GUY ADAMS: She was born into fabulous wealth and was the toast of the New York Party set. How DID Ghislaine Maxwell plunge from society darling to be a sleazy 'pimp' and disgrace?

British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell, a close friend of paedophile billionaire Jeffrey Epstein, was arrested on Thursday in New Hampshire. She is accused of sex crimes that involved the disgraced financier who killed himself in his New York jail cell last year. GUY ADAMS explores how Maxwell plummeted from a wealthy elite to a sleazy 'pimp'...
Jeffrey Epstein, in one of the few on-the-record interviews he gave to someone who was neither a lawyer nor a policeman, was asked to explain his close but somewhat mysterious relationship with Ghislaine Maxwell. 
He responded simply: 'She's my best friend.' It was 2003 and the colourful financier was speaking to Vanity Fair. 

The magazine's reporter was puzzled by the exact role played by the British socialite, then aged 41, whose duties seemed to range from organising Epstein's personal diary to running various households and popping up on his arm at glamorous social functions.
Although the squalid chain of events that would end with Epstein taking his own life in prison had not yet begun, the magazine writer, Vicky Ward, got an inkling that something wasn't quite right. 
'One young woman recalls being summoned by Ghislaine Maxwell to a concert at Epstein's townhouse where the women seemed to outnumber the men by far,' she wrote. 'These were not women you'd see at Upper East Side dinners... many seemed foreign and dressed a little bizarrely.' 
A source told Ward that at another cocktail party, also thrown by Maxwell and attended by Prince Andrew, the room was 'filled with young Russian models', adding: 'Some guests were horrified!' 
Compared with the revelations of subsequent years, in which Maxwell was directly implicated in a global paedophile scandal involving scores of victims, some as young as 12, this might seem relatively insignificant stuff. 
Yet it speaks to a simple truth: the journey that culminated yesterday with well- spoken, 58-year- old Maxwell being arrested by the FBI and taken into custody reflects her decision to embrace the role of Epstein's official 'best friend'. 
Ghislaine Maxwell with her parents Robert Maxwell and Elizabeth Maxwell at the Cannes Film Festival in May 1987
Ghislaine Maxwell with her parents Robert Maxwell and Elizabeth Maxwell at the Cannes Film Festival in May 1987
Donald Trump and his future wife Melania Knauss pose in picture with alleged Jeffrey Epstein accomplice Ghislaine Maxwell at a hookers and pimps-themed Halloween party on October 31, 2000
Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell on a Pheasant Shoot with Prince Andrew at Sandringham on December 8, 2000
Donald Trump and his future wife Melania Knauss pose in picture with alleged Jeffrey Epstein accomplice Ghislaine Maxwell at a hookers and pimps-themed Halloween party on October 31, 2000
Audrey Strauss, Acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, speaks during a news conference to announce charges against Ghislaine Maxwell for her alleged role in the sexual exploitation and abuse of multiple minor girls by Jeffrey Epstein
Audrey Strauss, Acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, speaks during a news conference to announce charges against Ghislaine Maxwell for her alleged role in the sexual exploitation and abuse of multiple minor girls by Jeffrey Epstein

The indictment alleges:
  • Maxwell groomed three unnamed girls, all under the age of 18, in London, New York and Florida, and New Mexico between 1994 and 1997 
  • She befriended them by taking them to the movies or on shopping sprees and 'normalized' abusive behavior by getting undressed in front of them herself 
  • She encouraged them to travel to meet Epstein and engage in sex acts with them and him like 'group massage sex' in Epstein's homes  
  • Her introduction of them to him resulted in him abusing them when she was not present  
  • She lied in 2016 depositions while being sued by Virginia Giuffre Roberts that she'd never groomed or had sex with underage girls herself  
The question of whether she will spend the rest of her life behind bars hinges on a simple question. 
Was she really, as various accusers have already testified on oath, a sleazy madam who not only recruited vulnerable teenage girls to provide sexual services to her ex-boyfriend but illegally trafficked them around the world and took part in appalling episodes of abuse? 
Or was she merely a naive party girl with a gift for networking, who helped the rich but somewhat awkward Epstein climb the social ladder, yet had little idea about the sordid sex crimes he was committing? 
