Ms Maxwell, whose sex trafficking trial is set to begin later this month, told the Mail on Sunday that she has been assaulted and abused by prison guards, is forced to sleep under “fluorescent lights” and would frequently be joined by a rat.
In an interview from her 10ftx12ft prison cell inside the Metropolitan Detention Centre in Brooklyn, she described her condition as “weak” and “frail” and spoke of her fears she will be denied a fair trial.
The former girlfriend and alleged madam of late paedophile Jeffrey Epstein has been held in solitary confinement at the prison since July 2020 when she was arrested in New Hampshire.
She has repeatedly complained about the conditions inside the jail with her attorneys claiming she is under such invasive surveillance from guards that it “rivals scenes of Dr Hannibal Lecter’s incarceration” in the film The Silence of the Lambs.
Ms Maxwell was denied bail for a fourth time just last week.
The 59-year-old British socialite and daughter of disgraced newspaper magnate Robert Maxwell is accused of recruiting underage girls for multi-millionaire Epstein to abuse for around a decade from 1994 to 2004.
She is charged with conspiracy and enticing minors to travel to engage in illegal sex acts and the transportation of minors to engage in criminal sexual activity for allegedly grooming and recruiting underage girls from 1994 through 1997.
She is also charged with sex trafficking of a minor from 2001 to 2004, in addition to one count of sex trafficking conspiracy. Ms Maxwell denies all of the allegations and has pleaded not guilty, but she faces up to 80 years in prison if convicted.
She complained in her interview with the Mail on Sunday that she has not had a “nutritious meal” in her 16 months behind bars and has been forced to eat “rotten food”.
“I have been assaulted and abused for almost a year and a half,” she said. “I have not had a nutritious meal in all that time. I haven’t slept without lights on – fluorescent lights that have damaged my eyes – or been allowed to sleep without constant interruptions.”
She added: “I am weak, I am frail. I have no stamina. I am tired. I don’t even have shoes which fit properly.
“They feed me rotten food. One apple had maggots in it. I have not been allowed to exercise.”
She compared some of the food to Chernobyl – the worst nuclear disaster in history – and complained of “black soggy” bananas and “wet” bread. “I’ve been given food so over-nuked it looked like Chernobyl after the nuclear fallout.”
And she added that she “used to take a shower every day but I’ve stopped because of the creepy guards who stand close and stare at me the whole time”.
”I used to go to the loo with an open sewer drain and a friendly rat would regularly visit,” she said. “I told the guards, but nothing was done until the rat popped out and charged a guard, who screamed in terror. Finally, the sewer drain was covered.”
Ms Maxwell also described attempts by the prison guards to intimidate her, including one time when she said she was “threatened with punishment when I used a hair-tie to secure my legal documents”.
But despite her claims, she said she gives cooking lessons to some of the guards and that they joke around playing “peek-a-boo”.
Ms Maxwell went on to say how she fears it will be “impossible” for her to get a fair trial because of the “overwhelmingly negative” media coverage of the case.
“I’m terrified the overwhelmingly negative coverage will poison my jury pool and affect the outcome of my trial, despite the evidence which I feel confident will prove my innocence,” she said. “I look forward to having my day in court to prove I played no part in Epstein’s crimes. I am innocent.”
Jury selection for Ms Maxwell’s trial is due to begin on Monday with a trial start date of 29 November.
Ms Maxwell was arrested 11 months after Epstein took his own life in a Manhattan prison cell in August 2019 while awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges.
The Independent has reached out to the Federal Bureau of Prisons for comment on Ms Maxwell’s claims about her treatment in the Metropolitan Detention Center.
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