Where in the world is Ghislaine Maxwell?
Police are reportedly scrambling to find the 57-year-old British socialite—and accused madam of deceased sex offender Jeffrey Epstein—as she faces a new lawsuit from one victim who alleges Maxwell gave “organizational support to Epstein’s sex-trafficking ring” and procured “underage girls for Epstein’s sexual pleasure.”
Since Epstein’s apparent jail-cell suicide on Saturday, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York said their sex-trafficking and conspiracy probe into the multimillionaire’s orbit is ongoing. (In a July court filing, prosecutors said they were investigating “uncharged individuals” in Epstein’s case.)
Attorney General William Barr has vowed that authorities are coming for Epstein’s alleged accomplices. “Let me assure you that case will continue on against anyone who was complicit with Epstein,” Barr said Monday. “Any co-conspirators should not rest easy. Victims deserve justice and will get it.”
Maxwell hasn’t been charged with any crimes in connection to Epstein. And for years, she has denied any wrongdoing, in particular after accuser Virginia Roberts Giuffre claimed that Maxwell and Epstein groomed her for sex with Britain’s Prince Andrew. (Buckingham Palace and Andrew also deny that anything improper happened.)
But last Friday, a tranche of unsealed documents in a defamation lawsuit filed by Giuffre spelled out how Maxwell allegedly drove around seeking teen “masseuses” for Epstein to abuse, and how she allegedly participated in the sexual abuse herself and kept a “sex slave” of her own.
David Boies, a lawyer for Giuffre and other Epstein victims, said Maxwell should be prosecutors’ next logical focus after Epstein’s demise.
“Maxwell is not gonna be able to hide,” Boies told The Daily Beast. “There’s no place in the civilized world where she can go and not be found. And unlike Epstein, she does not have the massive resources that would be required to carve out a new life in some obscure place where she cannot be extradited from.”
“I think it’s interesting to speculate as to where she is. I also think the more important issue is: where do the prosecutors stand in bringing a case and is she cooperating?”
It’s unclear if Maxwell has spoken to authorities after Epstein’s arrest. Multiple lawyers of Maxwell’s didn’t return messages seeking comment.
“Maxwell is not gonna be able to hide. There’s no place in the civilized world where she can go and not be found.”
Friends of Maxwell tell The Daily Beast that she is lying low in France, where she has been known to stay at Epstein’s residence on Paris’s exclusive Avenue Foch near the Arc de Triomphe. “She isn’t responding to even her closest friends’ calls,” said one person who had tried reaching her in recent weeks.
Epstein purchased multiple properties within a building at 22 Avenue Foch for about 1.5 million euros in 2002, and officials in France have called for a police probe into his activities there.
Maxwell’s sister Christine also owns property in France.
Yet on Wednesday, the Daily Mail reported that Maxwell wasn’t holed up somewhere in Europe—but in the secluded mansion of tech CEO and maritime expert Scott Borgerson in Manchester-by-the-Sea, Massachusetts. The British tabloid snapped photos of Borgerson, 43, walking a dog it claims is Maxwell’s.
“She’s become a real homebody, rarely ventures out,” a source told the Mail. “She’s the antithesis of the woman who traveled extensively and partied constantly with Epstein.”
Outside the wooded trail to Borgerson’s manse, where dogs were barking, a woman drove by and told a Daily Beast reporter of Maxwell: “Is she still there? They better get her out fast because the town will run her out.”
Residents in the downtown Manchester area—less than two miles from Borgerson’s home—did not recognize Maxwell or her boyfriend, and only a few had heard about her connection to Epstein.
A 66-year-old resident who has been living in the area since 1993 said he heard the news from a friend, and said he found it “surprising.”
“This is not the kind of community that tolerates that crap,” he said.
Another woman who asked not to be named said she was horrified to hear people connected to Epstein lived in the area. “I don’t care what political side you’re on … I have less than zero tolerance. If she’s guilty I don’t want her in my town,” said the 46-year-old attorney, who said she’s worked with women who have been trafficked for sex.
“If she’s falsely accused, then it’s horrible. If she’s rightly accused it’s repulsive and disgusting,” the lawyer said.
In the city of Boston, where Borgerson owns another property close to the state house and the next to the city’s historic park, all was business as usual.
The strip of street his property is located on is a quiet area in Beacon Hill—a neighborhood known for its high housing costs and a stone’s throw from the bustling downtown area.
“Is she still there? They better get her out fast because the town will run her out.”
— A neighbor in Manchester-by-the-Sea
Reached by The Daily Beast, Borgerson denied that he was dating Maxwell or that she was staying at his $3 million home. “Ghislaine is not at my house. She’s a friend—former friend. Not true,” Borgerson said, adding that he was about to board a plane and would call police in light of the Mail’s report to protect his house and his family.
“The police are coming to my house,” he said. “No one’s home except my cat.”
