Ghislaine Maxwell, the British socialite and heiress who became a confidante of disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein and was later implicated in his alleged sexual crimes, has been arrested by the FBI.
Maxwell is the daughter of Robert Maxwell, a publishing tycoon and former member of the British Parliament who died in 1991 after falling overboard his luxury yacht, Lady Ghislaine, named after the youngest of his nine children.
She was arrested in Bedford, New Hampshire around 8:30 a.m. Thursday on charges she conspired with Epstein to sexually abuse minors and is expected to appear in a federal court later today.
New York FBI chief William Sweeney, Jr. said investigators had been monitoring Maxwell’s movements, at some point determining that she had “slithered away” to a “gorgeous” home in New Hampshire, where she was arrested Thursday without incident.
“This case against Ghislaine Maxwell is the prequel to the earlier case we brought against Jeffrey Epstein,” Acting Manhattan U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss said at a news conference on the indictment. The FBI said that it had been tracking her movements for some time, though Strauss said the indictment was handed up only recently.
The six-count indictment in Manhattan federal court alleges that Maxwell helped Epstein groom girls as young as 14 years old, going back as far as 1994. Epstein was found dead after a supposed suicide in a jail cell last year, and all security footage has gone missing or has been deleted.
Jessica Roth, professor at Cardozo School of Law and former federal prosecutor in the Manhattan office, said the charges “reflect the other shoe dropping” in the case against Epstein. “The indictment against Epstein made clear that he did not act alone and was assisted significantly by others in his sex trafficking crimes,” Roth said.
According to unsealed court documents, criminal prosecutors have charged her with one count of conspiracy to entice minors to travel to engage in illegal sex acts, one count of enticement of a minor to travel to engage in illegal sex acts, one count of conspiracy to transport minors with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity and two counts of perjury.
Maxwell, 58, dated Epstein more than a decade ago and became a member of his tight inner circle until his August 10, 2019 jail-cell suicide.
There have been a host of famous names tied to Epstein, including President Trump, former President Bill Clinton, Prince Andrew, and Harvard Law professor and former Epstein attorney Alan Dershowitz. The men have all pushed back on claims they engaged in illegal acts with the women, even reports from a new book that alleges Clinton had a major affair with Ghislaine.