Ghislaine Maxwell cried as she was denied bail on Tuesday and learned she must stay locked up until her trial next summer, as Jeffrey Epstein’s accused madam pleaded not guilty to the sex trafficking charges brought against her.
The 58-year-old wiped tears away and hung her head as she learned her fate, wearing a prison-issued brown top and with her normally short hair now long and swept back into a bun, appearing via video link.
U.S. District Judge Alison Nathan denied Maxwell’s proposal of a $5 million bond co-signed by two of her sisters and backed up by more than $3.75 million in property in the UK.
Maxwell’s legal team had argued she would be confined to a ‘luxury hotel’ in the New York area, surrender all her travel documents and be subject to GPS monitoring.
But Judge Nathan ruled the British socialite was a significant flight risk, citing her ‘substantial international’ ties and ‘extraordinary financial resources’, setting an anticipated trial date for July 12, 2021.
Maxwell is accused of grooming girls as young as 14 for Epstein to abuse between 1994 and 1997, a period when she was his girlfriend.
She faces up to 35 years in prison if found guilty of the charges, as prosecutors successfully argued that along with her three passports, connections to some of the world’s most powerful people and her own fortune of more than $10 million – Maxwell had every incentive to try and flee.
Maxwell will now return to the fortress-like Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn where she has been given paper clothes to ensure she doesn’t kill herself.
Maxwell is being closely watched as the Department of Justice wants to ensure she does not kill herself like Epstein, who hanged himself last August while awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges.
During the two hour and 20 minute hearing at Manhattan’s Federal Court, Maxwell appeared via video from the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn.
The small room she was in had white walls, a white bed, a window with frosted glass and a door at the back.
She was wearing a dark brown prison issued top and her dark hair was far longer than in the past – she reportedly has not had a haircut in a year – and was swept behind her head in a bun.
At the start of the hearing, Maxwell rested her elbows on a table in front of the camera and put her head on her hands.
She appeared nervous and pensive and kept looking from side to side, as she leaned into the camera.
Maxwell briefly spoke and only to confirm she could hear the judge and to enter her plea by saying: ‘Not guilty, your honor’.
Her demeanor changed when prosecutor Alison Moe began outlining the allegations against her, sitting back in her chair and bowing her head when Moe accused her of ‘sexual abuse of minors’.
With every allegation, Maxwell either scratched her face or moved her hair, but was emotionless as victim impact statements were read aloud.
It wasn’t until Judge Nathan started reading her decision that Maxwell finally broke down. She began moving uneasily in her chair as the judge said the evidence against her was ‘strong’.
When Judge Nathan said a ‘combination of factors’ showed she had the ‘motive and opportunity’ to flee before her trial, Maxwell wiped a tear away.
The second tear fell as the judge said Maxwell was ‘sophisticated at hiding her financial resources’.