In a text message to a Daily Beast reporter, Borgerson added, “Hi, I’m traveling abroad for business. Ghislaine Maxwell is not at my home and I don’t know where she is. I’m passionate about ocean policy and wish people were as interested in Jones Act reform, joining the law of the sea, and funding icebreakers.”
Borgerson was listed as a “director” of Maxwell’s ocean nonprofit, the TerraMar Project, in 2013 tax filings. That year, Maxwell and Borgerson both attended the Arctic Circle Assembly in Reykjavík. While Maxwell was representing TerraMar, Borgerson was there as CEO of CargoMetrics, a Boston-based firm that “delivers transformative quantitative investing and maritime shipping solutions, anchored in its proprietary platform that tracks all seaborne cargoes and vessels,” according to one press release.
In 2014, a United Nations event featured Maxwell as a speaker. According to her bio in the program, Maxwell’s “web-based non-profit” aimed “to protect the Oceans by empowering a global community of ocean citizens.” It further described Maxwell as “a private helicopter pilot and an Emergency Medical Technician and a qualified ROV and Deepworker submarine pilot.”
A former Coast Guard officer, Borgerson was also a fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, which featured Borgerson and Maxwell as speakers during one 2014 talk titled “Governing the Ocean Commons: Growing Challenges, New Approaches.” Friends of Maxwell, according to The New York Times, said Borgerson became her boyfriend. Maxwell had allegedly described Borgerson as a “Navy SEAL” to her pals.
Maxwell’s dubious charity also roped in the Clinton Global Initiative, the now-defunct networking platform for the Clinton Foundation. In the fall of 2013, CGI named TerraMar as one of the “commitments to action” at their annual meeting.
Indeed, Maxwell was tied to the Clintons for years and attended Chelsea’s wedding in 2010. She’s also flown on President Trump’s private jet, according to Politico, which reported Maxwell helped get Epstein access to Trumpworld, including parties at Mar-a-Lago.
A blurb on the Clinton Foundation’s website announced TerraMar would launch the Sustainable Oceans Alliance “to mobilize the international community and the public at large on the importance of the Oceans and the Seas and to ensure that the 193 UN Member States recognize and incorporate oceans in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), to be adopted in 2015.”
While TerraMar’s website listed modelling mogul Paolo Zampolli as a member of the Alliance, Zampolli recently told Politico he didn’t know Maxwell was involved. Zampolli said he remembered the late diplomat Stuart Beck, a former director of TerraMar, brought Maxwell to the United Nations twice to discuss her ocean activism.
Zampolli reiterated this in an interview with The Daily Beast.
“She came to the United Nations twice to meet with me. She had a very creative idea about the oceans,” Zampolli told one Daily Beast scribe. “She wanted to create awareness and give free passports to the ocean. Oceans are so big. Her idea wasn’t aligned with the charter of the U.N.”
“She was very active and knowledgeable about the oceans,” he added. “I learnt after the meetings the Clinton foundation was funding her. She did not give us money. It was not a United Nations idea. It was a virtual passport. It’s like getting a piece of ice from an eskimo. It would be like getting a passport for an ice cube.”
Shortly after Epstein’s arrest, TerraMar disabled its website and the New York Post reported that the feds were probing the charity over its potential connection to Epstein.
“The TerraMar Project is sad to announce that it will cease all operations,” a message on the group’s defunct site reads. “The web site will be closed. TerraMar’s mission has always been to connect ocean lovers to positive actions, highlight science, and bring conscious change to how to people from across the globe can live, work and enjoy the ocean.”
Still, if Maxwell isn’t taking refuge in the Eastern Seaboard, perhaps she’s at one of her relatives’ properties in France.
Maxwell was born in Maisons-Laffitte, in the Paris suburbs, to a French mother (Holocaust researcher Elisabeth “Betty” Maxwell) and a Czech-born father, the notorious publishing mogul Robert Maxwell who died mysteriously after falling from his yacht, the Lady Ghislaine, after he’d plundered hundreds of millions from his Daily Mirror employees’ pension fund.
She and several of her six surviving siblings—as well as her late mother, who died in 2013—had homes in various small towns in the south of France. Her older sister, Christine Malina-Maxwell, has a home in Meyreuil, a semi-rural village about 8 miles from Aix-en-Provence. Nobody was home at the walled-in villa when The Daily Beast rang the gate buzzer Wednesday.
Most of the surrounding estates seemed empty. A neighbor directly across the way had a strange reaction when asked if he knew the Malinas or Ghislaine Maxwell. He seemed to confirm that a man with the last name Malina lived there but said he’d never heard of Ghislaine Maxwell. But as the reporter was leaving, he started laughing and said, “Maybe they’re all there.”
Meanwhile, there was no answer at Maxwell’s townhouse on Kinnerton Street in London’s Belgravia district. A gaggle of press shutterbugs told a Daily Beast reporter they’ve seen no signs of life at the home over the last two or three weeks.
