Ghislaine Maxwell Is in a Brand-New Fight With the Feds

Business Ghislaine Maxwell Jeffrey Epstein Sex Trafficking
Acting US Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Audrey Strauss, announces charges against Ghislaine Maxwell during a July 2, 2020, press conference in New York City.

Acting US Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Audrey Strauss, announces charges against Ghislaine Maxwell during a July 2, 2020, press conference in New York City. (Photo by JOHANNES EISELE/AFP via Getty Images)

Ghislaine Maxwell, Jeffrey Epstein’s alleged madam, is yet again embroiled in a legal skirmish with the feds.

Since her arrest in July 2020, Maxwell has been locked up in a Brooklyn jail and locked in a long, long, long, long battle with federal prosecutors over countless aspects of her case. On Monday, that saga got even longer, after her lawyers alleged that jail guards at the Metropolitan Detention Center, where Maxwell is being held, wrongly seized her legal papers. 


“The guards told Ms. Maxwell [that] they believed she improperly retained documents given to her by her attorneys and that this was a very serious offense,” Bobbi Sternheim, Maxwell’s attorney, wrote in a letter to U.S. District Judge Alison Nathan. “Ms. Maxwell observed three guards … reading papers and pages of the notebook, dividing papers into two stacks, and leaving the room with the papers.”

Maxwell was then told that she’d receive “a caution,” according to Sternheim, for allegedly receiving materials during a visit with lawyers, which is against jail policy. In her letter, Sternheim says that Maxwell’s papers had been previously mailed to her, which is allowed.

After her papers were seized, when Maxwell asked to use the bathroom, one guard “stood knee to knee with Ms. Maxwell while Ms. Maxwell sat on the commode in the small area,” Sternheim wrote. “In addition to denying Ms. Maxwell any privacy, the guard confronted her in a confined space off-camera.”

On Tuesday, Nathan ordered lawyers for the jail to respond to Sternheim’s accusation.

Maxwell’s attorneys have repeatedly suggested that the British former socialite isn’t doing well in jail, writing in letters that she’s lost weight and hair, and that guards are abusing her. Prosecutors have disputed those allegations, saying that Maxwell remains healthy, and that she is treated similarly to other people held at the Brooklyn facility.

Maxwell’s allegations about confiscated documents caps off an already-busy few days. On Friday, she appeared in federal court to plead not guilty to two sex trafficking charges, which were recently tacked onto the original criminal indictment against her. Maxwell is now facing eight charges in total, including sex trafficking and perjury. (She has pleaded not guilty to all of them.)

Then, on Monday, Maxwell’s attorneys argued before judges on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit that she should be released from jail—an argument that was already rejected three times by a lower court. Lawyers resurfaced several of Maxwell’s past complaints, including the fact that guards at the Metropolitan Detention Center check on her every 15 minutes while she sleeps. 

“There’s no evidence she’s suicidal. Why is the Bureau of Prisons doing this?” one of Maxwell’s attorneys, David Markus, told the judges, according to the Guardian. “They’re doing it because Jeffrey Epstein died on their watch. And again, she’s not Jeffrey Epstein, this isn’t right.”

Epstein died by hanging in August 2019 while he was awaiting trial for sex trafficking charges in the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan. His death was determined to be a suicide.,


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