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Ghislaine Maxwell has spoken for the first time about her ‘living hell’ behind bars – claiming that she has been assaulted and abused by prison guards, purposely deprived of sleep and given rotting food to eat.

In a world exclusive, Ms Maxwell, who had her £21 million bail application denied for the fourth time last week, also claims negative media coverage while she has been in custody and the deliberate withholding of evidence have made it ‘impossible’ for her to receive a fair trial.

Speaking from her 10ft by 12ft prison cell inside New York’s notorious Metropolitan Detention Center, where she has spent the past 16 months in solitary confinement, Ms Maxwell said: ‘I have been assaulted and abused for almost a year and a half.

‘I have not had a nutritious meal in all that time. I haven’t slept without lights on – fluorescent lights that have damaged my eyes – or been allowed to sleep without constant interruptions.

‘I am weak, I am frail. I have no stamina. I am tired. I don’t even have shoes which fit properly. They feed me rotten food. One apple had maggots in it. I have not been allowed to exercise.’

Speaking from her 10ft by 12ft prison cell inside New York's notorious Metropolitan Detention Center, where she has spent the past 16 months in solitary confinement, Ghislaine Maxwell said: 'I am weak, I am frail. I have no stamina. I am tired. I don't even have shoes which fit properly. They feed me rotten food. One apple had maggots in it.' Pictured, she has lost weight while in the detention centre

Speaking from her 10ft by 12ft prison cell inside New York's notorious Metropolitan Detention Center, where she has spent the past 16 months in solitary confinement, Ghislaine Maxwell said: 'I am weak, I am frail. I have no stamina. I am tired. I don't even have shoes which fit properly. They feed me rotten food. One apple had maggots in it.' Pictured, she has lost weight while in the detention centre

Pictured, Ghislaine Maxwell in 2010

Pictured, Ghislaine Maxwell in 2010

Speaking from her 10ft by 12ft prison cell inside New York’s notorious Metropolitan Detention Center, where she has spent the past 16 months in solitary confinement, Ghislaine Maxwell said: ‘I am weak, I am frail. I have no stamina. I am tired. I don’t even have shoes which fit properly. They feed me rotten food. One apple had maggots in it. I have not been allowed to exercise.’ (Left, Ghislaine has lost weight while in the detention centre; right, she is pictured in 2010)

Despite her grim surroundings, Ms Maxwell manages to force a smile as she describes how prison guards were so impressed by her hairdressing skills that they gave her paper-cutting scissors and joked that she should open her own salon. (Above, the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn)

Despite her grim surroundings, Ms Maxwell manages to force a smile as she describes how prison guards were so impressed by her hairdressing skills that they gave her paper-cutting scissors and joked that she should open her own salon. (Above, the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn)

Despite her grim surroundings, Ms Maxwell manages to force a smile as she describes how prison guards were so impressed by her hairdressing skills that they gave her paper-cutting scissors and joked that she should open her own salon. (Above, the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn)

Ms Maxwell, who faces the rest of her life behind bars if convicted of abusing and procuring young girls for billionaire financier Jeffrey Epstein (above, with Ghislaine in 2005) – charges that she vehemently denies – claims that a 'friendly rat' routinely sat next to her on an open sewer as she went to the toilet

Ms Maxwell, who faces the rest of her life behind bars if convicted of abusing and procuring young girls for billionaire financier Jeffrey Epstein (above, with Ghislaine in 2005) – charges that she vehemently denies – claims that a 'friendly rat' routinely sat next to her on an open sewer as she went to the toilet

Ms Maxwell, who faces the rest of her life behind bars if convicted of abusing and procuring young girls for billionaire financier Jeffrey Epstein (above, with Ghislaine in 2005) – charges that she vehemently denies – claims that a ‘friendly rat’ routinely sat next to her on an open sewer as she went to the toilet

Ms Maxwell, who faces the rest of her life behind bars if convicted of abusing and procuring young girls for billionaire financier Jeffrey Epstein – charges that she vehemently denies – claims:

  • A ‘friendly rat’ routinely sat next to her on an open sewer as she went to the toilet;
  • She has stopped taking showers as ‘creepy’ guards stare at her;
  • Her mail has been tampered with and she has been ‘purposely’ prevented from preparing for trial by being given vital evidence too late;
  • The jury pool has been so tainted by the continuous slurs against her character she believes it will be virtually ‘impossible’ to get a fair trial.

