Ghislaine Maxwell Proposes $28.5 Million Bond As She Again Seeks Freedom
(Bloomberg) -- Ghislaine Maxwell again asked to be released from jail while awaiting trial on federal sex-trafficking charges, proposing a $28.5 million bond, backed by her unidentified spouse, that she claims will ensure she doesn’t flee.
Maxwell, 58, has been jailed since she was arrested on July 2 at her estate in Bradford, New Hampshire. U.S. District Judge Alison Nathan in New York rejected Maxwell’s initial offer to post a $5 million bond and submit to house arrest, ruling that her “extraordinary” financial resources and “international ties” presented a risk she would flee.
“Ms. Maxwell is proposing an expansive set of bail conditions that is more than adequate to address any concern regarding risk of flight and reasonably assure Ms. Maxwell’s presence in court,” her lawyers said in a filing Monday.
Maxwell has pleaded not guilty to charges she trafficked girls with her former boyfriend, money manager Jeffrey Epstein, whose death in a Manhattan lockup was ruled a suicide. An Oxford-educated former British socialite, Maxwell holds citizenship from France, which doesn’t extradite its citizens. Her lawyers say she should be released to help prepare to defend the charges. They claim she’s vulnerable to infection with Covid-19 if she remains jailed, and that she’s been mistreated.
The bond request was filed Dec. 8 under seal in Manhattan federal court. Maxwell’s lawyers filed a raft of letters in the renewed bid to win release on bail, including one from her spouse whose identity was redacted but who the lawyers said is a U.S. citizen. The spouse co-signed a personal bond of $22.5 million.
She and her spouse have lived a quiet family life for more than four years immediately prior to her arrest, according to the letter. Her lawyers argued that her spouse is another factor preventing her from fleeing.
Maxwell maintained a low profile not to evade law enforcement but due to the media frenzy and threats following Epstein’s arrest and death, according to the filing. Her lawyers claim they were in constant contact with prosecutors, adding that Maxwell would have surrendered to avoid the “unnecessary early morning raid” in New Hampshire when she was detained.
The unwanted attention explains why her spouse didn’t initially co-sign her bond, according to the filing. Individuals willing to co-sign Maxwell’s bond “have been physically stalked by members of the tabloid press and have had paparazzi jump out of bushes and in front of their cars to snap pictures of them,” according to her lawyers.
Nathan has rejected Maxwell’s request for a closed hearing.
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