Ghislaine Maxwell denies trafficking teenage girls for ex-boyfriend Jeffrey Epstein to sexually abuse (Picture: Reuters)
Ghislaine Maxwell has been pictured with a ‘black eye’ in a photo released by her lawyer.
The 59-year-old British socialite is in jail on suspicion of trafficking teenage girls for ex-boyfriend Jeffrey Epstein to sexually abuse.
Maxwell, who denies the charges, has only been seen in court sketches until now, as no cameras or recording devices are allowed at hearings
Lawyer Bobbi Sternheim said her client did not know where the bruise came from, but it may be from her using a sock or towel to shield her eyes because guards shine light into her cell every 15 minutes to check she is breathing and has not committed suicide.
The claims are contained in a letter to the district court judge overseeing the case.
The letter said that guards at the Brooklyn jail where Maxwell is being held had threatened to move her to separate housing if she could not explain the bruise.
Ms Sternheim wrote: ‘While Ms Maxwell is unaware of the cause of the bruise, as reported to medical and psych staff, she has grown increasingly reluctant to report information to the guards for fear of retaliation, discipline, and punitive chores.’
Ghislaine Maxwell ‘s lawyer said she did not know where the bruise came from (Picture: Reuters)
She said Maxwell got what she called a ‘black eye’ despite 24/7 camera surveillance on her at all time.
The filing said: ‘No guard addressed the bruise until Ms. Maxwell, who has no mirror, caught a reflection of her aching eye in the glean of a nail clipper.
‘At that point, MDC staff confronted Ms. Maxwell regarding the source of the bruise, threatening to place her in the SHU if she did not reveal how she got it.’
The SHU is the most restrictive part of the prison.
Judge Alison J Nathan said prosecutors must explain within a week whether and why jail officials might be subjecting Maxwell to ‘flashlight surveillance’ and whether she could be given ‘appropriate eye covering’.
Maxwell has only appeared in court sketches since her arrest (Picture: Reuters)
Epstein killed himself in jail in August 2019 while awaiting his own trial on sex trafficking charges (Picture: Getty)
Maxwell faces sex trafficking and other charges related to her alleged role in procuring four teenage girls for financier Epstein to abuse between 1994 and 2004.
Last week she pleaded not guilty to all charges in her first appearance before a judge.
She has been in custody since she was arrested in July 2020 in New Hampshire.
Her lawyers have previously said that prison conditions are undermining her preparation for a trial scheduled for July 12, but she has been denied bail three times due to concerns she is a flight risk.
Her lawyers had offered a guarantee of $28.5m (£20m), 24-hour armed guards, and a promise from Maxwell – a US citizen – that she would renounce her British and French citizenships.
Epstein killed himself in jail in August 2019 while awaiting his own trial on sex trafficking charges.
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