The question of where Jeffrey Epstein confidante Ghislaine Maxwell is hiding out grew murkier Monday as a British newspaper claimed that a photo of her at a Los Angeles burger joint—published by a New York tabloid—was staged by her attorney.
Reporters at the Daily Mail went to great lengths to debunk the supposedly candid shot: examining the photo metadata, comparing pictures of a dog named Dexter, and confirming that an image in the background appeared to be altered.
Maxwell, who has been accused of procuring and grooming underage girls for Epstein, vanished from public view after he was indicted for sex trafficking—charges that were dropped after he killed himself in his jail cell.
Last week, the Mail published what it has been calling a “world exclusive,” a story that said Maxwell has been holed up in the Massachusetts home of her purported lover, tech entrepreneur Scott Borgerson.
Part of the London paper’s proof was a photo of Borgerson walking a dog it said belongs to Maxwell near his Boston apartment—but it didn’t get a picture of the socialite herself.
The next day, the Mail’s report was thrown into doubt when the New York Post published photos of Maxwell eating outside an In-N-Out Burger outlet in Universal City, California.
The Post claimed that another diner had spotted Maxwell, recognized her and confirmed her identity. Maxwell was said to have told the other burger lover, “Well, I guess this is the last time I'll be eating here!”
Not to be outdone, the Mail began digging into the Post picture. It examined the metadata on the photo and discovered it was tagged with the word Meadowgate, which is also the name of a firm tied to California lawyer Leah Saffian, who has represented Maxwell’s brother in the past.
The Mail combed through Saffian’s social media accounts and concluded that her dog, Dexter, is the same canine as the one seen at Maxwell’s feet in the burger photos.
In addition, the eagle-eyed Mail scribes noticed that the photo shows an ad for the new movie Good Boys on a bus shelter a short distance from the In-N-Out. But reporters who went to the scene found a poster for a hospital on that shelter—and the advertising company confirmed that had been up there since July 28.
Their conclusion? “The first picture of Ghislaine Maxwell in more than three years was staged by her close friend and attorney, Leah Saffian,” the Mail wrote.
The Mail is sticking to its contention that Maxwell was spending time in Massachusetts, noting that her sister, Christine Maxwell, was seen by a rival newspaper checking out of a hotel in a town near Borgerson's house. Borgerson denies he is involved with Maxwell or that she is living with him.
The New York Post did not immediately respond to a request for comment, and Saffian could not be reached for comment.
Maxwell has denied wrongdoing. Earlier this month, she was sued by one of Epstein’s accusers, who said she facilitated her rape inside the financier’s Manhattan mansion nearly 20 years ago.