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It’s Now Ghislaine Maxwell’s Turn

Photograph Source: Ghislaine Maxwell – I. Maxwell – CC BY-SA 4.0

Since Jeffrey Epstein was found dead in a jail cell at the Metropolitan Correctional Center on August 10, 2019, many wondered what happened to Ghislaine Maxwell. “I’ve heard she’s in Brazil, I’ve heard she’s in France, I’ve heard she’s in California,” Lisa Bryant, director of the Netflix docuseries Jeffrey Epstein: Filthy Rich, “Who knows where she is, really?” Some wondered if she would suffer the same fates as Epstein and her father, Robert Maxwell – death.

Well, all mystery ended on the morning of July 2, 2020, when FBI agents arrested her without incident at her estate in Bradford, NH. Later in the day, Maxwell appeared online before a federal magistrate and waived her right to a detention hearing in New Hampshire, clearing the way for her transfer to New York City. The charge sheet claims that from 1994 to ‘97, she was among Epstein’s closest associates and was also involved in an “intimate relationship” with him.

Acting U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss (who replaced fired Attorney Geoffrey Berman who had been investigating Epstein) said, “She [Maxwell] pretended to be a woman they could trust.” Adding, “Today, after many years, Ghislaine Maxwell finally stands charged for her role in these crimes.”

The feds charged her with having “assisted, facilitated, and contributed to Jeffrey Epstein’s abuse of minor girls by, among other things, helping Epstein to recruit, groom and ultimately abuse victims known to Maxwell and Epstein to be under the age of 18”. She is also charged with conspiracy to entice minors to travel to engage in illegal sex acts; and transporting a minor with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity.

The indictment claims Maxwell groomed at least three minor girls to engage in sex acts with Epstein. (Virginia Roberts Giuffre brought a defamation suit against Maxwell in 2015.) She allegedly befriended them by expressing concern about their lives and families, and then took them to the movies and shopping. According to the indictment, Maxwell would “try to normalise sexual abuse for a minor victim by… discussing sexual topics, undressing in front of the victim, being present when a minor victim was undressed, and/or being present for sex acts involving the minor victim and Epstein.” In addition, she faces two counts of perjury for having “repeatedly lied when questioned about her conduct, including in relation to some of the minor victims.”

***

The popular media is having a field day covering Maxwell’s arrest, but will the coverage go any deeper than the obvious gossipy sex story? There are two aspects of the Maxwell case that has received little attention – (i) her relation to and/or knowledge about the role of public personalities in the Epstein affair; and (ii) the mysteries surrounding the deaths of Epstein and her father, Robert Maxwell.

Maxwell’s arrest and transfer to New York for prosecution sets the stage for a revealing investigation and trial. The long saga of Epstein’s criminal activities has been well documented including his dubious conviction deal with former Sec. of Labor Alexander Acosta and her “friendships” with such public figures as Trump, Bill Clinton, Prince Andrew, Alan Dershowitz, Kevin Spacey, Woody Allen and Larry Summers, among others.

Before his mysteriously death, Epstein was scheduled for prosecution at the U.S. District Court in Manhattan then supervised by Attorney Berman. Pres. Donald Trump, through Attorney General Bill Barr, fired Berman in a likely effort to short-circuit ongoing investigations into some of Trump cronies, notably Rudy Giuliani. While Trump had a long-documented association with Epstein, he (and Barr’s Justice Dept.) may likely pursue a vigorous investigation of Maxwell for the information and proof she might have about Clinton, Summers and other Democrats. All of which could provide fodder for his presidential re-election campaign.

Often overlooked in considering Maxwell’s arrest are the mysterious deaths of Epstein and her father, Robert Maxwell. The popular or official story has it that Epstein committed suicide by hanging in his federal jail cell and that Maxwell père accidentally fell off his yacht and drowned offshore of the Canary Islands in November 1991. Both deaths have raised serious questions.

The New York City Medical Examiner’s Office ruled Epstein’s death a suicide. However, Epstein’s brother, Mark, retained Dr. Michael Baden, a noted forensic pathologist, to conduct an independent autopsy. Following a four-hour procedure, Baden found Epstein had unusual fractures to his neck and that his death was more likely due to murder than suicide. Ongoing stories about Epstein’s possible murder persist, but no further legal action has taken place.

Mysteries associated with Robert Maxwell are even more confusing. The Guardian begins an article on Maxwell and his death as follows: “Was it murder? Suicide? Or just an accident?”  This former media mogul controlled the Mirror newspaper group and Macmillan publishing, among other assets. However, in 1991, nearly $1 billion was reported missing from the Macmillan pension fund. As the story goes, one night while cruising on his yacht, the Lady Ghislaine, Maxwell went to take a piss, fell overboard and drowned. He received a near-state funeral in Israel, attended by the prime minister, Yitzhak Shamir, and the president, Chaim Herzog, and buried in Jerusalem on the Mount of Olives.

The Maxwell story gets more intriguing when his background as a Mossad intelligence agent is added to the mix. He had a long career that including fighting in the anti-Nazi underground during WW-II and work with British and Israel intelligence services in the postwar decades. He is reputed to have, in 1986, tipped off the Israeli embassy in London that Mordechai Vanunu, the nuclear scientist later jailed for 18 years in Israel, had given information about Israel’s nuclear capability to the British. He is also rumored to have helped the Mossad steal intelligence-gathering software from the U.S. and then sold it to Canada, the old USSR, Zimbabwe and Guatemala, among other countries. Maxwell’s exploits also include the reputed attempt to involve Israel in a 1991 coup against Mikhail Gorbachev. Who knows?

Thomas Gordon and Martin Dillon, authors of Robert Maxwell, Israel’s Superspy: The Life and Murder of a Media Mogul, claim that Mossad “whacked” Maxwell because he tried to extort money from them to get out of debt.

Israeli spy Ari Ben-Menashe, author of Epstein: Dead Men Tell No Tales, advances the unsubstantiated claim that Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell were Israeli spies. As the story goes, they ran what was known as a “honey-trap” provide young girls to politicians in order to blackmail them and get information for the Israelis.

With Ghislaine Maxwell now in custody in New York, one can only wonder how deep or rigorous the federal prosecutor will be the case. Will she mysteriously commit suicide while in federal custody? Will she suffer a mere slap-on-the-wrist similar to that faced by Epstein in his 2008 sex trafficking case? Or will she be turned into a slew of daily media headlines, just one more pawn in Trump’s re-election campaign? Or will the American public final learn something truthful about the goings on about the rich and powerful that normally goes on behind drawn curtains? Time will tell.

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David Rosen is the author of Sex, Sin & Subversion:  The Transformation of 1950s New York’s Forbidden into America’s New Normal (Skyhorse, 2015).  He can be reached at drosennyc@verizon.net; check out www.DavidRosenWrites.com.

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