One thing which can't be denied is that no one has a better knowledge of the billionaire paedophile and his relationships with the great and good than Maxwell. 
She beams like a proud mother in the notorious 2001 photograph of the Duke of York with Virginia Roberts, then a 17-year-old, who now claims Epstein paid her to sleep with the Prince after a late-night visit to the nightclub Tramp. 
Epstein himself took the picture at Maxwell's mews house in Belgravia. Maxwell looks on as the Prince drapes an arm round his painfully young acquaintance. 
Maxwell also pops up in photographs of Epstein and Donald Trump taken at the latter's Florida resort Mar-aLago, and in pictures that show her socialising with teenage girls (plus a middle-aged French model agent called Jean Luc Brunel, also allegedly implicated in Epstein's crimes) on the late financier's private island in the Caribbean. 
And Maxwell's name runs, like letters in a stick of rock, through the many lawsuits and legal depositions filed by Epstein's alleged victims, many of whom accuse her of recruiting them, flying them around the world and, in several cases, presiding over sickening abuse. 
Flight records show Virginia Roberts took at least 23 journeys with Maxwell on Epstein's private jet, dubbed the 'Lolita Express'. 

 Maxwell was picked up by the FBI and NYPD detectives at 8.30am at the property in Bradford, New Hampshire, she had bought in December 2019 using a limited liability company called Granite LLC to shield her name 
Maxwell was arrested at the luxurious mountain top home — dubbed Tuckedaway — outside tiny Bradford, New Hampshire
Maxwell was arrested at the luxurious mountain top home — dubbed Tuckedaway — outside tiny Bradford, New Hampshire
She says she was 15 years old when Maxwell first persuaded her to visit Epstein's Florida mansion, where the walls were covered with pictures of naked girls and the bathrooms contained soap shaped like male and female genitalia. 
She claims Ghislaine stripped naked and told her to do the same, before showing her how to wash the middle-aged financier with soap, then perform a series of sex acts. 
In court papers, she has said 'Ghislaine took several nude photos of me for Jeffrey' and used to buy erotic outfits for teenage visitors to his house to wear. 'Jeffrey loved the latex outfits Ghislaine had for us girls,' reads a 2011 court filing. 'He had bondage outfits, he had all different kinds of outfit but his favourite was the schoolgirl.' 
A second woman, Johanna Sjoberg, has testified that she was a cash-strapped student when Maxwell approached her on the campus of a small university in Palm Beach. She says she was offered $100 to perform foot massages at Epstein's nearby home but ended up being told to strip n a k e d w h i l e M a x w e l l performed a sex act on her. 
In 2001, Sjoberg and Roberts say they took tea with Maxwell and Prince Andrew at Epstein's New York home. At one point, they allege, the Duke groped their breasts with a Spitting Image puppet. 
A third woman, known as 'BB', claimed in a 2010 lawsuit that Maxwell 'maintained a wardrobe at Epstein's estate in which she kept sexual toys and outfits', and 'upon her own volition, actively and passively participated in sexual acts with minor girls she recruited'. And so on. 
Maxwell has an astonishing network of high profile friends and acquaintances. She is shown at Chelsea Clinton's 2010 wedding
Maxwell has an astonishing network of high profile friends and acquaintances. She is shown at Chelsea Clinton's 2010 wedding 
Maxwell and Bill Clinton on the Lolita Express - Epstein's private jet that was used to ferry underage girls to his private island in the Caribbean and his ranch in New Mexico
Maxwell and Bill Clinton on the Lolita Express - Epstein's private jet that was used to ferry underage girls to his private island in the Caribbean and his ranch in New Mexico 
Maxwell with Epstein and Donald and Melania Trump in 2000
Maxwell with Epstein and Donald and Melania Trump in 2000 
These and other alleged been helping the FBI with their investigations. But however the legal case plays out, Maxwell has had plenty of practice at coping with public disgrace. 
The favourite child of crooked newspaper tycoon Robert Maxwell, she had a gilded upbringing, attending Marlborough College and then Oxford University before moving to London in the 1980s to start the Kit Kat Club, which purported to be an alternative to the old- school-tie network for high-powered women. 
