Ghislaine Maxwell’s lawyers say their client is being abused in prison and that she is “a shell of her former self” as a result of her incarceration.
In a letter to New York District Court Judge Alison Nathan, Maxwell’s lawyers write, “The overall conditions of detention have had a detrimental impact on Ms. Maxwell’s health and overall well-being; and she is withering to a shell of her former self—losing weight, losing hair, and losing her ability to concentrate.”
The alleged madam to Jeffrey Epstein is charged with six counts of sex trafficking minors and perjury for allegedly recruiting and grooming young girls for the pedophile financier. She has been in solitary confinement in the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn for more than 200 days, according to her attorneys. Her trial is slated to begin in summer 2021.
Maxwell’s lawyers, who have repeatedly complained of prison conditions in their numerous bids to have her released on bond, describe her conditions as hellish. They say her security guards shine a light into her isolation cell every 15 minutes, precluding a restful night’s sleep, and that she was “physically abused during a pat down search.” The attorneys also allege she has been physically searched upwards of 1,400 times since July, and that she has faced retaliation for asking that cameras record the searches.
“Ms. Maxwell continues to be at the mercy of a revolving group of security officers who are used to guarding hundreds of inmates but now focus their undivided attention exclusively on one respectful, middle-aged female pretrial detainee,” her lawyers wrote, going on to add that “she has never received a properly heated meal” and is subject to “odorous” tap water.
Prosecutors, on the other hand, have described Maxwell’s incarceration situation as luxe. They said in December she is allowed 13 hours out of her cell each day, a shower to herself, as well as her own phone, two computers, and a TV. They also have cited the months she spent in hiding in New Hampshire before her arrest as proof she would pose a flight risk if released.
But Maxwell’s attorneys further claim the prison has deprived her of information: newspapers, they say, arrive six weeks late, and her emails have allegedly been deleted from prison computers, corroding her ability to communicate with her defense lawyers.
The lawyers end the letter with a flourish of wordplay, writing, “Ms. Maxwell feels she is detained under the control of the Bureau of ‘Pretrial Punishment.’”
Maxwell was arrested in July 2020 in her remote New Hampshire mansion after a worldwide search for her. She has been denied bail twice, most recently in December, as the court agreed with prosecutors’ assertions that she would pose a flight risk.