Ghislaine Maxwell, the former girlfriend of convicted paedophile Jeffrey Epstein, is being guarded round the clock by former US Navy SEALs amid concern that her life is in danger, The Mail on Sunday can reveal.
A source says ex-special forces are shuttling the 58-year-old friend of Prince Andrew from one safe house to another across the American Midwest following ‘credible death threats’.
Epstein is said to have sexually abused dozens of teenage girls and Miss Maxwell, along with others, is alleged to have ‘facilitated’ his behaviour. She has denied any wrongdoing.
Ghislaine Maxwell, right, with Prince Andrew and Virginia Roberts, centre, in 2001. A source says ex-special forces are shuttling Miss Maxwell from one safe house to another
She is now the principal focus of an FBI investigation and is said to hold the key to the truth about the Duke of York’s relationship with the disgraced financier and whether he had sex with a 17-year-old girl. The Duke has repeatedly denied these allegations and any suggestion of wrongdoing.
While Miss Maxwell has never been accused by the authorities of criminal wrongdoing, Epstein’s alleged victims have portrayed her as his ‘madam’ and ‘fixer’.
A source said: ‘There has been so much rubbish written about Ghislaine. The reality is she receives multiple, credible death threats on a daily basis. The hate mail is sometimes 2ft high.
‘She is constantly moving. Her life is in danger. She is being guarded by the best of the very best and that includes former US Navy SEALs. She’s not under the protection of any government. She’s on her own.’
Miss Maxwell has allegedly refused to defend Prince Andrew publicly. A source told the New York Post she ‘carefully considered it’ but decided it ‘wasn’t in her best interests’
Miss Maxwell and Epstein. While Miss Maxwell has never been accused by the authorities of criminal wrongdoing, Epstein’s alleged victims have portrayed her as his ‘madam’ and ‘fixer’
Asked about reports last week that Miss Maxwell was being sheltered in Israel and supported by wealthy friends, the source said: ‘I only wish. This is costing her a fortune. She moves constantly. The reports are just b*******.’
Prince Andrew was forced to step back from public life following a disastrous Newsnight interview about his friendship with Epstein, who was found dead in his cell last year. During the interview, the Duke invoked his friendship with Miss Maxwell, the daughter of disgraced media tycoon Robert Maxwell, as the reason he came into Epstein’s orbit.
‘Extra bed sheets and cord found in Epstein’s jail cell’
Multiple bed sheets and an electrical cord were reportedly found in Jeffrey Epstein’s jail cell after he killed himself, a US current affairs show claims.
When the body of the disgraced financier was discovered – possibly up to two hours after he died – guards were heard saying: ‘Breathe, Epstein, breathe.’
CBS’s 60 Minutes, due to be screened today, raises fresh questions about the Metropolitan Correctional Center in New York, where Epstein was being held when he died last August.
His death has been ruled a suicide by hanging.
As well as more sheets than were required for the cell, 60 Minutes says a pen, paper and handwritten note were found.
Last month, Virginia Roberts, who now uses her married name Giuffre, accused the Duke of knowing she been trafficked to the UK when they allegedly met when she was 17. She has previously claimed Andrew bought her alcohol in London’s Tramp nightclub before they had sex at Miss Maxwell’s home.
The Duke has repeatedly denied the allegation, insisting he spent the evening at home after taking his eldest daughter Beatrice to a Pizza Express in Woking, Surrey.
Last week it was claimed he begged Miss Maxwell to defend him publicly, but she reportedly refused. A source told the New York Post: ‘She carefully considered it, but decided no good would come of it. It isn’t in her best interests.’
Sources told The Mail on Sunday Miss Maxwell has become ‘increasingly frustrated’ with the ‘lies’ being told about her. One said: ‘She’s become the most hunted and hated woman in the world. The reality is she’s done nothing wrong. Her life has been ruined but she’s fully confident she will be vindicated.
‘She believes her good name will be cleared – eventually. There is another side to the story and it will come out. For now, people assume she is guilty. She’s living a nightmare and trusts no one.
‘Ghislaine is prepared to face it in a court of law but not in the court of the media or Twitter. She has a story to tell and she will tell it when the time is right.’
Miss Maxwell’s lawyers declined to comment.