Some will say that a woman accused of sexually abusing young women, including a 14-year-old girl, deserves no sympathy. Others will argue that the American justice system is inhumane.

Either way, she remains innocent in the eyes of the law before her trial.

At 59, the Ghislaine of today is a far cry from the glamorous woman who was once a fixture on the international social scene, where she mingled with world leaders such as Bill and Hillary Clinton and was close friends with royalty, including Prince Andrew.

Today, the designer outfits have been replaced by the shapeless overalls of prisoner 02879-509.

Her trademark hair, once coiffed by French stylist Frederic Fekkai, is streaked with grey and fashioned into a shoulder-length style she managed to craft using toenail clippers while peering into a 3in by 5in hand mirror.

Despite her grim surroundings, she manages to force a smile as she describes how prison guards were so impressed by her hairdressing skills that they gave her paper-cutting scissors and joked that she should open her own salon.

But the harsh reality for a woman dubbed a ‘socialite’ – a term she fiercely objects to – has been what she describes as a living hell ever since more than 20 armed FBI agents swooped on her 156-acre, £800,000 New Hampshire home in July 2020.

At 59, the Ghislaine of today is a far cry from the glamorous woman who was once a fixture on the international social scene, where she mingled with world leaders such as Bill and Hillary Clinton and was close friends with royalty, including Prince Andrew. Today, the designer outfits have been replaced by the shapeless overalls of prisoner 02879-509. (Above, Ghislaine with Epstein and Bill Clinton in 1993)

At 59, the Ghislaine of today is a far cry from the glamorous woman who was once a fixture on the international social scene, where she mingled with world leaders such as Bill and Hillary Clinton and was close friends with royalty, including Prince Andrew. Today, the designer outfits have been replaced by the shapeless overalls of prisoner 02879-509. (Above, Ghislaine with Epstein and Bill Clinton in 1993)

At 59, the Ghislaine of today is a far cry from the glamorous woman who was once a fixture on the international social scene, where she mingled with world leaders such as Bill and Hillary Clinton and was close friends with royalty, including Prince Andrew. Today, the designer outfits have been replaced by the shapeless overalls of prisoner 02879-509. (Above, Ghislaine with Epstein and Bill Clinton in 1993)

Maxwell's trial will also put Prince Andrew's relationship with her, and Epstein, back under the spotlight. The Duke of York's accuser Virginia Roberts, who claims she was sex-trafficked to Andrew three times (the first when she was 17 and under the legal age of consent), has vowed to attend the trial. Andrew has vehemently denied Ms Roberts's claims. His friendship with Ghislaine stretches back decades and he was notoriously photographed with his arm around Ms Roberts's waist inside Maxwell's London mews house (above)

Maxwell's trial will also put Prince Andrew's relationship with her, and Epstein, back under the spotlight. The Duke of York's accuser Virginia Roberts, who claims she was sex-trafficked to Andrew three times (the first when she was 17 and under the legal age of consent), has vowed to attend the trial. Andrew has vehemently denied Ms Roberts's claims. His friendship with Ghislaine stretches back decades and he was notoriously photographed with his arm around Ms Roberts's waist inside Maxwell's London mews house (above)

Maxwell’s trial will also put Prince Andrew’s relationship with her, and Epstein, back under the spotlight. The Duke of York’s accuser Virginia Roberts, who claims she was sex-trafficked to Andrew three times (the first when she was 17 and under the legal age of consent), has vowed to attend the trial. Andrew has vehemently denied Ms Roberts’s claims. His friendship with Ghislaine stretches back decades and he was notoriously photographed with his arm around Ms Roberts’s waist inside Maxwell’s London mews house (above)

She has remained in custody ever since, surviving mostly on a diet of rice and beans with unsalted peanuts for protein and mayonnaise for fat.

Her arrest came 11 months after Epstein, her ex-boyfriend and long-time friend, killed himself in jail while facing child sex charges. Until Epstein’s suicide, Maxwell had never faced criminal charges.

Her lawyers are expected to argue she is being punished by proxy for Epstein’s heinous crimes because, as one source close to the case maintains, ‘someone has to pay for what he did’.

