Submitted by George Callaghan…
The name on everyone’s lips is Ghislaine Maxwell. But who is she? Madame? Procurer? Socialite? Charity fundraiser? Poor little rich girl? Or a victim of outrageous smears?
Since the suspicious death of Jeffrey Epstein attention has shifted to the woman who was his girlfriend for 28 years. She must know everything about him. Everything! After Prince Andrew’s calamitous BBC interview people want to know where the third person in this whole sorry episode is. Where on earth is Ghislaine Maxwell? The prince, to give him his due, at least had the guts to face a tough interview. Miss Maxwell has repeatedly refused to answer questions about the Epstein scandal. Ghislaine Maxwell has gone to ground. Speculation is rife as to where she might be hiding. Why is this social butterfly now evanescent? It does not imply innocence.
Ghislaine Maxwell was born in Paris in 1961. Note the ‘s’ in her name is silent. Her father was the self-made multimillionaire Robert Maxwell. Her mother was a Frenchwoman. Robert Maxwell was born Jan Hoch. He changed his name five times. Never trust a man who does not tell the truth about his name. He grew up in an impecunious Jewish family in Slovakia. At the age of 16 he moved to the United Kingdom and enlisted in the British Army. By all accounts he served gallantly and was granted British citizenship. Why did he pick the surname Maxwell despite never having been to North Britain? The ‘max’ part reminded him of ‘maximum’ and ‘well’ is related to ‘good’. It seemed like the optimal name.
Most of his relatives stayed behind and were murdered in the Holocaust. Robert was an autodidact and spoke flawless English. It is hard not to feel sorry for a man who has experienced so much tragedy so young. But he then went on to be a huckster and a fraudster. That is not Ghislaine’s fault. Her father founded a scientific publishing company despite not even having completed secondary education. He also own the Daily Mirror newspaper. He was even briefly Labour MP for Buckingham.
Of Robert Maxwell’s nine children his daughter Ghislaine was the one he adored most. She was brought up in France and the United Kingdom. She read French at Oxford University. At this time she got to know Prince Andrew who is a year older than her.
In the 1980s Ghislaine joined the international jet set. This party girl traveled between London, Paris, LA and anywhere the rich and infamous are to be seen. Her father rented Headington Hill House from Oxford City Council. He joked that it was the largest council house in the realm. His appalling mistreatment of his employees led the National Union of Journalists to stage a picket outside the gates of his house for years. Despite being a rapacious and avaricious capitalist he still called himself a socialist and expressed sympathy for communism.
Robert Maxwell was an outspoken advocate of the cause of Israel. He also funded Holocaust education. Maxwell had a very cosy relationship with the communist governments of Eastern Europe. Why? His family in Czechoslovakia were all dead. Perhaps he appreciated communists for having fought the Nazis and not discriminating against Jews. There was also emolument to be made from being tight with communist governments. It could be that the Israelis asked Robert to be a conduit to some of these communist administrations. Robert exaggerated his closeness to communist leaders as well as his linguistic aptitude. In terms of his prestige lies and his fraud he was like Trump but not as bad.
In 1991 Robert Maxwell was over £3 billion in debt. His investments proved to be unsound and many of his businesses had turned to make losses. Robert was turning to drink and an affair with his PA to cope. He had borrowed to pay off his borrowing. Soon he could not even service the interest on the interest. He tried every trick in the book. He ran out of ruses. For years he had been notorious as a verbally abusive and an irascible employer. The satirical political commentary magazine Private Eye had long been cognizant of Robert Maxwell’s behaviour. It libel proofed its stories on him by passing them off as figments of a droll imagination – tales about a fictive character named ‘Captain Bob.’ This was an allusion to Maxwell’s penchant for yachting. It was an odd pastime for a man from a landlocked country.
In early 1991 despite serious financial worries Robert Maxwell thought the game was not yet up. He could raise more loans in the United States. He sent his beloved Ghislaine to New York to set up the family name there. Once she got to know the right people she could introduce her father to those with the deepest pockets.
Ghislaine arrived in New York determined to make a splash on the social scene. She certainly succeeded. Leggy, elegant, suave, educated and affable she was adept at working a room. Soon she attracted the attention of a self-made billionaire named Jeffrey Epstein. A billionaire aged 38 must be in want of a wife. Ghislaine seemed to tick all the boxes and she was Jewish. Admittedly that was only on her father’s side and many hold that this side does not count. Traditionally Jewishness is matrilineal. Moreover, Ghislaine was raised in the Christian faith.
