Donald Trump has sent his support to Ghislaine Maxwell, saying he wishes her well as she faces charges of recruiting girls for Jeffrey Epstein to sexually abuse.
Maxwell, a close friend of the late financier and convicted paedophile Epstein, is behind bars awaiting trial on charges including conspiracy to entice minors to travel to engage in illegal sex acts.
Mr Trump was among several well-known people linked socially to Epstein and during his news conference on Tuesday, he said of Maxwell: “I just wish her well, frankly.
“I’ve met her numerous times over the years, especially since I lived in Palm Beach and I guess they lived in Palm Beach… but I wish her well, whatever it is.
“I don’t know about the situation with Prince Andrew, I just don’t know, I’m not aware of it.”
Maxwell faces up to 35 years in prison if it is proved that she recruited teenage girls – including one as young as 14 – for Epstein to sexually abuse from 1994 to 1997.
She is also accused of lying in depositions – sworn out-of-court testimonies – in a 2016 civil case.
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Prince Andrew has known Maxwell, a British socialite and daughter of media tycoon Robert Maxwell, since her university days.
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It was Maxwell who introduced Prince Andrew to Epstein in 1999, and it was because of her that Epstein spent time at royal properties, including Windsor Castle and Sandringham.
Maxwell, 58, is also one of the main figures mentioned in the allegations made against Prince Andrew by Virginia Giuffre Roberts, who claims she was introduced to and subsequently had sex with the prince when she was 17-years-old and a minor under US law.
Prince Andrew denies the claims.
Epstein killed himself in prison in August last year, several weeks after being charged with sex trafficking.
In 2008, he had pleaded guilty to separate charges in Florida of procuring a person under 18 for prostitution and felony solicitation of prostitution. He served 13 months, most of it on work release at a county jail.