Maxwell has told friends: ‘I fear it will be impossible to get a fair trial. I have tremendous fear that overwhelmingly negative media stories will poison my jury pool and affect the outcome of my trial despite the evidence that will demonstrate everything the jurors thought they knew isn’t true.

‘I look forward to finally having my day in court to prove I played no part in Epstein’s crimes.’

She cannot discuss the specifics of her case on the advice of her powerful legal team. Jury selection begins tomorrow, with the trial starting on November 29. The charges are grave. US authorities have described her as a ‘procurer’ of underage girls for convicted paedophile Epstein.

She also faces multiple felony charges, including ‘transporting a minor for the purposes of criminal sexual activity’ and ‘conspiring to entice minors to travel to engage in illegal sex acts’.

Maxwell’s trial will also put Prince Andrew’s relationship with her, and Epstein, back under the spotlight.

The Duke of York’s accuser Virginia Roberts, who claims she was sex-trafficked to Andrew three times (the first when she was 17 and under the legal age of consent), has vowed to attend the trial.

Andrew has vehemently denied Ms Roberts’s claims. His friendship with Ghislaine stretches back decades and he was notoriously photographed with his arm around Ms Roberts’s waist inside Maxwell’s London mews house.

One lawyer associated with the case said: ‘This will thrust Andrew back under the spotlight. It is inconceivable his name won’t be introduced by the women who will testify against Maxwell. He must be dreading it.’

Ghislaine, the Oxford-educated daughter of disgraced newspaper tycoon Robert Maxwell, was transferred to the Brooklyn prison in July last year and has been seen by the public only in court sketches since then. In real life, the 20 lb she has lost is obvious. Her cheeks are sunken and her skin pale.

Prince Andrew's accuser Virginia Roberts is expected to attend the trial and may give evidence. She has described Maxwell as 'pure evil', saying: 'Epstein was a sick paedophile but Maxwell was the mastermind.'(She is pictured leaving the US Federal Courthouse in NY in August 2019)

Prince Andrew's accuser Virginia Roberts is expected to attend the trial and may give evidence. She has described Maxwell as 'pure evil', saying: 'Epstein was a sick paedophile but Maxwell was the mastermind.'(She is pictured leaving the US Federal Courthouse in NY in August 2019)

Prince Andrew’s accuser Virginia Roberts is expected to attend the trial and may give evidence. She has described Maxwell as ‘pure evil’, saying: ‘Epstein was a sick paedophile but Maxwell was the mastermind.'(She is pictured leaving the US Federal Courthouse in NY in August 2019)

I first met Ghislaine in 1992 when I interviewed her mother, Robert Maxwell’s widow Betty, following the tycoon’s extraordinary death off the coast of Tenerife – just before it was discovered he plundered his newspapers’ pension funds.

Ghislaine had just relocated to New York and joined her grieving mother at the Plaza Hotel. Ghislaine was pretty. She was smart and articulate. Yet she also seemed vulnerable. She was ‘Daddy’s Little Girl’ and clearly grieving deeply.

At the time, she told me she was living in a small studio on Manhattan’s Upper East side ‘given to me by a friend… Jeffrey’.

She was ‘working on certain things to make money. I must make money!’ as she put it.

She went on, of course, to live a glamorous jet-set life, moving between Epstein’s homes: in Florida, his New York mansion (the biggest private home in Manhattan), his private Caribbean island and his ranch in New Mexico. 

She also ended up owning a New York townhouse – which she sold for £12 million – and having a successful career including founding TerraMar, a charity focused on oceans.

I reconnected with Ghislaine three months ago when my friend Susan Zirinsky, the first female president of CBS News, asked me to get involved with a major new documentary, Ghislaine, a four-hour show which will air on ITV in the UK and CBS-Paramount plus at the end of the six-week trial.

With my partner Erbil Gunasti, I’ve interviewed members of Maxwell’s family, including brother Kevin and sister Isabel, have spoken to friends and have obtained exclusive quotes from Ghislaine herself.

She said: ‘In my most recent court appearance, I was in leg irons for more than 12 hours and had to climb up and down stairs with my arms and legs shackled to my waist. My ankles are raw.

