Ghislaine Maxwell is married, prosecutors say in court

By Victoria Bekiempis in New York

The British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell, who faces federal charges in Manhattan for allegedly enabling Jeffrey Epstein’s sex trafficking of minor girls, is married, prosecutors said during a court proceeding.

Prosecutors made the revelation on Tuesday when arguing that Maxwell should be detained pending trial.

Maxwell, who had asked for release on a $5m bond co-signed by six people, was ultimately denied bail. Maxwell pleaded not guilty to the charges.

They also said Maxwell had “declined” to identify her spouse to court officials.

“In addition to failing to describe in any way the absence of proposed co-signers of a bond, the defendant also makes no mention whatsoever about the financial circumstances or assets of her spouse whose … identity she declined to provide to pretrial services,” assistant US attorney Alison Moe told Judge Alison Nathan.

“There is no information about who will be co-signing this bond or their assets and no details whatsoever.”

News of Maxwell’s purported marriage surfaced in earnest on Wednesday morning. Maxwell’s arraignment and bail proceeding was conducted via video, and audio repeatedly cut out for those observing from the courthouse; transcripts that became available late last night filled in some of these gaps.

However, many details of Maxwell’s secretive personal life were audible – including information on how she wound up living on the 156-acre Bradford, New Hampshire, estate where she was arrested on 2 July.

A real estate agent involved with the property’s sale told an FBI agent that the buyers introduced themselves as “Scott and Janet Marshall, who both have British accents”.

“Scott Marshall told her that the … that he was retired from the British military and he was currently working on writing a book. Janet Marshall described herself as a journalist who wants privacy. They told the agent they wanted to purchase the property quickly through a wire and that they were setting up an LLC,” Moe said, noting that this conversation took place in November 2019.

“Following [Maxwell’s] arrest, the real estate agent saw a photograph of [Maxwell] in the media and realized that the person who had introduced herself as Janet Marshall … was the defendant, Ghislaine Maxwell.”

Due to unclear audio, authorities clarified shortly after the proceeding that Maxwell’s alleged pseudonym was “Jen Marshall,” not “Janet Marshall”.

Moe also claimed in court that Maxwell was being evasive in discussing her finances with pre-trial services, claiming that she earns a “monthly income of nothing, zero dollars per month of income”. Maxwell also allegedly claimed that she “does not know the name of the corporation” that bought the sprawling property, “but … was just permitted to stay in the house”.

Maxwell, a longtime associate of Epstein, is charged in a 17-page indictment with conspiracy to entice minors to travel to engage in illegal sex acts, enticement of a minor to travel to engage in illegal sex acts, conspiracy to transport minors with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity, transportation of a minor with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity, and perjury.

Epstein was arrested last July, and killed himself in federal jail last August.

Maxwell’s trial date was set for 12 July 2021, and is expected to take approximately two weeks. The 58-year-old faces up to 35 years in federal prison if convicted of all six counts.

Maxwell has repeatedly denied wrongdoing. Her lawyers have said she “vigorously denies the charges” and is “entitled to the presumption of innocence”.