Ghislaine Maxwell 'is victim of "Epstein effect" in "difficult" jail conditions but is NOT suicidal,' lawyer says

GHISLAINE Maxwell is a "victim of the Epstein effect" in "difficult" jail conditions but is NOT suicidal, according to her lawyer.

The British socialite, 59, appeared for her arraignment on two sex-trafficking charges that were added to her indictment last month.

Maxwell spoke only to confirm that she had received documents regarding her hearing, before her team entered her plea of "not guilty."

Appearing by video call, Maxwell was seen with shoulder-length black hair that was graying at the roots.

She did not appear to have lost any hair or weight like previously claimed by her defense team.

The hearing lasted just nine minutes before the court was adjourned by District Judge Alison Nathan.

Last week, Maxell's lawyer asked for her July trial to be delayed until next year, saying sex trafficking charges recently added requires much more trial preparation.

Attorney Bobbi Sternheim wrote in a letter to a Manhattan federal judge that a superseding indictment last month makes it impossible to be ready for trial by July 12.

She asked for a minimum three-month delay but said postponing until mid-January was likely necessary because lawyers have prior commitments until then.

However, without ruling, the judge said on Friday that "everyone should assume that it's July."

Maxwell's court appearance came as:

  • Epstein's Florida mansion is demolished
  • New documents showed why Feds didn't charge Epstein in 2016
  • Prince Andrew hoped that Philip's funeral will be 'comeback to public life' after sex claims
  • Maxwell's family launched a website to protest her innocence

Judge Nathan also urged the government to provide disclosures to the defense seven weeks before the trial.

At a press conference after the hearing, Maxwell family attorney David Markus claimed that Ghislaine had been woken up at 3am today, before her 2.30pm trial, and went on to slam the living conditions that she is staying in.

"Ghisl is in very very very difficult conditions – conditions that none of us would wish on our worst enemies," he said.

He later went on to say that she is "hanging in there" but "it's not easy," before dubbing the reason for her conditions as "the Epstein effect."

"She's not suicidal, she shouldn't be treated like that. It's only because of thehorrible Epstein effect."

However, despite her alleged living conditions, he confirmed that Maxwell is "looking forward to fighting" confirming "she will fight."

Maxwell had requested that her arraignment took place in person, The New York Post reports.

She has maintained her innocence throughout and pleaded not guilty to the additional counts today.

The counts – sex trafficking and sex trafficking conspiracy – are for allegedly recruiting an unnamed underage girl in the 2000s.

Her attorney Jeffrey Pagliuca and lawyer Laura Menninger were pictured arriving at the Daniel Patrick Moynihan United States Courthouse in Manhattan, New York.

Pagliuca is a trial lawyer who has 39 years experience in state and federal courts, while Menninger has represented Maxwell in previous civil actions.

Menninger was a financial analyst at Goldman before going to Stanford Law School and then moved to Colorado where she became a Deputy State Public Defender.

It comes after her family insisted she's "no monster" as they launched a website in support of the jailed British socialite.

Her family launched and have invited the public to "get to know the real Ghislaine".

The site includes information about her life and upcoming trial as well as her allegedly brutal jail conditions.

Her trial is set to start in July in New York City – where Epstein owned a home in which many young girls were allegedly abused.

In a video statement, her brother Ian insists his sister is innocent and is being held in solitary confinement.

He said: "I and my brothers and sisters love her very much.

"We believe in her innocence and that she'll be exonerated in the end, which is why it's so hard for us to see her held in an American prison in solitary confinement without bail for over 260 days and counting.

"My sister is no monster. Ghislaine is a stepmother. A wife. A friend to many. A sister to me. No one deserves to be tortured when they're presumed innocent."

He added that the socialite is awaiting trial "based on allegations that date back 25 years by accusers whose names not even her own lawyers know."

Ian says his sister is "kind and compassionate" and claims she has received "hundreds" of letters of support while in prison.

Maxwell is being held in "restrictive" conditions in prison including guards sticking their fingers in her mouth and shining torches in her face every 15 minutes, the site alleges.

In the site's FAQ section, it claims: "The drinking water is full of contaminants and the food is inedible.

"Food has been fed to her on plastic trays that have melted when exposed to microwaved heating, making the food inedible and unsafe."

The socialite was arrested last July at a $1m home in New Hampshire and is being held at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn.

She is understood to be under suicide watch after Jeffrey Epstein killed himself while awaiting trial in August 2019.

Ghislaine Maxwell strongly denies all allegations of misconduct made against her.

    Source: Read Full Article