‘I’ve been given food so over-nuked it looked like Chernobyl after the nuclear fallout. The salads are wilted with mould, an apple had maggots, they gave me a black soggy banana. There was bread so wet, water came out when you squeezed it.

‘I used to take a shower every day but I’ve stopped because of the creepy guards who stand close and stare at me the whole time.

One lawyer associated with the case said: 'This will thrust Andrew back under the spotlight. It is inconceivable his name won't be introduced by the women who will testify against Maxwell. He must be dreading it'

One lawyer associated with the case said: 'This will thrust Andrew back under the spotlight. It is inconceivable his name won't be introduced by the women who will testify against Maxwell. He must be dreading it'

One lawyer associated with the case said: ‘This will thrust Andrew back under the spotlight. It is inconceivable his name won’t be introduced by the women who will testify against Maxwell. He must be dreading it’

‘I used to go to the loo with an open sewer drain and a friendly rat would regularly visit. I told the guards, but nothing was done until the rat popped out and charged a guard, who screamed in terror. Finally, the sewer drain was covered.’

She claims guards try to intimidate her. On one occasion, she says she was accused of having illegal contraband after she spilled the painkiller Tylenol – prescribed by a prison doctor – on to the floor.

Another time, her reading glasses were broken. She added: ‘I was laughing at some absurd rule and the guard said, ‘There is nothing funny here. I’ll teach you what it’s like to be a prisoner.’ He threatened me with disciplinary action that would have resulted in no contact with my lawyers for a month.

‘I was also threatened with punishment when I used a hair-tie to secure my legal documents.

She’s a monster in designer clothes, says alleged victim

Ghislaine Maxwell faces six charges including enticement of minors and sex trafficking of children, which carry a maximum punishment of 80 years in prison.

From 1994 to 2004, she allegedly ‘facilitated and contributed’ to the abuse of children by her ex-boyfriend, the convicted paedophile Jeffrey Epstein. 

The youngest alleged victim was just 14 at the time she claims she was sexually assaulted by Maxwell.

Four women, one British, are listed in the indictment although only American Annie Farmer has waived her anonymity. 

Farmer claims Maxwell posed as a ‘big sister’ figure before molesting her at Epstein’s New Mexico ranch in 1996. She called Maxwell ‘a sexual predator who has never shown any remorse’.

From 1994 to 2004, Ghislaine Maxwell allegedly 'facilitated and contributed' to the abuse of children by her ex-boyfriend, the convicted paedophile Jeffrey Epstein

From 1994 to 2004, Ghislaine Maxwell allegedly 'facilitated and contributed' to the abuse of children by her ex-boyfriend, the convicted paedophile Jeffrey Epstein

From 1994 to 2004, Ghislaine Maxwell allegedly ‘facilitated and contributed’ to the abuse of children by her ex-boyfriend, the convicted paedophile Jeffrey Epstein

Prince Andrew’s accuser Virginia Roberts is expected to attend the trial and may give evidence. She has described Maxwell as ‘pure evil’, saying: ‘Epstein was a sick paedophile but Maxwell was the mastermind.’

Another alleged victim said: ‘We thought she [Maxwell] was Mary Poppins because she acted like she was our friend and had that lovely English accent. 

But she turned out to be a monster in designer clothing. She lured us in. She knew exactly what she was doing. I hope she rots in hell.’

Maxwell has pleaded not guilty to all charges and has vowed to prove her innocence. She claims she is being used as a scapegoat for Epstein, who committed suicide in August 2019.

‘This will be a knock-down fight to the end,’ said one lawyer involved in the case. ‘Ghislaine is determined to prove she did nothing wrong and is prepared to enter the witness box and be cross-examined if necessary.

‘She has maintained her innocence since the start and is determined to prove to the world she didn’t do any of these heinous crimes she has been accused of.’

The trial starts on November 29 and is expected to last six weeks. Jury selection begins tomorrow.

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‘I was accused of being untidy, with ‘food and crumbs’ on my bed and told I would be disciplined. I had to prove the ‘food and crumbs’ were stains on the linens.

‘I wash my own clothes. The dryer is so loud it’s nicknamed the ‘Space Shuttle’ because it sounds like it might take off. My mail, both legal and personal, has been tampered with. 

