NEW YORK — A federal judge on Monday denied Ghislaine Maxwell's third attempt to seek release from jail, ruling that the longtime companion of sex offender Jeffrey Epstein would still be a flight risk if she gave up her French and British citizenship and had her assets closely monitored — new conditions Maxwell recently proposed.
U.S. District Judge Alison Nathan found that Maxwell’s newest pitch for release did nothing to change the conclusion that the daughter of late publisher Robert Maxwell “poses a risk of flight and that there are no combination of conditions that can reasonably assure her appearance.”
Lawyers for Maxwell had proposed that she would relinquish her European citizenship and put her assets into an account that would be monitored by a former judge. Her lawyers have previously reported to the court that Maxwell and her husband have $25 million in assets.
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Nathan rejected the unusual proposal, noting that her “assessment” of Maxwell’s background “has not changed.” The judge also found that giving up French and British citizenships does not clearly mean Maxwell would not be able to challenge extradition should she flee to either jurisdiction.
“The Defendant continues to have substantial international ties, familial and personal connections abroad, substantial financial resources, and experience evading detection,” Nathan wrote.
Maxwell, 59, has been held under close watch in a Brooklyn federal jail awaiting trial for most of the time she has been in custody. She is accused of enlisting underage girls for Epstein to sexually abuse over several years in the 1990s, allegations she strongly denies.
Epstein died by suicide while in custody in 2019, about a month after he was charged in New York for trafficking and abusing minors. Epstein, who was a convicted sex offender, was famously given a lenient plea deal in Florida in 2008, despite the scores of victims having been identified by law enforcement at the time.
Maxwell’s brother Ian Maxwell has been engaged in a public relations push trying to clear his sister’s name in what he referred to as a “flimsy” case. He compared the public perception of Ghislaine Maxwell as similar to the heat New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo (D) has faced recently following several claims of sexual harassment and bullying.
“Cuomo is entitled to have an investigation of his actions, just as Ghislaine is entitled to have one of hers,” Ian Maxwell said in an interview with The Washington Post.
Cuomo has largely denied wrongdoing in the scandal, which is under investigation by the New York attorney general and by the state legislature. He has apologized for making his accusers uncomfortable.
Maxwell is slated to face trial in July.