Ghislaine Maxwell prison horror as fellow inmate plotted to ‘strangle her in her sleep’

The disgraced British socialite was convicted on December 29 of sex trafficking and related charges for aiding the late financier Jeffrey Epstein in his abuse of girls – some as young as 14. Maxwell insists on her innocence and still plans to appeal. Her attorneys on Wednesday provided detailed descriptions of her allegedly perilous conditions in jail in a pre-sentencing report.

In a memorandum to Judge Alison Nathan, they made the shocking allegation that “an inmate in Ms Maxwell’s unit threatened to kill her, claiming that an additional 20 years’ incarceration would be worth the money she’d receive for murdering Ms Maxwell”.

They claimed: “One of the female inmates in Ms Maxwell’s housing unit told at least three other inmates that she had been offered money to murder Ms Maxwell and that she planned to strangle her in her sleep.”

Maxwell “has effectively traded the stress of flashlight checks every 15 minutes in the middle of the night while in isolation for the equivalent stress of having to sleep with one eye open”, they said.

The memorandum read: “The incident reflects the brutal reality that there are numerous prison inmates who would not hesitate to kill Ms Maxwell, whether for money, fame or simple ‘street cred’.”

READ MORE: Ghislaine Maxwell ‘hated’ Princess Diana and ‘made her cry’

Maxwell’s attorneys added she would have to “live with this threat . . . every day that she is incarcerated” wherever she is put behind bars once sentenced.

The alleged harsh conditions of Maxwell’s incarceration — such as being checked every 15 minutes, even at night — were triggered by the scandal that followed the death of Epstein, who killed himself aged 66 while awaiting trial in a New York City federal jail in 2019.

He had been arrested by federal authorities in July 2019 on sex-trafficking counts.

Lawyers described Maxwell, 60, as someone with “energy, drive, commitment, a strong work ethic, and desire to do good in the world” in their submission and said she should be sentenced to “well below” the 20 years imprisonment that probation authorities have recommended.

They argued she can’t be a surrogate for Epstein, arguing “this Court cannot sentence Ms Maxwell as if she were a proxy for Epstein simply because Epstein is no longer here”.

They wrote: “Ms Maxwell cannot and should not bear all the punishment for which Epstein should have been held responsible.

“Ms Maxwell has already experienced a hard time during detention under conditions far more onerous and punitive than any experienced by a typical pretrial detainee, and she is preparing to spend significantly more time behind bars.

“Her life has been ruined.”

“Ms Maxwell is not a dangerous criminal or a habitual offender.

“She is someone who wants nothing more than to live a normal family life – something she was denied because of her association with Epstein and will now almost certainly never have.

“The public does not need to be protected from Ms Maxwell and such considerations should have no weight in determining her sentence.”

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Maxwell’s sentencing will take place nearly three months after Judge Nathan rejected her request for a new trial following revelations that a juror in her case did not disclose childhood sexual abuse during jury selection.

Juror No 50, Scotty David, sat for interviews following the trial during which he opened up about experiencing childhood sexual abuse.

Mr David claimed he told other jurors about this in order for them to understand facts from a victim’s point of view.

When questioned by the judge on March 8 about this omission, he claimed he was distracted while completing the screening questionnaire.

Judge Nathan ruled she believed Mr David had made an “honest mistake” and “that Juror 50 was not biased and would not have been stricken for cause even if he had answered each question on the questionnaire accurately”.

Maxwell’s lawyers urged the judge, to whom the sentence is ultimately up, not to be influenced by an “inexorable drumbeat of public condemnation calling for her to be locked away for good”.

They warned against any attempts to “heal the wounds caused by Epstein” by “heaping on Ms Maxwell’s shoulders the pain of every one of his victims”.

Maxwell is scheduled to be sentenced on June 28 and faces up to 55 years in jail.