‘Legal mail that was hand-delivered to the jail took a week to get to me, even though the prison rules say it should have been delivered within 24 hours.

‘Most alarming was it had a postage stamp which wasn’t there when it was hand-delivered. The bottom of the envelope had been opened.’

On one occasion, she says, she was frisked in a way she considered overly intrusive: ‘I was given a pat-down so aggressive and violent, my underwear found itself in a place it doesn’t belong. The first underwear they gave me were enormous granny pants. You could have put five of me in them. I’ll spare you descriptions of the stains.

‘When I pick up the phone to make a – perfectly legitimate – call, the guards rush towards me with such speed it leaves them breathless. They report on everything I do – in real time.’

Prison life has forced her to develop a dark sense of humour, and a peculiar relationship with the captors who, she says, so often make her life a misery.

She found it funny when one guard exclaimed: ‘The problem with you, Maxwell, is you’re just not a criminal!’

She gives cooking lessons to the guards, saying: ‘I give a five-day meal plan for $10 [£7.50], but post-pandemic I had to increase it to $15. Guards from out of town ask for tips which include where to get the best pizza, my favourite food carts. They ask me what I’m reading and I share my favourite books.

‘They were impressed when I cut my hair with nail clippers and it was somewhat straight. I only had a 3in by 5in mirror. They rewarded me with paper scissors and suggested I might want to open a salon.

‘I play peek-a-boo, hiding behind pillars and the guards join in. There are always smiles all round.

‘Then I have a ‘monster move’ where I raise my hands and growl and they do it back. We laugh.’

‘Mysterious’ events have led her to create an imaginary cellmate, despite the fact she has been in solitary confinement from the start, with a light being shone into her cell every 15 minutes to ensure she has not self-harmed.

‘Strange things happen. The toilet flushes, the shower turns on when no one is nearby. When it happens, it alarms the guards so I created a ‘cellmate’ called A-17 so when something strange happens I blame it on A-17.’

Her most serious complaint, though, revolves around not being given adequate time to prepare for the six-week trial.

She is facing more than 80 years in jail if convicted on all charges.

Maxwell alleges she was given computers that don’t work, that vital paperwork arrived late and that for a while she did not have a proper desk to work at. 

She says ‘there is no presumption of innocence’ in the detention centre. ‘Pre-trial detainees like me, who by law are innocent until proven guilty, are treated like they are already convicted felons,’ she said. ‘It’s wrong, it’s unAmerican and unconstitutional. Where are all the people who swore to uphold the Constitution?’

Her greatest fear is not being able to find an impartial jury. Coverage of the case in the US remains relentless, with her being referred to as ‘Epstein’s madam’ and ‘Epstein’s socialite partner-in-crime’.

She objects: ‘Being tagged a ‘socialite’ feels derogatory and sexist, designed to paint me in a negative light. I’ve worked my entire life, starting with part-time jobs when I was 15. No man who had a similar professional career would be called a socialite. I’m overwhelmed by feelings of sadness and shock at the grotesque and untrue narratives that are total fabrication and bear no resemblance to reality.

‘I’m terrified the overwhelmingly negative coverage will poison my jury pool and affect the outcome of my trial, despite the evidence which I feel confident will prove my innocence. I look forward to having my day in court to prove I played no part in Epstein’s crimes. I am innocent.’ 

Maxwell faces a maximum of 80 years in prison if found guilty of abusing and procuring young girls for her ex-boyfriend, convicted paedophile Jeffrey Epstein (Pictured: Maxwell being led to court in an artist's sketch on November 1)

Maxwell faces a maximum of 80 years in prison if found guilty of abusing and procuring young girls for her ex-boyfriend, convicted paedophile Jeffrey Epstein (Pictured: Maxwell being led to court in an artist's sketch on November 1)

Maxwell faces a maximum of 80 years in prison if found guilty of abusing and procuring young girls for her ex-boyfriend, convicted paedophile Jeffrey Epstein (Pictured: Maxwell being led to court in an artist’s sketch on November 1)

Struggling for One America – Trump v Hollywood, by Daphne Barak and Erbil Gunasti is published by Skyhorse, price $24.99. (UK price, £17.99)

https://www.amazon.com/Struggling-One-America-Hollywood-Houses/dp/1510768084

For more on Ghislaine Maxwell’s trial and courtroom drama, go to www.og2d.com.

