Ghislaine Maxwell.

Ghislaine Maxwell.
Photo: Laura Cavanaugh/Getty Images

On Saturday night, billionaire financier and convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein was arrested on charges that he recruited dozens of underage girls into a sex-trafficking ring in Florida and New York between 2002 and 2005. The details of his indictment became public on Monday morning when federal prosecutors unsealed the sex-trafficking charges against him. Though Epstein is the only person named, many powerful people with ties to the 66-year-old are likely feeling a little nervous about the consequences of the billionaire’s arrest — including Ghislaine Maxwell, a confidante of Epstein’s who has been connected to him for more than two decades and is alleged to have played a critical role in recruiting and grooming underage girls into his sex-trafficking ring. Though Maxwell is a key figure in the Epstein case, she has not yet been arrested and has repeatedly denied accusations against her. As the details of Epstein’s alleged crimes become clearer, however, we’re likely to hear her name come up again and again.

Here’s everything we know about the alleged madam so far.

Maxwell is the daughter of publisher Robert Maxwell — in short, she comes from money. Per the Wall Street Journal, she grew up and attended university in England, then moved to the United States in 1991 after her father fell to his death from his yacht, the “Lady Ghislaine.” (Epstein reportedly uses a yacht with the name name to transport women from St. Thomas in the Caribbean to his own private island, which locals have nicknamed “Pedophile Island.”) Exactly how Maxwell and Epstein met is unclear, but the two reportedly dated for a short period of time around 1992, then remained close friends after breaking up. Per a 2002 New York Magazine profile of Epstein, Maxwell — who has been linked to Epstein for more than two decades — “lent a little pizzazz to the lower-profile Epstein.” The story continues:





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