Epstein scandal: FBI investigating British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell – report
British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell is among those being investigated over her connection with Jeffrey Epstein, according to a report.
Epstein, a US financier, killed himself in August while awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges but he had already served jail time in 2008 for soliciting prostitution from a minor.
Ms Maxwell, 57, was described by Reuters sources as a principal focus of the FBI’s investigation, along with others who were suspected of having “facilitated” Epstein’s behaviour.
Who’s who in the Jeffrey Epstein sex scandal?
Ms Maxwell, daughter of publishing mogul Robert Maxwell, was an ex-girlfriend of Epstein’s and they remained friends after they broke up.
Born in Paris, she studied at Oxford before moving to New York in the aftermath of her father’s death in 1991, where she quickly began rubbing shoulders with the city’s rich and famous.
She reportedly had a trust fund from her father that gave her $100,000 a year and worked selling property in Manhattan.
A Washington Post profile characterised her as Epstein’s “guide to a heady world of celebrity, wealth, power and royalty”.
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She is said to have introduced him to former US president Bill Clinton and Andrew, Duke of York.
Virginia Giuffre, one of Epstein’s alleged victims, has accused Ms Maxwell of recruiting her into Epstein’s circle, where she was forced to have sex with Epstein and his friends, including the duke.
The duke has denied any wrongdoing, insisting he has never met Ms Giuffre, whose previous name was Virginia Roberts.
Ms Maxwell has denied this and her lawyers did not respond to a request for comment, Reuters reported.
The news agency’s sources said the FBI had no current plans to interview Andrew, who stepped down from royal duties last month after a disastrous interview about his friendship with Epstein.
An FBI spokeswoman would not comment on the news but the two sources who spoke to Reuters said they were not ruling out the possibility of interviewing Prince Andrew at a later date.
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When Epstein’s body was found in his prison cell, he had been awaiting trial on trafficking dozens of underage girls as young as 14 from at least 2002 to 2005.
The 66-year-old had pleaded not guilty in the case, which saw him accused of recruiting girls to give him massages which became sexual.
A number of women are suing his estate.