Daria BedenkoAll materialsWrite to the authorGhislaine Maxwell, an alleged “pimp” of late American sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, is accused of procuring underage girls for him and being a part of his sex-trafficking ring. Insisting she is innocent, Maxwell is to appear on trial on 29 November.Ghislaine Maxwell’s journey from “clever, glittering, Oxford-educated woman” to alleged Epstein sidekick and sex-trafficking co-mastermind is all down to her “daddy issues”, according to a new three-part docuseries by Vicky Ward called ‘Chasing Ghislaine’.Ward is the journalist who first interviewed Jeffrey Epstein back in 2002. In her new documentary dedicated to Maxwell’s personality, she reveals a never-before-heard audiotape of the late sex offender, in which Epstein appears to consider claims about Maxwell’s participation in his affairs.In the recording, when Ward asks him about Maxwell’s involvement such as setting up appointments or dealing with other requests from the financier, Epstein suddenly blurts out: “She doesn’t find girls for me, by the way,” to which the reporter replies: “I didn’t ask you that.”
Maxwell herself denies any wrongdoing. But, according to the new documentary, her “obsession” with Epstein could have stemmed from relations with her own father, Robert Maxwell, who, according to his biographer Martin Dillon, “in many ways was a monster”.
Ward offers several parallels in her documentary: according to the film, on one occasion Epstein walked into his East Side office with a young woman and the two wanted to be intimate in a separate room while Ghislaine was expected to look the other way. She later told a friend about the incident and the friend said that she didn’t have to put up with such behaviour to which Ghislaine replied: “Yes, I do. My father taught me you do whatever it takes to keep your man.”
British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell appears during her arraignment hearing on a new indictment at Manhattan Federal Court in New York City, New York, U.S. April 23, 2021, in this courtroom sketch.Ghislaine is said in the documentary to be one of Robert Maxwell’s favourite children, even though the UK media mogul was notorious for his bullying, both at home and at work.
“Ghislaine was his darling,” Dillon says. “A lot of girls love their father, even though they’re villains. And he was a villain.”
It was reportedly her father who first introduced her to Jeffrey Epstein. However, Robert’s sudden death on 5 November 1991 not only exposed the amount of fraud behind his wealth, but also appeared to “crash” Ghislaine.
Robert did not live long enough to witness his alleged aspiration for Epstein and Ghislaine to become romantically involved with each other and Syrian banker, Amer Pacha, suggests in the documentary that Ghislaine’s father wanted Epstein as his son-in-law.Although Ghislaine, apparently recognising father-like features in Epstein, was “besotted and in love with him”, it was unclear to Ward whether her feelings had ever been reciprocated.
“They clearly had an open relationship and they enjoyed the company of other women. But she seemed almost sad," an anonymous Maxwell assistant reveals in the documentary. "It isn’t what she wanted … It appeared to me she wanted more than he was willing to give.”
Ward also pointed out to the New York Post another parallel between Epstein and Maxwell’s father, saying that Esptein would humiliate her, sometimes in public, just as Robert used to.
“You see how her definition and idea of the ultimate, most desirable male figure is this powerful, brutal, charming man,” Ward said, adding that the sense of security provided to Ghislaine by Epstein's wealth was ephemeral, similar to how her father's wealth and wellbeing was an illusion. "Both men’s fortunes were based on mirages."
Maxwell’s trial in which she faces eight counts is set to start on 29 November. She denies any wrongdoing, and has consistently lamented the conditions in her prison cell, where she has remained since her arrest in 2020. Her brother Ian Maxwell claimed on BBC radio on Monday that a member of the family will be present in the court on every day of the trial to provide support.
However, Maxwell is not the only one suspected to be connected with Epstein’s sex crimes: last week, a list of alleged “co-conspirators” of Epstein emerged online, comprising not only Maxwell, but some prominent media companies such as Disney, Harvey Weinstein and his corporation, Miramax, along with celebrities such as Kanye [Ye] West and Beyonce.
According to The Telegraph, alleged victims of Epstein, whose names were not revealed, have wondered why other “co-conspirators” are not on trial along with Maxwell. The attorneys representing several victims reportedly said it would be a “miscarriage of justice” if other co-conspirators were not held accountable.