All the details we know around the arrest of Epstein’s ex Ghislaine Maxwell
She paid for a huge mansion in cash
Since the sensational arrest of Ghislaine Maxwell yesterday, more and more crazy details have come to light about her alleged crimes and her actions since the death of Jeffrey Epstein.
The FBI finally ended the mystery of her whereabouts, revealing she’d been holed up in a mansion in New Hampshire, purchased using cash through a shell company.
Here are all the details we know around Ghislaine Maxwell’s arrest.
How was Ghislaine Maxwell arrested?
After a year-long mystery over her whereabouts, Maxwell was arrested in Bradford, New Hampshire at 8:30am yesterday.
Whilst the rest of the world speculated where she might be, the FBI had been “discreetly” keeping tabs on her.
Following her arrest, Maxwell appeared in court yesterday for a hearing.
A posh British woman appeared on the line at the hearing saying: “What is going on … I genuinely don’t understand … literally what the fuck … what is going on man … I don’t understand … I don’t understand … I don’t understand [sobbing],” tweeted FT reporter Kadhim Shubber, who was on the call for the hearing.
What is Ghislaine Maxwell accused of?
Ghislaine Maxwell has been arrested under accusations of facilitating and even participating in Jeffrey Epstein’s sexual abuse of underage girls.
Between 1994 and 1997, “Ghislaine Maxwell, in partnership with Jeffrey Epstein, a serial sexual predator, exploited and abused young girls,” documents released by prosecutors read.
Specifically, Maxwell has been charged with conspiracy to entice minors to travel to engage in illegal sex acts; enticing a minor to travel to engage in illegal sex acts; conspiracy to transport minors to participate in illegal sex acts; and perjury. She faces up to 35 years in prison if convicted.
The bulk of the charges focus on Maxwell allegedly grooming young girls as young as 14 and helping them to travel to Epstein’s properties around the world. Prosecutors say she played a key role in enabling Epstein’s abuse.
“She put victims at ease by providing the assurance and comfort of an adult woman who seemingly approved of Epstein’s behaviour,” write prosecutors.
“To make victims feel indebted to Epstein, the defendant would encourage victims to accept Epstein’s offers of financial assistance, including offers to pay for travel or educational expenses”.
Maxwell took victims shopping or to the movies, and tried to normalise sexual abuse by undressing in front of victims or being present for sex acts involving Epstein and the victims.
“In one instance, Maxwell was present for and participated in the sexual abuse of minor victims,” write prosecutors.
To hide her involvement, prosecutors say Maxwell repeatedly lied under oath about this in 2016.
After a year of keeping tabs on Maxwell, the FBI are confident they have a lot of evidence backing this up: “Multiple victims have provided detailed, credible, and corroborated information against the defendant,” say the documents.
“The victims are backed up contemporaneous documents, records, witness testimony, and other evidence. For example, flight records, diary entries, business records, and other evidence corroborate the victims’ account of events.”
Maxwell has long denied the allegations.
Read the full indictment here.
Where was Ghislaine Maxwell living?
Photos on a real estate website show exactly how luxurious the property Ghislaine purchased is.
Maxwell used cash to purchase the 156-acre property in Bradford, New Hampshire, making the transaction through a “carefully anonymised” shell company. This is where she’d been hiding for most of the year.
A broker involved in the sale told the Daily Beast: “They said they didn’t want her name known, so I thought it must be a movie star. She wanted to know what the flight patterns were over the house, which was very strange.”
How much did Ghislaine Maxwell move about?
Maxwell had changed location at least twice in the past year, say prosecutors.
She took “at least fifteen international flights in the last three years to locations including the United Kingdom, Japan, and Qatar.”
All this movement meant the FBI believe she shouldn’t be given bail: “In short, Maxwell has three passports, large sums of money, extensive international connections, and absolutely no reason to stay in the United States and face the possibility of a lengthy prison sentence.”
How did she hide her whereabouts?
Maxwell made “intentional efforts to avoid detection”, say prosecutors.
She holds three different passports – UK, US, and France – and has used 15 bank accounts in the past four years.
“The total balances of those accounts have ranged from a total of hundreds of thousands of dollars to more than $20 million,” say prosecutors, adding that she regularly transferred hundreds of thousands to herself.
Beyond that, she changed her phone number and email address, including to one registered to under “G Max”.
What have Epstein’s victims said?
“Today, my fellow Epstein survivors and I are able to take a breath of relief, as Maxwell’s arrest means some justice for survivors can exist,” said Jennifer Araoz, one of Epstein and Maxwell’s alleged victims.
Bradley Edwards, a lawyer who represents over 20 alleged victims, said: “Today is a long time coming for many victims.
“I have talked with many of my clients this morning who are relieved that justice is being served. They are so thankful for the dedicated work of the New York prosecutors.”
What’s happening with Prince Andrew?
Pressure is growing for Prince Andrew. There’s some controversy over whether he’s been helpful for the investigation so far.
Audrey Strauss, acting US attorney for New York’s southern district said: “Our doors remain open and we would welcome him coming in and giving us an opportunity to hear his statement.”
Yet a source close to Prince Andrew told the FT: “The Duke’s team remains bewildered given that we have twice communicated with the DOJ in the last month and, to date, we have had no response.”