1 /2 How Ghislaine Maxwell met Jeffrey Epstein

1 /2 How Ghislaine Maxwell met Jeffrey Epstein

Now British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell is facing the possibility of decades in prison after her conviction on five federal sex trafficking charges in late December.

Maxwell, the daughter of the late media mogul Robert Maxwell, told a 2016 deposition that she met Jeffrey Epstein, then a wealthy financier, in 1991 through a mutual friend.

Follow Ghislaine Maxwell’s sentencing live here

During the 1990s the couple socialised with Donald Trump and Bill Clinton, as well as Prince Andrew, with Maxwell flying on Epstein’s private jets and staying at his homes, before settling in a $5m New York townhouse.

Federal prosecutors alleged that Maxwell first helped Epstein in his sexual exploitation of underage girls in 1994, with Annie Farmer, then 16, alleging she was lured to Epstein’s ranch in New Mexico.

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She stated in court papers that Maxwell insisted on giving her a massage before Epstein tried to physically restrain and sexually assault her in a bedroom at the property.

Ms Farmer sued Epstein’s estate and Maxwell, eventually accepting a compensation offer from the Epstein Victims’ Compensation Fund, and dropped her allegations as part of that settlement.

But Age Gap Sites dating apps she has alleged that Maxwell “was a really important part of the grooming process” and that the couple “worked as a team”.

The allegations against Epstein continued to mount and in 2005, a 14-year-old girl contacted police saying that she had been sexually assaulted at his home in Palm Beach, Florida.

Epstein was arrested in 2006 and charged by a grand jury with one count of solicitation of a prostitute and he eventually took a controversial plea deal in state court to prevent federal charges.

After pleading guilty to one count of solicitation of prostitution and one charge of solicitation of a minor, Epstein served 13 months in Palm Beach County Jail.

Maxwell told the 2016 deposition that after Epstein was jailed she continued to occasionally work at his properties and kept her ties with him.

“I’m a very loyal person and Jeffrey was very good to me when my father passed away,” she said in the 2016 deposition.

“I felt that it was a very thoughtful, nice thing for me to do to help in a very limited fashion.”

In 2009, Virginia Giuffre sued Epstein claiming that Maxwell had recruited her when she was a teenager working at Mr Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida.

She settled her lawsuit with Epstein after claiming that she was made a “sex slave” for years by him and Maxwell.

Her allegations though resurfaced in 2015, when further victims of Epstein filed cases against him, and she claimed that Maxwell had directed her on three occasions to have sex with Prince Andrew.

Ms Giuffre now filed a civil case against the royal in a New York court, the latter strongly denying all the allegations made against him but reaching an undisclosed settlement with her in .

In , Epstein was arrested by law enforcement after arriving in New Jersey on a private jet from France and charged with sex trafficking and sex trafficking conspiracy.

A month later, Epstein was found dead in a Manhattan prison cell while he awaited trial, with a medical examiner ruling the 66-year-old had died by suicide.

Attention then turned to Maxwell, who had a personal fortune of $20m as well as British, French and US passports and who was nowhere to be found.

Almost exactly oneayear after Epstein’s arrest, the FBI raided a remote estate in New Hampshire, where Ms Maxwell was found living.

She had “slithered away to a gorgeous property in New Hampshire, continuing to live a life of privilege while her victims continue to live with the trauma inflicted upon them years ago,” said Bill Sweeney, assistant director of the FBI’s New York Field Office, as he confirmed her arrest.

Prosecutors say that Maxwell refused to answer the door to agents, who were forced to break it down and take her into custody.

On 29 December, following a high-profile trial closely followed by media across the world, a jury found Maxwell guilty on five federal sex trafficking charges.

She was found not guilty of the first charge, enticing a minor to travel to engage in illegal sex acts, but the other counts were as follows:

  • Count 2: Enticing a minor to travel to engage in illegal sex acts – maximum sentence of five years
  • Count 3: Conspiracy to transport a minor with the intent to engage in criminal sexual activity – maximum sentence of five years
  • Count 4: Transporting a minor with the intent to engage in criminal sexual activity – maximum sentence of 10 years
  • Count 5: Conspiracy to commit sex trafficking of minors – maximum sentence of five years
  • Count 6: Sex trafficking of minors – maximum sentence of 40 years

Maxwell’s legal team quickly began working on her appeal and launched a separate bid for a retrial after one of the original jurors spoke to the press and revealed he had a personal history of sexual abuse.

The defence said that Juror 50, who spoke publicly under his first names Scotty David, lied about his history in a pre-trial verdict that resulted in an unfair trial but Judge Alison Nathan ultimately rejected their call for a retrial.

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How Ghislaine Maxwell met Jeffrey Epstein

Acting US attorney for the Southern District of New York, Audrey Strauss, announces charges against Ghislaine Maxwell during a press conference in New York City on