Ghislaine Maxwell, the Demon Queen, is behind bars. Does she have a secret that could unlock her shackles? | Ghislaine Maxwell


Guilty, 5 instances over, Ghislaine Maxwell, shackled, sits in the sweat field because it crawls over Brooklyn Bridge together with the remainder of the rush-hour little individuals she used to fly over, saying a final goodbye to the Imperial Metropolis’s billion-dollar stalagmites. The one-time Princess Mwah-Mwah is now the Demon Queen, going through 30 years, the remainder of her life in jail, not some Disneyland of rightwing fantasy however a bone pit of the unhealthy, the mad and the damaged locked up till the finish of age.

She has a secret key that could unlock her shackles. What if she sings, tells the feds what she is aware of, offers up the overmighty males who, together with her one-time lover Jeffrey Epstein, abused ladies extra baby than grownup again in her pomp? She could minimize her jail time all the way down to 10 years and be out in seven, due to good behaviour.

However to do that, Maxwell – as soon as the bosom pal of the second son of the Queen of England, two US presidents, and our prime minister, Boris Johnson, on the phrase of his sister, Rachel – would have to confess that she had been Epstein’s $30m pimp, that she handled a host of underage ladies as nothings, trash, that she did nice fallacious, that she was sorry.

No signal of that. I do really feel pity for Maxwell, for the darkish chasm between how her life was and the wretched place she is in now however her lack of regret, her failure to handle actuality, her unwillingness to specific a smidgen of remorse to her victims hardens the coronary heart. And therein lies her tragedy, the darkest fairytale of contemporary instances.

Her first probability at coming clear was in 2002 when reporter Vicky Ward was trying out claims by Annie Farmer, who mentioned that in 1996, when she was 16, she was flown to Epstein’s Zorro ranch in New Mexico the place, her story goes, she was sexually abused by Maxwell and Epstein. She tricked Farmer, giving the teenager a therapeutic massage. It grew to become sexual, then Farmer realised the door was open, her worry being that Epstein was standing in the darkish, watching.

Annie Farmer says she was abused in 1996.
Annie Farmer says she was abused in 1996. {Photograph}: Brendan McDermid/Reuters

Later, Epstein got here into Farmer’s mattress however she resisted, then fled. To Ward, Maxwell mentioned: “I can assure that I didn’t give her a therapeutic massage… Why do you say this? Some child who simply says she got here to the ranch that I gave a therapeutic massage to… It’s fallacious. OK? It is fallacious! I don’t like the implication of what you’re saying both, for the file. In any respect. I don’t prefer it in any respect. Disgusting.” That story by no means ran till far too late. Ward, by the method, went on to weblog in 2011 that she admired Epstein and: “I like Ghislaine, everybody does.” Nobody in any respect who knew Maxwell again in the day comes out of this story properly.

Maxwell’s second probability to set evil to rights was in October 2005 when the Palm Seaside police division raided Epstein’s home on El Brillo Approach. The socialite who received a countess to write down a 50-page guide on things like how full a field of tissues needed to be earlier than it was thrown away – half – by no means seen the recent baby manufacturing facility manufacturing line of underage ladies coming and going. However she would have registered the reality of the police raid, absolutely? Would, maybe, have questioned what had occurred to all the home’s laptop onerous drives, together with, one would assume, her personal, once they had been mysteriously eliminated earlier than the raid, as if a bent copper in on the police investigation had forewarned Workforce Epstein? Nothing from Maxwell then.

Not a phrase in 2007 when she received her last dollop of Epstein’s $30m, a single $7m switch for a helicopter to be owned by her personal firm. Silence in 2008 when her ex Epstein was convicted of procuring an underage woman for prostitution, successfully that he was a paedophile. She was nonetheless taking his cash in 2009, by her personal account. In 2016 she swore on oath, in a civil go well with introduced by Virginia Roberts Giuffre, that there had been no underage intercourse, nothing to see right here, of us. She was nonetheless watching the paedophile’s again.

