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Jeffrey Epstein associate Ghislaine Maxwell sues his estate | US news


Ghislaine Maxwell, the former girlfriend and longtime associate of Jeffrey Epstein, has sued the late financier’s estate, seeking to recoup legal fees to defend herself against claims that she helped recruit women for Epstein’s alleged sex-trafficking scheme.

In a complaint filed with the superior court in the US Virgin Islands, Maxwell said she had “no involvement in or knowledge of Epstein’s alleged misconduct” and the financier had repeatedly promised to support her financially.

Maxwell is also seeking reimbursement for security costs, saying she “receives regular threats to her life and safety” requiring her to hire personal security services and “find safe accommodation”.

A lawyer for Epstein’s estate did not immediately respond to requests for comment. The estate was valued at $636.1m before the recent global markets turmoil. Epstein, who was convicted in 2008 of procuring a woman under 18 for prostitution, owned two private islands in the Virgin Islands.

Virginia Giuffre, one of Epstein’s accusers who has said she was recruited by Maxwell to Epstein’s alleged trafficking ring, criticized the lawsuit.

“Memo to GM- How dare you play the victim card when you victimised me and countless others. You are a vile, evil, sadistic creature not even worthy of calling a human being. I hope the judge ruling over this laughs you out of court and into jail,” Giuffre wrote on Twitter.

Giuffre alleges that Maxwell recruited her to work as Epstein’s masseuse when she was 15 years old, and that she then had a sexual encounter with Prince Andrew at Maxwell’s house in London. Andrew has denied the claim.

Maxwell has kept a low profile since Epstein’s arrest last July on charges that he abused and trafficked in women and girls in Manhattan and Florida between 2002 to 2005.

Epstein, who pleaded not guilty, killed himself in his Manhattan jail cell in August, two days after signing his will.

“While under Epstein’s employ, Maxwell was responsible for managing Epstein’s properties located in New York, Paris, Florida, New Mexico and the US Virgin Islands,” the filing said.

“During the course of their relationship, including while Maxwell was in Epstein’s employ, Epstein promised Maxwell that he would support her financially. Epstein made these promises to Maxwell repeatedly, both in writing and in conversation.”

The lawsuit claims that Maxwell wrote to Esptein’s lawyers in November requesting the estate cover her legal fees, but received no response. Maxwell also claims she had “no knowledge involvement in or knowledge of” Esptein’s alleged misconduct.

Maxwell, whose father was the late British media publisher Robert Maxwell, said Epstein employed her from 1999 to 2006 when she managed homes in New York, Florida, New Mexico, Paris and the Virgin Islands.

She said their employment relationship “formed a legal and special relationship” that obliged the estate to indemnify her, and that one of its executors “made assurances” that it would do so, but the estate had ignored her reimbursement claim.

Denise George, the US Virgin Islands’ attorney general, sued the estate in January, saying Epstein’s sexual misconduct there stretched from 2001 to 2018 and included raping and trafficking in dozens of women and girls. The estate has been trying to resolve differences with George so that it can begin compensating Epstein’s victims.

At least two dozen Epstein accusers have filed civil lawsuits against the estate. Some named Maxwell and other alleged enablers of Epstein’s abuses as defendants.

Lawyers for the accusers told the Miami Herald that Maxwell’s actions were “unconscionable”

“It is absolutely appalling that Ghislaine Maxwell … is seeking to drain funds from the very estate that should be paying the Epstein victims’ claims,” said Sigrid McCawley, from the legal firm Boies Schiller Flexner.

“ We view her actions as unconscionable but this is an individual who lost sight of right from wrong a very long time ago.”

Epstein was a friend of Andrew’s, who stepped back from public duties in November after a disastrous BBC interview. At the time, Andrew publicly offered to “help any appropriate law enforcement agency with their investigations if required”, but the promised aid has failed to materialize.

Earlier this month a New York prosecutor said Andrew had “completely shut the door” on cooperating with US investigators, who are investigating others who may have had roles in Epstein’s alleged misconduct.



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