Ghislaine Maxwell has reportedly been arrested on the East Coast, according to NBC New York. Further details about her arrest were not immediately made available.
Maxwell, a British socialite, was a known friend of the late Jeffrey Epstein. She has long been accused of involvement in his alleged sex trafficking operation.
According to the unsealed indictment from the grand jury, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York is charging Maxwell with six counts: conspiracy to entice a minor 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 two counts of perjury.
She Is Accused Of Being A 'Procurer' For The Millionaire FinancierAs The Washington Post reported in 2019, Maxwell, who had been Epstein's girlfriend at times, also served as his "protector" and "procurer." In this case, she allegedly arranged for him to have sexual encounters with underage girls.
Specifically, multiple accusers, now adult women, say that Maxwell organized Epstein's daily "massages," of which there would be multiple per day.
One such accuser, Virginia Roberts Giuffre, said that when she was about 16 or 17, and working at Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort, Maxwell approached her with promises of money.
"I know somebody. We can train you. We can get you educated. You know, we can help you along the way if you pass the interview. If the guy likes you, then, you know, it will work out for you. You'll travel. You'll make good money," Maxwell allegedly told her.
That "training" turned out to be how to please Epstein, how to keep quiet, and how to be subservient. Giuffre says that she was later surprised that a woman would groom another woman into being a sex object of a pedophile.
Giuffre also claims that Maxwell ordered her to have sex with Britain's Prince Andrew.
"My whole life revolved around just pleasing these men and keeping Ghislaine and Jeffrey happy," Giuffre said.
After The Lawsuits Started Coming, Maxwell DisappearedIn 2015, Giuffre filed a lawsuit against Maxwell, but authorities were unable to serve her with the paperwork, as she was nowhere to be found.
As The Guardian reported in 2019, as more lawsuits kept coming and after Epstein was arrested, Maxwell was still nowhere to be found. Even her lawyers claimed to have no idea where she was, noting that she jet-setted across the world and, though she owned multiple residences, had "no fixed address."
While She Was On The Lam, She Was Never Actually Criminally ChargedDuring the years when Maxwell was allegedly dodging lawsuits, she was never actually on the run from the law, inasmuch as she hadn't been criminally charged. However, as Reuters reported, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) was investigating her. She continued to maintain her innocence.
It's Not Clear What Crime She's Actually Been Charged WithThough she was under investigation by the FBI, she was never actually a criminal suspect and, as such, no criminal charges had been filed against her.
Thursday's arrest does seem to indicate that she'll be facing criminal charges. However, the nature of those charges is, as of this writing, unclear. Maxwell is due to appear in court later Thursday afternoon.