(Associated Newspapers accepts no responsibility for the content of third-party websites)

Ghislaine, a documentary, will be broadcast on ITV and CBS-Paramount Plus in collaboration with Freemantle at the end of the six-week trial

Daphne Barak is an author, film and television producer who has secured interviews with an extraordinary roster of world leaders in the past two decades, including Nelson Mandela, Mother Teresa, Fidel Castro and Donald Trump. Plus giants of showbusiness such as Amy Winehouse, Andrea Bocelli, Eric Clapton and many others. Barak’s books include Saving Amy, a first-hand account of the star’s personal and family turmoil before her death, which will soon be turned into a Hollywood movie. Daphne’s account of why she’s agreed to the Winehouse movie will be featured later this month.

www.daphnebarak.com 

Lookalikes put world off scent: Ghislaine Maxwell was the most hunted woman on the planet and hiding out in US… so her team hired DOUBLES of herself and brother Kevin to take a stroll through Paris – then tipped off photographers

Stepping furtively through the streets of Paris, her face mysteriously shrouded, the figure in the heavy shawl was bound to attract attention – and so it proved.

For this was just months after the suicide of paedophile Jeffrey Epstein. And the woman who seemed so anxious to avoid attention bore a remarkable resemblance to Epstein’s former girlfriend Ghislaine Maxwell – now the most hunted woman on the planet. Had she fled from America to France?

From the moment Epstein was found dead in his New York cell in August 2019, the focus of attention turned to longtime associate Ghislaine, even though she had never been charged with any crime. Victims of Epstein accused her of being a ‘madam’ – claims she vehemently denies and will vigorously contest in court when her trial begins later this month.

Victims of Jeffrey Epstein accused Ghislaine Maxwell of being a ‘madam’ – claims she vehemently denies and will vigorously contest in court when her trial begins later this month

Victims of Jeffrey Epstein accused Ghislaine Maxwell of being a ‘madam’ – claims she vehemently denies and will vigorously contest in court when her trial begins later this month

Victims of Jeffrey Epstein accused Ghislaine Maxwell of being a ‘madam’ – claims she vehemently denies and will vigorously contest in court when her trial begins later this month

A Ghislaine and brother Kevin lookalike (pictured) in Paris to dupe the world’s media and help her keep a low profile

A Ghislaine and brother Kevin lookalike (pictured) in Paris to dupe the world’s media and help her keep a low profile

A Ghislaine and brother Kevin lookalike (pictured) in Paris to dupe the world’s media and help her keep a low profile

Today, for the first time, we can reveal the lengths that Ghislaine went to in order to keep a low profile – which included the extraordinary tactic of hiring ‘lookalikes’ to stroll through Paris to dupe the world’s media.

In an exclusive interview, British security expert Matt Hellyer, a decorated former Paratrooper who headed the crack security team staffed with ex-SAS members that guarded the heiress for a year, said: ‘We went to an agency in France. A security collaborating agency. They found us two people who resembled Ghislaine and her brother Kevin.

‘They strolled in Paris for a couple of days and we leaked it to a newspaper. That is how we distracted the attention away from where Ghislaine really was. She was in the US at all times.

‘Ghislaine was not running from the authorities, she was running from the media.

‘And, you know, many people don’t believe Epstein killed himself. So we were also hired to protect her from a potential killer.’

The astonishing details of Ghislaine Maxwell’s year-long cat and mouse ‘game’ can be revealed for the first time today.

She insists that, far from ‘being on the run’ as many have accused her of being, she was, in fact, available at all times to the American authorities had they wished to question her.

Instead, she says, the FBI staged a dramatic early-morning raid on her final hideaway – an £800,000 estate in New Hampshire – to gain maximum publicity and paint her in the worst light possible.

Mr Hellyer, a friend of Ghislaine’s brother Kevin, was hired within hours of Epstein’s death.

