Epstein associate Ghislaine Maxwell vows to fight charges ahead of bail hearing

The attorneys representing longtime Jeffrey Epstein associate Ghislaine Maxwell said in a court filing Thursday she “vigorously denies the charges, intends to fight them, and is entitled to the presumption of innocence.”

Maxwell was arrested last week and is being held in custody on multiple charges, with four counts of conspiring “to entice minors to travel to engage in illegal sex acts” from 1994 to 1997 and two counts of perjury for allegedly making false statements to prosecutors. The victims were as young as 14 years old, authorities said.

In a 26-page filing ahead of Maxwell’s bail hearing last week, the British socialite’s attorneys asserted her innocence and sought to distance their client from Epstein, for whom she allegedly helped groom minors. Prosecutors also alleged that she at times participated in the abuse.

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Her lawyers claim that Maxwell had not had contact with Epstein for more than a decade. 

“Sometimes the simplest point is the most critical one: Ghislaine Maxwell is not Jeffrey Epstein,” her attorneys wrote. 

A six-count federal indictment filed last week by the Southern District of New York claims Maxwell conspired “to entice minors to travel to engage in illegal sex acts” and lied to prosecutors who were investigating Epstein. 

Epstein was arrested in July 2019 on charges that he abused and trafficked women and girls in Manhattan and Florida between 2002 to 2005. The disgraced financier pleaded not guilty and committed suicide in his Manhattan jail cell in August after he was denied bail.

Officials reportedly confiscated clothes and bedsheets and made Maxwell wear paper attire while in custody over fear that she, too, may take her own life.

Manhattan U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss said at a press conference last week that the case against Maxwell "is the prequel to the earlier case we brought against Jeffrey Epstein."

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Prosecutors argue that Maxwell should be held in custody without bail because she posed a high flight risk due to her “three passports, large sums of money [and] extensive international connections.” 

Maxwell, who was arrested in Bradford, N.H., is the daughter of the British media baron Robert Maxwell and is a citizen of the United States, United Kingdom and France.

“Far from ‘hiding,’ she has lived in the United States since 1991, has litigated civil cases arising from her supposed ties to Epstein, and has not left the country even once since Epstein’s arrest a year ago, even though she was aware of the pending, and highly publicized, criminal investigation,” Maxwell’s attorneys wrote. 

“She should be treated like any other defendant who comes before this Court," they wrote, "including as to bail.”