has openly accused Maxwell and Epstein of forcing her to have sex with Prince Andrew when she was just 17.

Maxwell responded by calling her a liar and Giuffre hit back with a libel suit in 2015. The suit was settled in 2017 and it appeared the controversy had largely died down.

In late 2018, Epstein’s crimes again came to international attention when Julie K Brown of the Miami Herald published an explosive series that sparked outrage over his non-prosecution agreement.

Epstein was arrested for sex trafficking in July 2019. He committed suicide in prison about a month after his arrest.

Epstein’s victims, again denied justice, have been allowed to speak in court after their deaths. Five women have named Maxwell as an enabler or participant in her abuse.

All eyes were on Maxwell, with many wondering if she would be prosecuted. A year after Epstein’s arrest, federal prosecutors in Manhattan have revealed that Maxwell was arrested at her estate in Bradford, New Hampshire. She has been charged with sex crimes, conspiracy and perjury, for her role in Epstein’s sexual abuse of minors.

Maxwell stood trial for sex trafficking and related crimes in November 2020. The prosecution presented 24 witnesses in 10 days, and her team brought nine witnesses to the stand over a two-day period.

After 40 hours of deliberation, spanning six days, jurors found Maxwell guilty. His fate was pronounced in a New York courtroom six months later: 20 years in prison.

Maxwell claims his innocence. – Guardian

About Florence M. Sorensen

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