Jeffrey Epstein’s confidante Ghislaine Maxwell has been made to wear paper clothing and had her bedding removed while in custody in New York over fears she may try to take her own life, an official has said.
Maxwell, 58, the ex-lover of convicted paedophile Jeffrey Epstein, has been given a cellmate to keep her company and is also being constantly monitored at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn.
Someone is also always with her while she is behind bars, an official revealed to the AP news agency on condition of anonymity.
She is being much more closely monitored than when she was initially arrested in New Hampshire last week.
Federal officials, rather than those at the Bureau of Prisons, have been specifically tasked with making sure she is protected in case she is attacked by other inmates.
Prison staff were seen to have failed to adequately protect Epstein, who took his own life while in custody awaiting trial last year on charges of sex trafficking.
The financier, 66, was found dead in his cell in New York in August.
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Maxwell, the daughter of late media magnate Robert Maxwell, is accused of facilitating his crimes and even joining in sexually abusing girls, according to the indictment against her.
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Several Epstein victims have described her as his chief enabler, recruiting and grooming young girls for abuse.
She has denied wrongdoing and called claims against her “absolute rubbish”, but faces up to 35 years in jail if convicted.
Maxwell was arrested by the FBI last week at an isolated estate she had bought in New Hampshire.
She had switched her email address, ordered packages under someone else’s name and registered at least one new phone number under an alias “G Max”, prosecutors have said.
When the agents arrested her, they were not sure that she was even at the home and thought she may have already fled the US to avoid prosecution, the official said.
Maxwell is said to have introduced Epstein to former US president Bill Clinton and Prince Andrew, Duke of York.
One woman, Virginia Roberts Giuffre, claims Andrew had sex with her when she was still a minor. Both Prince Andrew and Buckingham Palace have denied the claims.
The prince last week said he was “bewildered” by claims from US prosecutors investigating Epstein that he was being unco-operative.