Trump described Epstein in 2002 as 'a terrific guy'. The two fell out in 2004, and Trump now says they were not close
Trump described Epstein in 2002 as 'a terrific guy'. The two fell out in 2004, and Trump now says they were not close
She then worked for her father's newspaper The European and was made a director of Oxford United football club, which he owned. 
This happy existence imploded in November 1991 when her father drowned after falling off a yacht named Lady Ghislaine, after his daughter. 
It soon emerged that his newspaper empire was built on the proceeds of epic financial criminality, which had seen him defraud its pension fund of almost half a billion pounds. 
Vilified in the UK, where Robert Maxwell's victims were angered by the plush lifestyle his family had enjoyed at their expense, Ghislaine relocated to New York, where she took up residence in a small apartment and set about reinventing herself as a socialite. 
It was an inspired move. 'Ghislaine has always been a prodigious networker,' an acquaintance once told me. 'People in New York didn't care about the pensions scandal. 
And, of course, they are all suckers for an English accent.' 
Maxwell, then 30, quickly met Epstein, who was almost a decade her senior.
Reportedly attracted by his resemblance to her father, she was soon being photographed as his guest at social functions. 'He saved her,' was how a friend put it. 'When her father died, she was a wreck; inconsolable. 
And then Jeffrey took her in. She has never forgotten that and never will.' Initial romance soon mellowed into close friendship, however, amid rumours that Epstein wanted to see other women. 
The French born socialite, 58, spent decades at the most exclusive of parties, pictured with the likes of Donald Trump, pictured in 1997 together, and Prince Andrew and riding private jets with Bill Clinton
Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell in 1995
The French born socialite, 58, spent decades at the most exclusive of parties, pictured with the likes of Donald Trump, left in 1997, and Prince Andrew and riding private jets with Bill Clinton. She is pictured right with Eptein in 1995
Prince Andrew and Ghislaine Maxwell at Ascot. With them are Edward (far left) and Caroline Stanley (far right)
Prince Andrew and Ghislaine Maxwell at Ascot. With them are Edward (far left) and Caroline Stanley (far right)
Ghislaine Maxwell, shown last August - the last time she was seen publicly - was arrested on Thursday morning
Ghislaine Maxwell, shown last August - the last time she was seen publicly - was arrested on Thursday morning 
The charges filed against her yesterday allege she was involved in trafficking young girls for sex with him by 1994. 
To outsiders, Ghislaine was a sort of fixer-cum-confidante, helping run Epstein's households, travel and social calendar — a role in which she would continue for more than a decade, taking him into circles where the Clintons, Kennedys and other world leaders moved. 
Her relationship with Prince Andrew, to whom she was purportedly introduced by old chum Sarah Ferguson, gave Epstein an entrĂ©e into royal circles. By the early 2000s he was being invited to Balmoral, as well as to the Queen's birthday party. 
In return, Epstein gave Maxwell a jet-set lifestyle far beyond anything she could afford from the reported £80,000- a-year trust fund set up for her by her crooked father, travelling in private jets and dividing her time between his Florida mansion, New Mexico ranch, private Caribbean island and New York home, the city's largest private residence. 
Yet there was a dark side to life at these glamorous residences. Juan Alessi, a former butler, has said he would clean up Epstein's bedroom (which adjoined Maxwell's) after he had enjoyed erotic massages and would sometimes find vibrators and sex toys in Maxwell's sink. 
Alfredo Rodriguez, another former butler, has testified that Maxwell kept an office under the stairs in the Palm Beach house, where her computer contained a list of girls who came to give massages there, along with their phone numbers and nude pictures of some of them. 'I don't think they knew they were being photographed,' he said. 
Tony Figueroa, a former bodyguard, has claimed in legal papers that Maxwell asked him to recruit school-aged girls to visit Epstein. He also testified that Maxwell and Epstein took part in multiple threesomes with some of them. 
When the whole edifice crumbled in 2005, Florida police had identified between 36 and 60 victims. 
As the 'favorite' daughter of disgraced newspaper baron Robert, Ghislaine boasted an impeccable network of contacts. The father and daughter are pictured in 1984
As the 'favorite' daughter of disgraced newspaper baron Robert, Ghislaine boasted an impeccable network of contacts. The father and daughter are pictured in 1984
Ghislaine pictured with her sisters
Ghislaine Maxwell, daughter of former Mirror Group publisher Mr Robert Maxwell, sifting through the mountain's of 'Draw Coupon' entries in 1984.
