USA

Jeffrey Epstein confidant charged

1 min ago

SOON: New York prosecutors speak about Ghislaine Maxwell's charges

The US Attorney's office for the Southern District of New York is expected to announce in a noon ET news conference the charges against Ghislaine Maxwell for her "role in the sexual exploitation and abuse of multiple minor girls by Jeffrey Epstein”

Maxwell, the longtime girlfriend and alleged accomplice of the accused sex-trafficker, was arrested this morning and according to court documents and a person familiar with the matter, has been charged by New York federal prosecutors with six counts in connection with the ongoing federal investigation into Epstein's accomplices.

Maxwell is charged with enticement and conspiracy to entice minors to travel to engage in illegal sex acts, transportation and conspiracy to transport minors with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity, and two counts of perjury, according to a federal indictment unsealed Thursday.

10 min ago

Prince Andrew's legal team declines to comment on Ghislaine Maxwell's arrest 

From CNN’s Max Foster in London

Prince Andrew’s legal team “will not be commenting” the arrest of Ghislaine Maxwell, they told CNN after Jeffrey Epstein’s former girlfriend and long-time associate was arrested in New Hampshire earlier Thursday. 

What is this about: The Duke of York faces allegations stemming from his relationship with Epstein, who died by apparent suicide in August 2019 while awaiting trial on federal charges that he sexually abused underage girls and ran a sex-trafficking ring.

One of Epstein's accusers, Virginia Roberts Giuffre, has alleged that she was forced into sexual encounters with the prince while underage. In a 2015 federal court filing, Giuffre alleged Epstein forced her to perform sex acts with several prominent men, including Prince Andrew in 2001.

All of them have denied the allegations.

In a televised interview to the BBC in November 2019, Prince Andrew denied having seen anything that struck him as suspicious when he was around Epstein.

13 min ago

Some Epstein victims "very skeptical" because of lack of follow through after other arrests, attorney says

From CNN’s Sonia Moghe

Spencer Kuvin, who represents six alleged Epstein victims, said while they are happy about news of Ghilaine Maxwell's arrest, some remain "skeptical."

“On behalf of the victims, we are very happy that the US Attorney’s Office has decided to move forward on this arrest, which is hopefully just the beginning. We’re hopeful that there will continue to be additional arrests with respect to other co-conspirators," he said.

Kuvin added: “The victims are very skeptical because there have been arrests in the past and the US government has not followed through.”

2 min ago

What we know about Jeffrey Epstein's longtime associate charged today

From CNN's Bianca Britton

Following today's arrest, focus again has turned to Ghislaine Maxwell, a British socialite and ex-girlfriend of Jeffrey Epstein, who has faced allegations that she recruited and trafficked underage girls for the disgraced US financier who died by apparent suicide last August.

Here's what we know about the woman at the center of the Epstein scandal:

Childhood: Born in 1961, British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell grew up in the idyllic Oxfordshire countryside and is the daughter of Robert Maxwell, a Czech-born newspaper tycoon and British lawmaker who died under mysterious circumstances. The media magnate fell off his luxury yacht — called "Lady Ghislaine" — around the Canary Islands in 1991.

He was posthumously discovered to have committed a massive pension fraud against his employees. In 1991 the media mogul died, with an inquest ruling that his death was due to a heart attack combined with accidental drowning. However, some believe Maxwell's death was suicide with his business empire teetering on the brink of ruin.

Move to the US and relationship with Epstein: Following her father's death, Maxwell reportedly moved to the United States.

In the US, Maxwell lived a public life and socialized in exclusive circles that included people connected to politics.

She and Epstein are reported to have split in the 1990s, although the socialite remained close to the pedophile. Her name has been frequently mentioned in a cache of documents that were unsealed earlier this year that allege she was a procurer for Epstein and other high-profile people. In 2003 Epstein described Maxwell as his best friend in a profile with Vanity Fair.

In 2012, Maxwell founded the charity, the TerraMar Project, which sought to encourage ocean conservation. However, the non-profit ceased operations in December 2019, according to records at the UK's Companies House.

The same year federal prosecutors in New York unsealed a criminal indictment charging Epstein with having operated a sex trafficking ring between 2002 and 2005 where he paid girls as young as 14 to have sex with him.

Out of the public eye: Despite the accusations launched against Maxwell, she had largely remained an enigma whose recent whereabouts had been shrouded in mystery.

For a woman who once reveled in the attention she received as she mingled with some of the most high-profile politicians and celebrities, Maxwell did an incredible job of hiding herself away from the public eye.

29 min ago

Jeffrey Epstein's confidant Ghislaine Maxwell has been arrested

From CNN's Kara Scannell and Erica Orden

Ghilaine Maxwell was arrested this morning in New Hampshire in connection with the Jeffrey Epstein investigation, according to a person familiar with the matter. Maxwell was taken into custody and is expected to have a court appearance later today, the person said.

She has been charged by New York federal prosecutors with six counts in connection with the ongoing federal investigation into Epstein's accomplices, according to court documents and a person familiar with the matter.

Maxwell is charged with enticement and conspiracy to entice minors to travel to engage in illegal sex acts, transportation and conspiracy to transport minors with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity, and two counts of perjury, according to a federal indictment unsealed Thursday.

"In particular, from at least in or about 1994, up to an including at least in or about 1997, Maxwell assisted, facilitated, and contributed to Jeffrey Epstein's abuse of minor girls by, among other things, helping Epstein to recruit, groom, and ultimately abuse victims known to Maxwell and Epstein to be under the age of 18," the indictment says.

Those victims, according to the indictment, included girls as young as 14 years old.

Maxwell, the long-time friend of Epstein, has been under investigation for facilitating Epstein’s recruitment of young girls and women. Maxwell has been named in multiple lawsuits by women who said they have been abused by Epstein.

Maxwell has denied any wrongdoing.

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