A friend of Ghislaine’s brother Kevin (pictured ) Mr Hellyer, was hired within hours of Epstein’s death to 'get her out of her home'

A friend of Ghislaine’s brother Kevin (pictured ) Mr Hellyer, was hired within hours of Epstein’s death to 'get her out of her home'

A friend of Ghislaine’s brother Kevin (pictured ) Mr Hellyer, was hired within hours of Epstein’s death to ‘get her out of her home’

At the time, Ghislaine was living in a secluded £3 million ocean-front property in Manchester-by-Sea, Massachusets, with her husband Scott Borgerson, the couple’s dogs and Scott’s two children.

In his first interview for a new documentary Ghislaine, which will air in the UK and US after her November 29 trial ends, Mr Hellyer said: ‘Our assignment was to get her out of her home within 12 hours of Epstein’s death. She was worried about Scott’s kids. 

‘She didn’t want the cameras around them or anything to happen that could affect their lives. I told her we could fly her out of the country immediately. She refused.’

Ghislaine, who was turned down for bail for the fourth time this week, claims she never planned to flee the US. After all, why would she? 

She insists she is innocent of all charges against her of procuring young women for Epstein and of engaging in sexual assaults against them herself. Her youngest alleged victim was just 14.

Despite having UK, French and US passports, Ghislaine chose to remain in the States, a fact that she and her supporters insist shows she has nothing to hide.

But she was constantly on the move, from one ‘safe house’ to another, as she tried to outrun the media.

Mr Hellyer recalled: ‘Scott felt he could protect her but we convinced him she had to go. From then on, it was, “Where in the world is Ghislaine?” Everyone was speculating.

‘We did not hide her from the authorities. They knew that at any point if they wanted to talk to Ghislaine we would bring her safely to them.’

Indeed, Ghislaine’s legal team claim they reached out to the FBI – but never heard back.

Some media outlets offered readers lucrative ‘bounties’ for the first pictures of the elusive heiress.

At one stage, Ghislaine was photographed outside an In-N-Out burger joint in Los Angeles. Bizarrely, she was reading The Book of Honour: The Secret Lives and Deaths of CIA Operatives.

According to reports at the time, a stunned fellow diner asked: ‘Are you who I think you are?’ to which she replied: ‘Yes, I am.’

The photograph was pored over, with some claiming it was a fake because a poster on a bus stop behind her had long been removed by the time the image was released, according to the ad agency who controlled the bus stop hoarding.

Yet Ghislaine really was in Los Angeles – staying at the home of an old friend. So was it a stunt?

Mr Hellyer says not, adding: ‘We had to move her immediately after that photo came out.’

Ghislaine remained on the move, even as speculation about her whereabouts reached fever pitch.

Everyone, it seemed, had a theory, each one wilder than the last. The New York Post speculated she was in Israel or even on a submarine (she is a qualified submersible pilot). There were rumours she was with Epstein’s friend, former model agent Jean-Luc Brunel, in Brazil.

Was she a secret agent for Mossad, the Israeli intelligence agency linked to her late father, disgraced newspaper tycoon Robert Maxwell? Was it true she had been seen being spirited away in the dead of night by Israeli agents?

There were theories that she was holed up in a private villa in the South of France, had been ‘hidden’ by South African supporters deep in the bush, and even that she was in an underground bunker owned by rich and powerful friends who were terrified of the secrets she might ‘spill’ if she chose to tell all.

There were sightings in New Zealand, the Caribbean, London… and, yes, Paris.

The Sun newspaper reported that she had been seen there, claiming to have identified her from a distinctive signet ring.

‘She rarely went out, but when she did, she wore a large patterned blanket which she pulled tightly around her face and draped across her shoulders,’ it said.

‘She clearly didn’t want to be recognised and was able to blend in.’

The ruse was a good one. Epstein owned an apartment there on the Avenue Foch, close to the Arc de Triomphe. It is now on the market for £10 million. Ghislaine’s mother is French and Ghislaine was born in France and has French citizenship.

‘Everyone loved the Paris sighting,’ said a source close to the case. ‘Sometimes it’s a matter of giving the people what they want. The sighting kept everyone happy for a while and sent the dogs barking down the wrong trail. She never left America.’

In reality, Ghislaine would move from safe house to safe house, always under cover of darkness.

She regularly changed her phone to avoid being tracked and spoke only to her closest family.

Everything she needed was bought with cash. But by early last year, she was tired of being, in effect, ‘homeless’.

