is a UK journalist, ex-Fleet Street editor, financial industry consultant and political communications special advisor in the UK and EU.
After the FBI arrest of Maxwell, the ex-girlfriend of Jeffrey Epstein, her royal pal will hope she keeps close what she knows about his friendship with the disgraced financier and those teenage girls. But his time may be coming.
Ever since the day her father, Robert ‘Cap’n Bob’ Maxwell, fell from the yacht he had named after his daughter and drowned off the Canary Islands, Ghislaine Maxwell has held something of a fascination among people-watchers.
She has long assumed the position of ‘well-connected’ socialite. You never study for that job – it just takes a certain type of woman. Not too smart, not too dumb. Not too attractive, yet not unattractive. Independently wealthy, but with no visible means. No children, preferably, and if they do exist, they’re at boarding school somewhere discreet and expensive. Lots of ‘male’ friends and just as many male ‘friends.’
Unfortunately for Maxwell, one of her more recent beaux was Jeffrey Epstein, and that means this particular well-connected socialite will now be making some new acquaintances in an American prison, after the FBI finally felt emboldened enough to arrest her in regard to her relationship with the totally disgraced and equally dead financier.
Epstein chose the quick way out by apparently committing suicide in his Manhattan jail cell while awaiting trial on sex-trafficking charges last August.
The Feds picked Maxwell up in New Hampshire, US, which must come as a huge surprise to the global press, from the New York Times to the socialite bible Tatler, which all reliably reported last week that she was hiding out in Paris, in a “secret luxury bolthole,” and frequently swapping apartments in the more glamorous arrondissements to evade discovery.
As a French-born fille, she could rely on that country’s aversion to extraditing its citizens to keep her safe, we were told. But like so much around Maxwell, this was deflection and distraction, and, finally, just plain wrong.
While the charges she faces are many and varied, they all revolve around a central allegation: that she was Epstein’s pimp and would groom underage girls – some as young as 14 years old – for him and his friends to have sex with, while, apparently, at the same time, being in an “intimate relationship” with the beast himself. In addition to the main charges, she also faces charges of perjury, as a result of the statements she made to police during their investigation into Epstein’s behaviour.
No doubt she is in deep trouble. So the question is, how does she wriggle out of this one? And that’s where Prince Andrew must be starting to sweat – if, of course, that is physically possible, given the 60-year-old’s purported inability to perspire and all that.
Where the truth lies about his co-operation or refusal to help the FBI with their ongoing investigation into the Epstein sex-trafficking affair, is hard to tell. The Duke of York says he has offered to help the FBI. The FBI says the opposite. And the truth is as hard to discern in this sub-plot as it is anywhere else in this ugly mess. But let’s just say that the man formerly known as Randy Andy will be thinking long and hard about how he left things with Ghislaine Maxwell the last time he saw her.
Desperate times call for desperate measures, and might Ms Maxwell just think the game is finally up, and the time has come to save her own skin and sacrifice a royal’s? The likelihood is she still knows plenty about what really went on between the duke and a 17-year-old teenager, Virginia Roberts Giuffre, who tells anyone that’ll listen that she had sex with him, having been procured by Ghislaine.
This one has it all: underage sex, transatlantic glamour, suicide, socialites, and a royal.
Hands up those who can’t wait to see how it all unfolds…