Ghislaine Maxwell has been found guilty of recruiting and sex trafficking young girls.
The former flame of convicted pedophile Jefferey Epstein was found guilty on five counts which included helping Epstein lure in young females who he then abused.
The American financier Epstein took his own life in 2019 while awaiting trial. His death saw public pressure mount to hold those who may have assisted him to account.
One of these ‘assistants’ was British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell. But who is she?
Here is all you need to know.
Who is Ghislaine Maxwell?
Ghislaine Maxwell is the daughter of the late Robert Maxwell who was a British media proprietor and a former member of Parliament.
The 60-year-old was born in France but spent most of her early life in Oxford, London where she attended Oxford High School for Girls before enrolling at Edgarley Hall boarding school, Somerset.
She then went on to Marlborough College to study modern history and languages before earning a degree from Balliol College, Oxford in 1985.
Maxwell became a prominent member of the social scene in London during the 1980s.
She worked for her father Robert Maxwell until his death in 1991, when she moved to the United States and became a close associate of Epstein.
Relationship with Jeffery Epstein
The British socialite gained global notoriety as the former girlfriend of convicted pedophile Jeffery Epstein.
The duo met in 1991, according to Maxwell’s statement during a 2016 disposition.
Maxwell is said to have had a romantic relationship with Epstein for several years in the early 1990s and remained closely associated with him for more than 25 years until his death in 2019.
It is reported that Epstein referred to Maxwell as his “main girlfriend” who also hired, fired, and supervised his staff – starting around 1992.
The couple were friends with many well known and powerful individuals including previous Presidents Bill Clinton, Donald Trump and Prince Andrew.
What was she found guilty of?
Maxwell was said to be “a really important part of the grooming process” with her and Epstein “working as a team”, according to Annie Farmer who was lured to Epstein’s farm in New Mexico in 1994, when she was just 16.
A total of four women testified that Epstein abused them and that Maxwell facilitated the abuse.
Three of the accusers testified at the trial that Maxwell herself inappropriately touched them when they were teenagers.
Maxwell pleaded not guilty and her lawyers argued she was used as a scapegoat.
On Wednesday – December 29 – Maxwell was found guilty of five out of the six charges she faced.
She was found guilty of sex trafficking a minor and transporting a minor with the intent to engage in criminal sexual activity as well as three related counts of conspiracy.
The counts of conspiracy included:
- conspiracy to transport minors with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity
- conspiracy to commit sex trafficking of minors
- conspiracy to entice minors to travel to engage in illegal sex acts
The verdict was reached after five full days of deliberation by a 12-person jury in New York.
The verdict followed a month-long trial that featured testimony from four women who described being abused by Epstein between 1994 and 2004.
How long will she spend in prison?
A date for Maxwell’s sentencing has not yet been set.