FBI arrests Epstein pal
British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell was arrested Thursday on charges she helped lure at least three girls — one as young as 14 — to be sexually abused by the late financier Jeffrey Epstein, who was accused of victimizing dozens of girls and women over many years.
According to the indictment, Maxwell, who lived for years with Epstein and was his frequent companion on trips around the world, facilitated his crimes and on some occasions joined him in sexually abusing the girls.
Epstein, 66, killed himself in a federal detention center in New York last summer while awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges.
Maxwell has, for years, been accused by many women of acting as a madam for Epstein, helping him scout young girls for abuse, then hiring them to give him massages, during which the girls were pressured into sex acts. Those accusations, until now, never resulted in criminal charges.
The 58-year-old was arrested in Bradford, New Hampshire, where she was living on a wooded estate she purchased for $1 million last December. The FBI had been keeping tabs on her after she disappeared from public view following Epstein’s arrest a year ago.
“More recently we learned she had slithered away to a gorgeous property in New Hampshire, continuing to live a life of privilege while her victims live with the trauma inflicted upon them years ago,” William Sweeney, head of the FBI’s New York office, told a news conference Thursday.
Brad Edwards, an attorney representing several Epstein accusers, said his clients were relieved by the charges. “Today is a very good day,” he said.
The indictment, which was unsealed Thursday, included counts of conspiracy to entice minors to travel to engage in illegal sex acts, enticement of a minor to travel to engage in illegal sex acts, conspiracy to transport minors with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity, transportation of a minor with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity.
She was also accused of perjuring herself during a deposition in a civil lawsuit over alleged abuse.
“Maxwell lied because the truth, as alleged, was almost unspeakable,” Audrey Strauss, the acting U.S. attorney in Manhattan, said.
Messages were sent Thursday to several of Maxwell’s attorneys seeking comment. She has previously repeatedly denied wrongdoing and called some claims against her “absolute rubbish.”
Among the most sensational accusations was a claim by Virginia Roberts Giuffre that Maxwell arranged for her to have sex with Britain’s Prince Andrew at her London townhouse. Giuffre bolstered her allegations with a picture of her, Andrew and Maxwell that she said was taken at the time.