Ghislaine Maxwell selling London home to fund defence in Epstein case

British socialite ‘devastated’ by sale of Belgravia property

Kate Ng
Friday 12 March 2021 16:06

Ghislaine Maxwell is reportedly selling her home in London to raise funds for her legal defence in the Jeffrey Epstein case in the US.

Ms Maxwell, who is British, has been in a New York jail since July over allegations that she and Mr Epstein groomed and sexually abused young girls between 1994 and 1997.

She pleaded not guilty to all charges, and US prosecutors have opposed granting her bail amid fears she might flee the country.

According to The Telegraph, Brian Basham, a spokesperson for the Maxwell family, said the sale of her property on Kinnerton Street, Belgravia, will soon be completed but declined to name the buyer or how much it sold for.

One of Epstein’s accusers, Virginia Roberts Giuffre, alleged she was taken to the property in 2001 to have sex with Prince Andrew when she was 17.

A now-infamous photograph of the Duke of York with his arm around Ms Giuffre’s waist is said to have been taken in Ms Maxwell’s London home. Andrew has categorically denied any form of sexual contact or relationship with Ms Giuffre and told BBC Newsnight the photo may have been faked.

Mr Basham confirmed that proceeds from the sale of the house will go towards paying Ms Maxwell’s legal fees. She has set aside US$7m (£5.02m) ahead of the trial, which is set for July, and the house sale will boost her fund to more than US$10m (£7.17m), he told the newspaper.

He was quoted as saying: “Ghislaine will be sad to see the house sold. She is devastated by all this. She will have a lot of good memories. She will be terribly sad to sell the house. It was her refuge in London.”

Properties in the Belgravia area, a short walk from Hyde Park, have sold for between £2.6m and £8m in the past couple of years, according to property records.

On Wednesday, prosecutors urged a judge to reject a third request for bail by Ms Maxwell, after her lawyers argued it should be granted because she is willing to renounce her citizenship in England and France.

Prosecutors said they could not count on that offer as she could change her mind, and called her an “extreme flight risk” who could flee using US$500,000 she wants to set aside for living expenses as well as the money gleaned from selling her London home.

Additional reporting by AP

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

View comments