What next for Ghislaine Maxwell now secret Epstein files have been released?

Court documents relating to the British socialite’s paedophile friend Jeffrey Epstein have been made public

Holly Evans
Wednesday 10 January 2024 15:36 GMT
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Ghislaine Maxwell had once lived a life as one of Britain’s most well-connected socialites, mingling with US presidents, royalty and celebrities.

The daughter of the media tycoon Robert Maxwell now spends her days holed up in a cell in Florida, after being jailed for 20 years for child abuse and sex-trafficking in the service of her former boyfriend Jeffrey Epstein.

Over the course of the late 1990s and early 2000s, she helped lure and recruit a number of underage girls to work for the US billionaire, only for them to be forced to give sexual massages and allegedly abused by his associates.

The late Jeffrey Epstein with Ghislaine Maxwell, who was found guilty of child sex trafficking (US Department of Justice/PA) (PA Media)

Following a ruling by US judge Loretta Preska in December, documents relating to more than 170 people who were friends or acquaintances of the disgraced financier have been made public.

While names featured among them include Prince Andrew, Bill Clinton and Michael Jackson, the files also detail the relationship between Maxwell and Epstein, who had previously been described as his “partner in crime”.

Below we look at what is next for Maxwell as she faces decades behind bars.

When is she due to appeal?

In March 2023, lawyers acting on her behalf launched an appeal with the 2nd US Circuit of Appeals in Manhattan, arguing that if her conviction is not overturned then she should be given a new trial or re-sentenced.

Her lawyer Arthur Aidala claimed that prosecutors had worked with Epstein’s accusers to develop allegations out of “faded, distorted and motivated” memories.

He added that she had been used as a proxy for Epstein to satisfy public outrage over the case and that she was charged long after the expiration of a five-year statute of limitations.

Maxwell has been jailed for 20 years and is being held at a prison in Florida (PA)

Maxwell, now aged 61, also claimed she was protected by a 2007 non-prosecution agreement made with federal prosecutors in southern Florida regarding alleged abuse at his Palm Beach mansion.

A juror who failed to disclose that he had been sexually abused was also used as grounds for her appeal, after he said he used his experience to sway other jurors.

The US government urged the appeals court to uphold her conviction, with prosecutors saying: “The government’s evidence at trial established that over the course of a decade, Maxwell facilitated and participated in the sexual abuse of multiple young girls.”

An appeal hearing is scheduled for November.

Where is Maxwell now?

She is currently being held at Tallahassee Federal Correctional Institution in Florida, having been transferred from the Metropolitan Detention Center in New York since her arrest.

Her lawyers made a number of complaints that conditions at the Brooklyn jail were “reprehensible” and that she had been deprived of water, had raw sewage entering her cell and been placed under invasive surveillance.

She had requested to serve her sentence at the minimum security prison FCI Danbury in Connecticut, but the Bureau of Prisons ultimately decided to place her in the Florida jail given the nature of her offences.

Epstein was found dead in his prison cell before facing trial (VIA REUTERS)

The Daily Mail has since reported that she has been teaching etiquette lessons to fellow inmates, as well as holding yoga classes. Home to 800 female inmates, the prison has a reputation for offering arts and sports classes, with the opportunity to make ceramics, play basketball and play musical instruments in certain recreational areas.

It also has an inmate talent show and offers pilates and movies, while Maxwell has been putting in six hour shifts at the prison libary.

As part of her etiquette classes, she has reportedly been teaching feminism and women’s empowerment classes, and provides tips on how to behave in a job interview.

In her first prison interview with Israeli journalist Daphne Barak, Maxwell said: “There are many people here who don’t speak any English. There are people here who are indigent.

“There are people here who are not educated. I mean, there are many people here who don’t even have a TV,” she said, in an excerpt of the interview which ran on CBS News.

“So I look at it as an opportunity whilst I’m here to use whatever abilities I have to help those other people who have less than I do. Because by comparison, I have a lot. I have, you know, much more because I’m educated, and I use the skills that I have to help them. And honestly, it’s very rewarding.”

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