Ghislaine Maxwell is to emerge from her New York prison cell on Monday after a 15-month wait for the start of a trial for sex trafficking children, perjury and the enticement of minors while she was a close associate of the late financier Jeffrey Epstein.
The 59-year-old, the youngest child of the British newspaper magnate Robert Maxwell, has been held on remand in a Brooklyn detention centre since shortly after her arrest in July 2020.
During lengthy jury selection procedures, international interest will focus on two key issues: first, the likelihood that Maxwell and her lawyers will offer up details of prominent names implicated in the case, including Prince Andrew’s, and second, the alleged poor state of the defendant’s health.
Four applications for bail by Maxwell have been turned down, despite an offer of a $28.5m (£21m) from her lawyers. Judge Alison Nathan, a former associate White House counsel for President Barack Obama, has ruled that the accused woman remains a flight risk and has not been honest about her financial means. Maxwell went to ground after the arrest of Epstein in 2019.
The FBI finally tracked her down in a secluded mansion in New Hampshire after using a mobile phone tracking device.
Four accusers are expected to testify at trial, including one unidentified British woman, but others, including the Duke of York’s accuser, Virginia Giuffre, may come forward during the trial. The alleged British victim claims that Maxwell recruited her in London in 1994 when she was 17, asking her to massage Epstein.
Maxwell’s defense team is expected to argue that she was also a victim of Epstein’s malevolent and controlling personality.