Ghislaine Maxwell’s association with Jeffrey Epstein started years earlier than previously believed

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Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell in 2005 - Patrick McMullan /Getty Images
Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell in 2005 - Patrick McMullan /Getty Images

Ghislaine Maxwell’s friendship with disgraced paedophile financier Jeffrey Epstein began years earlier than previously believed, a documentary has claimed.

It had been thought that Maxwell, who is currently being held in a New York City jail awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges, began her association with Epstein following the death of her father, newspaper tycoon Robert Maxwell, in November 1991.

Epstein, who was found dead in his prison cell in 2019, was believed to have filled a chasm in Maxwell’s life as she mourned her father.

However, researchers for the documentary Ghislaine Maxwell: Epstein’s Shadow found that her famous and wealthy friends, including Prince Andrew, were becoming part of Epstein’s network in the late 1980s.

The information was gleaned from more than 200 interviews as well as scouring court documents.

“We were able to use court documents which are full of redacted names. There is always a reason for that, and it certainly set us looking into things,” Emma Cooper, executive producer of the documentary told the Observer.

Ghislaine Maxwell - Court handout
Ghislaine Maxwell - Court handout

“Interviews with so many allowed our team to do an amazing amount of cross-referencing of testimony, and so we started to suspect that she had known Epstein longer, right back in the late 1980s when he was doing business in London.

“Eventually we got to the point where we could assert this fact, although we still don’t know exactly when they met or when their relationship started.”

The documentary takes a longer look at Maxwell’s life, going back to her days at Oxford University.

Former staff interviewed allege she would be chauffeured around New York in a limousine as she scoured the city for young girls to bring back to Epstein’s Manhattan mansion.

Ghislaine Maxwell - Jane Rosenberg/Reuters
Ghislaine Maxwell - Jane Rosenberg/Reuters

Maxwell, 59, has denied charges of recruiting and grooming teenage girls from 1994-1997 to provide sexual massages for Epstein.

She has made repeated unsuccessful applications for bail, with her legal team describing conditions at the Brooklyn Metropolitan Detention Centre where she is being held as Kafkaesque.

Trial judge Alison Nathan has accepted the prosecution argument that the socialite, who has French, British and American citizenship, represents a significant flight risk.

Her trial is expected to take place in the Autumn.

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