Mr Hellyer said: ‘She missed her family. She was getting tired. She needed a home.’

Ghislaine told her security team: ‘Enough running!’ A refuge was found in the sleepy town of Bradford, New Hampshire, an hour’s drive away from the home she shared with her husband and stepchildren.

Isolated in 156 acres of rural woodland, it was the perfect spot for her to relax and stop running.

Mr Hellyer said: ‘She and Scott and the kids reunited at weekend. We brought the family to her home, her animals. They were able to be a real, loving family.’

But in the early hours of July 2, 2020, all that changed.

Ghislaine and her guards heard a small plane flying directly over the property at around 5am.

Mr Hellyer recalled: ‘I immediately knew it was the authorities. We were in the pandemic lockdown. What small plane could it be unless it was the authorities?’

He insists Ghislaine was trained to go to a ‘safe room’ and did not try to flee as FBI agents broke through the door, as authorities claimed in a press conference later that day.

FBI assistant director William Sweeney told assembled reporters: ‘She is one of the villains… who slithered away to a gorgeous property where she was continuing to live a life of privilege while her victims live with the trauma inflicted upon them years ago.’

But Mr Hellyer claimed: ‘She did exactly what she was told by us. She did not run from the authorities like some have claimed.

‘The moment we identified it was the authorities, she cooperated.

‘She was not handcuffed.

‘She asked to say goodbye to her beloved animals.’

Ghislaine’s brother Ian added: ‘The authorities knew at all times where my sister was, so to have this “big show”, the aeroplanes, the press conference. They had an agenda. Clearly.’

It is a charge the FBI denies. In court filings agents claimed they tracked her via her mobile, which she opened in the name of ‘G Max’ and used to call her sister Isabel.

Regardless, Ghislaine has spent every night since then behind bars. Within weeks, a jury will decide if she will walk free – or remain locked up for ever.

Ex-Barclays boss denies using ‘snow white codewords’ in emails with billionaire sex offender Jeffrey Epstein

By MARK HOOKHAM for the Mail on Sunday

A lawyer for ex-Barclays boss Jes Staley has denied the banker used ‘codewords’ in emails with billionaire sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.

Mr Staley exchanged 1,200 emails with the paedophile financier, which included a reference to ‘snow white’, the Financial Times reported.

It comes less than two weeks after Mr Staley, 64, resigned from Barclays after being shown preliminary conclusions of a probe into his relationship with Epstein, a convicted paedophile who killed himself in prison in 2019.

Ex-Barclays boss Jes Staley (pictured) has denied the banker used ‘codewords’ in emails with billionaire sex offender Jeffrey Epstein

Ex-Barclays boss Jes Staley (pictured) has denied the banker used ‘codewords’ in emails with billionaire sex offender Jeffrey Epstein

Ex-Barclays boss Jes Staley (pictured) has denied the banker used ‘codewords’ in emails with billionaire sex offender Jeffrey Epstein

The emails are said to have been exchanged between 2008 and 2012. Regulators are said to have highlighted terms that had no clear meaning, including the reference to ‘snow white’ in a two-message chat. 

Kathleen Harris, a lawyer for Mr Staley, said in a legal letter to the Financial Times: ‘We wish to make it expressly clear that our client had no involvement in any of the alleged crimes committed by Mr Epstein, and codewords were never used by Mr Staley in any communications with Mr Epstein, ever.’ 

Mr Staley got to know Epstein in 2000 when he ran JP Morgan’s private bank and Epstein was a client. 

They stayed in contact after Epstein was convicted of soliciting prostitution from a minor in 2008. Mr Staley visited him while he was serving his sentence and on work release in 2009.

Mr Staley has said relations began to ‘taper off’ in 2013. They reportedly last met in 2015, when Mr Staley and his wife sailed to Little Saint James, Epstein’s private Caribbean island.

The Financial Conduct Authority and Prudential Regulation Authority have been investigating whether Mr Staley properly explained his relationship with Epstein. 

Ms Harris told The Mail on Sunday: ‘There are ongoing regulatory proceedings and we have no comment to make.’

Mr Staley has also lined up Lord Pannick QC to represent him in his battle with the regulators, The Sunday Times reported.

Source: Daily Mail UK

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