In October 1991 Robert Maxwell’s world came crashing down. No one would lend him a bean. In the 1980s he had been able to rely on friends in high places in communist governments. By late 1991 there were no communists governments left in Eastern Europe. He was refusing to take calls from his banks. Bankers were hammering on his office door in London. They were gripped by blind panic. What did the infamous Captain Bob do? He set sail. Into the sunset?
Robert Maxwell sailed on his yacht Lady Ghislaine which he had named after his favourite child. In the middle of the night he fell off his yacht. Or was he pushed? Or did he jump? Whether by accident or design he died in the sea off the Canary Islands. Then it all came out in the wash. He had stolen over £300 million from the pension fund of his employees. His sons were deeply involved in his business and stood trial for fraud. They were acquitted.
After her father’s death Ghislaine stayed in the United States. Although her father’s business empire was bankrupt she had plenty of money in the bank. She kept the London flat her father had gifted her. In the mid 1990s she was the chatelaine of Epstein’s various palatial abodes. At any dinner party he threw she was clearly the hostess. In the 1990s she rubbed shoulders with Donald Trump and President Clinton. It suits both Bill Clinton and Trump to forget it but for years they were as thick as thieves.
Jeffrey Epstein never wed. Perhaps it hurt Ghislaine that he did not propose. But she did not show it and continued to spend a great deal of time with Jeffrey. She continued to look radiant into her 50s. But if you have all the time and all the money in the world to spend on fitness, skin treatments, hair treatments, cosmetics, clothes and surgery that is not difficult.
Mr Epstein had a predilection for underage girls. As we now know he molested at least several of them. His felonies may have extended as far as rape. Many have accused his partner of luring minors to his dwelling place for the purpose of abusing them. It is uncertain whether this is true or not. Jeffrey Epstein flew these minors on his Lolita Express to Palm Beach, the Bahamas and other locations.
J Epstein had multiple residences. Some of them were complexes of buildings. It is possible that minors were kept in one building and Ghislaine Maxwell in another. Was she not aware that the girls were there? Did she not know the age of these minors? Perhaps she did not now what Jeffrey did to them.
Miss Maxwell is a British and a French citizen. She is entitled to claim Slovak and Israeli citizenship. It is unclear whether she has claimed them. If this woman has an ounce of sense she will be in France. The French never extradite their own citizens. That is why Roman Polanski is safe there. There are people baying for Ghislaine’s blood. It is not surprising that she keeps a low profile.
Many people detests Miss Maxwell and assume her to be guilty of many counts of a felony. People have said highly damaging things about her. But she has not taken legal action. If the statements about her are defamatory why is there little denial?
The Duke of York’s interview was revealing. Emily Maitlis put it to him that Victoria Roberts alleged that he had sex with her when she was 17. ‘I have no recollection of ever meeting this woman’ he said. Notably he did not deny copulating with her! If he never met her then he cannot have had intercourse with her. But his choice of words spoke volumes. He left the possibility open that he met her and had sex with her but has forgotten her. As for his claim not to recall making her acquaintance – Mandy Rice-Davies Applies. Perhaps having carnal knowledge of a 17 year old was so banal for him at the age of 42 that he forgot her. The point is this alleged encounter took place in Ghislaine Maxwell’s London flat! It is in Belgravia and the flat is not that big. How could she not have known what His Royal Highness was up to?
What did G Maxwell know and when did he know it? Was she selectively blind and deaf? Hear no evil, see no evil and speak no evil. She made a name for herself on the charity dinner circuit. She professed herself to be deeply concerned about the ocean. She was curiously unconcerned about child welfare.
The British Police tend to take a proactive approach to allegations of sex crimes. If they hear a rumour – even if a crime is not formally reported – they tend to make inquiries. Why is it that the UK Police have not asked to speak to Miss Maxwell even as a witness? Is it possible that she might have heard or seen something that could help the police with their investigation? Remember some of the alleged offences took place in the United Kingdom.
Unfortunately, some anti-Semites on the internet have used Miss Maxwell’s Jewish ethnicity against her. Even if she is a bad person her ethnicity is nothing to do with it. Anti-Semitism is foul and despicable. For the avoidance of doubt: this article in no wise endorses any of the anti-Semitic innuendo published about Ghislaine Maxwell or Jeffrey Epstein.
Ghislaine Maxwell has never been convicted of a crime or charged with one. She has not been questioned as a witness. Everyone deserves the presumption of innocence. That includes G Maxwell.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.