Jeffrey Epstein’s fixer and alleged child sex procurer Ghislaine Maxwell recently had her long-anticipated day in court. (The first of many, to be sure.) To be more accurate, she wasn’t actually in court. She appeared via video from a room at the jail in Manhattan where she’s currently living. And despite what appears to be a mountain of evidence, though largely circumstantial, and the public testimony of dozens of alleged victims and witnesses, Maxwell’s attorneys entered a plea of not guilty before the judge. But even that seemingly routine bit of court business wasn’t without its own share of drama.
Ghislaine Maxwell pleaded not guilty Tuesday to charges she helped traffic young women for Jeffrey Epstein to sexually abuse — as her trial date was set for next year.
Maxwell appeared via video conference for her arraignment on a six-count indictment charging her with recruiting and grooming young women to be molested by Epstein. Prosecutors said she took part in some of the abuse herself.
“How do you wish to plead to the charges?” Manhattan federal court Judge Alison Nathan asked.
“Not guilty, your honor,” Maxwell replied in a raspy voice.
That development set up the question of whether or not she could be freed on bail while awaiting trial. Maxwell had requested that she be allowed to post a five million dollar bond so she could remain free while either preparing her defense or fleeing the country, depending upon who you ask. The prosecutors argued against bail, citing any number of examples of her recent behavior that should have identified her as a definite flight risk. But after some of the usual back and forth, the judge was clearly not impressed by the arguments put forward by the defense. Bail was denied, leading Maxwell to once again break down in tears at the unfairness of it all.
Ghislaine Maxwell cried as she was ordered held without bail Tuesday — with a Manhattan judge ruling the accused sex abuser “poses substantial actual risk of flight” after she purposely hid from authorities.
The 58-year-old British socialite and pal of late convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein wiped tears from her left eye several times, using the back of her left index finger, as federal Judge Alison Nathan refused to free her from the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn until her trial next year.
“No combination of conditions” could ensure that Maxwell wouldn’t try to flee prosecution, Nathan said during a video conference in Manhattan federal court — where Maxwell appeared on the feed remotely from a closet-size room at the jail.
Oh, and it turns out there’s one other tidbit about the wealthy socialite that hadn’t been previously revealed to the public. The newly uncovered fact was revealed when the prosecutors were making their case against allowing her to be released on bail. Ghislaine Maxwell is married, but she won’t say to who. This led the prosecutors to claim that they couldn’t even verify the full extent of her assets when seeking to determine what level of bail might be appropriate.
Ghislaine Maxwell is secretly married — and refusing to reveal her husband’s name, prosecutors said this week at the accused madame’s bail hearing.
The bombshell detail was divulged Tuesday as Manhattan prosecutors accused her of purposely hiding the extent of her wealth.
“In addition to failing to describe in any way the absence of proposed cosigners of a bond, the defendant also makes no mention whatsoever about the financial circumstances or assets of her spouse whose identity she declined to provide to Pretrial Services,” Assistant US Attorney Alison Moe told Manhattan federal court Judge Alison Nathan during a video conference.
The subject of bail in New York City has been a touchy one all year, with authorities seeming to be all too eager to let everyone and anyone out of the jails under the pretense of the COVID-19 crisis. But now they’ve finally found someone who can’t be afforded that luxury, and it’s Ghislaine Maxwell. It’s rather hard to blame the courts, really. If there’s anyone who has demonstrated not only the financial wherewithal but the will to fly the coop, it’s got to be Maxwell. Vanity Fair recently ran an exploration of the socialite’s time on the run and how she had managed to move from place to place without being located.
For a period of time over the past few years, she was technically “homeless,” as in not having a permanent mailing address. That doesn’t mean she was out on the streets, of course, She stayed with a series of wealthy friends and former partners for various periods of time. She also put herself up at luxurious hotels and rentals, always under an assumed name. The mansion in New Hampshire where she was finally nabbed was similarly set up under an alias. But law enforcement kept after her like a bunch of bloodhounds and finally got her in cuffs.
Given all of that information as prologue, would any court seriously consider springing her on bail? She has the financial assets to shrug off any amount of money the court would care to collect. On top of that, she still has a lot of very wealthy and powerful friends. (Some of whom are quite nervous about her being behind bars if even a fraction of the stories we’ve heard are correct.) I’m sure plenty of them would love to help her escape the grasp of the law. Whether or not she would survive the caper is probably another question entirely. They’re probably not really experienced enough to set up a reliable “suicide” watch on her.