Judge blasts Maxwell’s ‘lack of candour’ over her finances and exaggerations over mistreatment in prison

Alison Nathan was critical of Ghislaine Maxwell’s shifting statements about her wealth and prison experience

Bevan Hurley
Wednesday 29 June 2022 00:05 BST
A courtroom sketch of Judge Alison Nathan
A courtroom sketch of Judge Alison Nathan

Ghislaine Maxwell exaggerated her mistreatment in prison and has shown a persistent “lack of candour” about her finances, Judge Alison Nathan said in blistering remarks at the socialite’s sentencing.

Judge Nathan took issue with Maxwell’s numerous public complaints about her treatment in the Metropolitan Detention Center (MDC) as she handed down a sentence of 20 years in federal prison and a $750,000 fine for abusing and grooming young girls with Jeffrey Epstein.

Judge Nathan acknowledged that Maxwell had posed a security risk as a high profile inmate accused of sexual abuse against children, and had been subject to a higher level of surveillance than a “usual detainee”.

But she rejected Maxwell’s complaints that she had been treated unduly harshly throughout her two years in jail awaiting trial.

She said Maxwell had “exaggerated” her claims of poor treatment as a “dishonest” attempt to “deflect blame”.

Maxwell’s representatives filed more than 100 complaints during her time behind bars, claiming she had been subjected to excessive body-cavity searches and invasive shower surveillance.

Maxwell was also criticised for making conflicting statements about her wealth and ability to pay a fine.

After her arrest in July 2020, Maxwell claimed to have a net wealth of around $3m.

Then when applying for bail in March 2021, Maxwell claimed to have access to $22.5m to pledge towards bail.

Ghislaine Maxwell is seen addressing the court at her sentencing on 28 June (REUTERS)

Judge Nathan said she accepted that Maxwell had been rewarded handsomely for her efforts to recruit young girls into Epstein’s orbit, finding as fact that the 60-year-old received a New York City townhouse and approximately $23m during the 10-year timeframe of the conspiracy.

The judge also raised a $10m bequest that Maxwell had been awarded from Epstein’s estate and an upcoming divorce settlement from the end of her marriage to Scott Borgerson. Maxwell’s attorneys said she had not received any payouts from Epstein’s estate.

In delivering a sentence of 240 months, Judge Nathan said Maxwell “worked with Epstein to select young victims who were vulnerable and played a pivotal role in facilitating sexual abuse”.

Any sentence had to give an “unmistakable message” that crimes against vulnerable children would be severely punished. 

“The damage done to these young girls was incalculable,” Judge Nathan said.

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