Silence, too, in 2019 when Epstein was arrested a second time in July and in August when he killed himself in jail. As an alternative of going through the music, Maxwell ran, solely to be caught and tried.

She could have instructed the jury that she was harmless, that the 4 ladies who mentioned that they had been abused had been making it up, as had been their three boyfriends, as was the butler, Juan Alessi, as was the chain of images displaying an intimacy from the early 90s, as was the chain of cash transfers proving that Epstein paid her $30m over eight years for being a fancy janitor. As an alternative, she held her tongue, solely telling the choose: “The federal government has not proved its case past a affordable doubt. So there is no want for me to testify.”

Maxwell’s siblings, Christine, Isabel and Kevin, after the guilty verdict.
Maxwell’s siblings, Christine, Isabel and Kevin, after the responsible verdict. {Photograph}: David Dee Delgado/Reuters

Her bark of boastful command echoed her father, Robert Maxwell, the first monster in her life, a man who stole £400m from his pensioners, who took pleasure in pissing off the roof of his helicopter pad in the coronary heart of London, who evacuated his bowels inside earshot of reporters, who used to wipe his backside with fabric towels and let the maids choose them up. Her sample of denial over 20 years suggests that his daughter will discover it unattainable to do a plea cut price with the feds and so her future appears to be like impossibly bleak. And that can solely be all the way down to her – and the remainder of the Maxwell household.

Questioned about the proof in opposition to her on BBC Radio 4’s Immediately programme, her brother Ian Maxwell mentioned that situations in her remand jail had been grim. All of us agree. However Maxwell in courtroom regarded implausible, as if she had stepped off a yacht. Brothers Ian and Kevin each hit their stride, proclaiming their sister’s innocence, Kevin saying “she is not the Demon Queen”.

One can solely ask why did Epstein pay her $30m? The prosecution case was, merely put, that no 16-year-old woman would fly to the center of nowhere in New Mexico to spend a weekend with Epstein but when her mom had been instructed that Maxwell was going to be there, then you definitely would possibly. The identical goes for the different three victims: Jane and Kate and Carolyn. Maxwell received her $30m and in return she offered cowl for the paedophile. I sat by way of the proof and got here to the conclusion that she was as responsible as sin. So did the different reporters. So did the jury.

That mentioned, it makes one deeply uneasy that whereas Maxwell is going through a lengthy, gradual, gray demise inside, the alpha males in our darkish fairytale are strolling free. The presidents, the prince, the well-known Harvard lawyer, the Wall Avenue masters of the universe, the scientists with brains the dimension of planets, hobnobbed with Epstein and Maxwell, many on the Lolita Specific, some on Paedo Island in the US Virgin Islands. All of them deny doing or seeing something untoward. True, none of the under-age ladies say they had been sexually abused by Trump and Clinton.

Harvard lawyer Alan Dershowitz vehemently denies wrongdoing however he has inquiries to reply. His major accuser, Virginia Roberts Giuffre, stands by her story that she was required to have intercourse with him on a number of events. She additionally accuses Prince Andrew, the Duke of York, saying she was compelled to have intercourse with him 3 times in 2001 and there is a {photograph} that exhibits they met. For the second, Andrew Windsor denies all, as convincingly as a gimp photographed in a gimp go well with denying he’s a gimp. Virginia’s attorneys are asking him to show that she was fallacious to say that he was a sweaty dancer as a result of he can’t sweat. My good friend Ashley Grossman, professor of neuro-endocrinology at Oxford, thinks the prince’s declare nonsense. Virginia was 17 when she was trafficked from Florida to London. If solely there was some form of police physique in London that could examine…

The darkish fairytale of Ghislaine Maxwell isn’t over, not by a lengthy chalk.

John Sweeney was the reporter on the Searching Ghislaine podcast and his e book, Searching Ghislaine, can be revealed by Hodder this spring.