Born in Paris on Christmas Day in 1961 to her French mother Elisabeth and dad Robert Ghislaine was the youngest of nine. She is pictured left with her sisters  and right in 1984 
A 'little black book' containing Maxwell's contacts included details of scores of young girls. Notepaper left by the telephone showed she was arranging for several of the girls to regularly visit Epstein. 
Epstein was eventually arrested but, after three years of legal wrangles, he negotiated an extraordinary plea deal in which he pleaded guilty to two minor prostitution charges and was required to spend 13 months in open prison. 
Despite the public setback, Maxwell remained a loyal friend, continuing to organise his social calendar and at Christmas 2010 — by which time he was a convicted child sex offender — persuading Prince Andrew to join Woody Allen and a host of celebrities at a dinner party at Epstein's New York home. 
In 2013 Prince Andrew attended her birthday bash at the Dorchester in London. Yet by then, more trouble was brewing. 
In 2014, I revealed that court papers had been filed in Florida which, for the first time, accused Maxwell of orchestrating Epstein's abuse. 
She responded by hiring London law firm Devonshires, who claimed Epstein's crimes 'were committed long after Ghislaine Maxwell ceased to have dealings with him' — an allegation that was demonstrably untrue. 
Maxwell went on to be educated at Marlborough College, then Oxford University and was used to a privileged, public-school and Oxford-educated lifestyle. She is also said to be a helicopter and submarine pilot and able to speak four languages
Maxwell is pictured meeting Princess Diana in 1984. Maxwell used her impeccable social contacts, like her friendship with the Prince, to introduce Epstein, a gardener's son, to society
Maxwell is pictured meeting Princess Diana in 1984, right. Maxwell used her impeccable social contacts, like her friendship with the Prince, to introduce Epstein, a gardener's son, to society
In return, she used the financier's millions to support a lavish lifestyle which included a home on Manhattan's Upper East Side, a wardrobe of designer clothes and helicopter lessons. Maxwell is pictured with model Naomi Cambell in 2002
In return, she used the financier's millions to support a lavish lifestyle which included a home on Manhattan's Upper East Side, a wardrobe of designer clothes and helicopter lessons. Maxwell is pictured with model Naomi Cambell in 2002 
At this point, she remained in close contact with Prince Andrew. A leaked email sent at 5.50am on January 3, 2015, reveals that Andrew wrote to Maxwell: 'Got some specific questions to ask you about Virginia Roberts.' 
She replied: 'Have some info — call me when you have a moment.' And in June last year she visited the Prince in his private quarters at Buckingham Palace. Two months later, Epstein was arrested for the second and final time. 
By then, Maxwell was thought to be quietly holed up in Manchester-by-the-Sea, north of Boston in the U.S., with a tech company boss called Scott Borgerson. 
She had reportedly moved to a £3 million oceanfront mansion with several acres of private woodland in 2016, having allegedly persuaded Borgerson, then 43, to abandon his wife and young children for her. 
By the time the media descended on the property, she had vanished and there followed a surreal period during which she seemed to have disappeared entirely, offering neither explanations nor apologies to Epstein's many victims. 
There was one apparent sighting at a Los Angeles burger bar, another in a Brazilian hotel resort. At one point her own lawyers were forced to tell a New York court they had no idea where she was living and were unable to contact her. 
In a final act of shamelessness, she filed a lawsuit against the (by then) late Jeffrey Epstein's estate, claiming she was entitled to his cash to pay her legal and personal security fees. 
That claim has yet to be settled. But, given the seriousness of the events yesterday afternoon, Ghislaine Maxwell may soon be spending an extended period in the one place where money can't buy you a better existence. 
GUY ADAMS: She was born into fabulous wealth and was the toast of the New York Party set. How DID Ghislaine Maxwell plunge from society darling to be a sleazy 'pimp' and disgrace? GUY ADAMS: She was born into fabulous wealth and was the toast of the New York Party set. How DID Ghislaine Maxwell plunge from society darling to be a sleazy 'pimp' and disgrace? Reviewed by STATION GOSSIP on 04:01 Rating: 5

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