Ghislaine Maxwell, the ex-girlfriend of convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein (who died in prison last year), was finally apprehended and arrested by the FBI on 2 July after several years of living under the radar. She stands accused of six offences, two relating to lying in court over her involvement with Epstein's sex trafficking ring – and now, newly unsealed court documents show an email exchange between her and her former partner, in which he tells her she's "done nothing wrong".
The conversation, that took place in 2015, shows Maxwell attempting to distance herself from any romantic relationship with Epstein (who by that point was already convicted of procuring an underage girl for prostitution and of soliciting a prostitute). She writes, "I would appreciate it if Shelley would come out and say she was your g'friend - I think she was from end 99 to 2002." It is currently not known who Shelley is.
Epstein then replies saying, "Ok, with me... You have done nothing wrong and i woudl (sic) urge you to start acting like it. go outside, head high, not as an esacping (sic) convict. go to parties. deal with it." It's thought that Maxwell hopes to use these messages as part of her defence in her future trial, reports the BBC.
Maxwell has previously attempted to stop the court from unsealing these documents, but her requests to keep them private were denied.
It's also reported by the Daily Mail that just days before, Epstein also emailed Maxwell what looks to be a court statement that reads as though it were written by her:
"Since JE was charged in 2007 for solicitation of a prostitute I have been the target of outright lies, innuendo, slander, defamation and salacious gossip and harassment; headlines made up of quotes I have never given, statement I have never made.
"I have never been a party in any criminal action pertaining to JE. Whilst I remained on friendly terms with him up until his plea, I have had limited contact since."
Other documents that have now been made public include the testimony of Virginia Roberts Giuffre, a key whistle-blower in the case, who also alleges that Prince Andrew slept with her while she was a teenager (something that he has repeatedly denied, notably during his Newsnight interview in which he claims he cannot remember ever meeting her). Roberts Giuffre also alleges that Maxwell recruited her "for the purpose of being trafficked".
The trial date is set for July next year.
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