Neighbors say the house, which had fresh flowers in its window boxes, hasn’t appeared lived-in for a while. “I’ve only seen someone go in and out a couple of times and my first thought was that it was maybe a cleaner,” said one resident who has lived on the street since last year. “It’s not really the kind of street where everyone talks to each other. It’s actually been quite nice having all you lot (journalists) around because there’s been someone to talk to.”
Another neighbor said she didn’t recognize Maxwell’s name and said of the townhouse, “I have no idea who lives there. A few of us know each other on the street but I don’t know who lives at that house.”
According to public records, the property hasn’t been sold since 1997. The windows of the home appear to match those in the infamous photo of Prince Andrew with his arm around the bare midriff of Virginia Roberts, now Virginia Giuffre, as Maxwell smiles behind them.
In a 2015 court declaration, Giuffre stated, “One day when I was in London (specifically in a townhouse that is under Maxwell’s name), I got news from Maxwell that I would be meeting a prince. Later that day, Epstein told me I was meeting a ‘major prince.’ Epstein told me ‘to exceed’ everything I had been taught.”
“He emphasized that whatever Prince Andrew wanted, I was to make sure he got,” Giuffre added. “Eventually Prince Andrew arrived, along with his security guards. The guards then went out of the house and stayed out front in their car. It was just Epstein, Maxwell, and me inside alone with Andy.”
Maxwell’s name is also connected to a cottage in Salisbury, records show, for her company Ellmax. In 2015, the Daily Mail reported the home was occupied by Maxwell’s old friend, Catherine Vaughan Edwards. (Katie Vaughan Edwards was listed as a “director” of TerraMar in 2012 tax records.)
The New York Post, which revealed Maxwell posed for racy photos in the 1990s wearing an American flag bikini, reported that the British heiress was last spotted on Manhattan’s social scene in October 2016.
One fellow socialite told the Post, “What’s crazy—now—is that other women liked her and really thought she was a ‘girl’s girl.’ The friend added, “I would see her at parties and she seemed perfectly lovely—but then I would hear these stories about her.”
Wherever Maxwell is, she’s surely heard the news of Jeffrey Epstein’s demise. The two were entwined romantically, financially—and, some say, criminally—for years.
According to one unsealed deposition, Epstein’s former house manager in Palm Beach, Juan Alessi, said Maxwell “became the supervisor not only for this house, but for all the homes” when Epstein was absent. Alessi said more than 100 girls came to Epstein’s mansion during his employment, and that he cleaned and returned sex toys to Maxwell’s closet.
“Maybe they’re all there.”
— A neighbor of one of the Maxwell homes in France
Asked who went out looking for girls, Alessi said, “Ms. Maxwell, Mr. Epstein and their friends, because their friends relayed to other friends they knew a massage therapist and they would send to the house. So it was referrals.”
A butler for Epstein’s ex-girlfriend, Eva Andersson-Dubin, detailed one occasion where Maxwell, Epstein, and an unnamed 15-year-old girl from Sweden, entered the home Dubin shares with her husband Glenn, a billionaire hedge-funder.
The employee, Rinaldo Rizzo, testified that Eva brought the girl into the kitchen and left. The teen, who was distraught, told Rizzo she was Epstein’s personal assistant. She then burst into tears, claiming she was on Epstein’s island with Maxwell and Epstein’s ex-assistant, co-conspirator Sarah Kellen. The trio had asked her for sex, and she said no.
According to Rizzo, the girl didn’t know how she got to the Dubins’ residence from the island and claimed Kellen snatched her passport and phone and handed them to Maxwell. The girl then allegedly told Rizzo, “I was threatened by Ghislaine not to discuss this.”
Giuffre claimed in a deposition that Maxwell had sex with underage girls every day Giuffre was around her—and that Maxwell directed her to have sex with Glenn Dubin, Prince Andrew, former New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson, MIT mathematician Marvin Minsky, former Senator George Mitchell, model scout Jean-Luc Brunel, and the owner of a large hotel chain. (The men have denied her claims.)
“You know, I was told to do something by these people constantly, told to—my whole life revolved around just pleasing these men and keeping Ghislaine and Jeffrey happy,” Giuffre testified. “Their whole entire lives revolved around sex.”
Giuffre’s defamation suit against Maxwell, filed in 2015, described the socialite as a “primary co-conspirator” who was granted immunity via Epstein’s 2007 plea agreement. This week, attorneys for Epstein’s victims suing the government asked a judge to rescind the deal’s provisions that protected Epstein’s accomplices, stating, “It would be unfair to the victims if Epstein not only managed to cheat justice through his death, but also left behind some kind of legal issue preventing the victims from obtaining the rescission remedy to which they are plainly entitled.”
As part of the shady non-prosecution agreement, the feds agreed not to charge “any potential co-conspirators of Epstein, including but not limited to Sarah Kellen, Adriana Ross, Lesley Groff, or Nadia Marcinkova.”
While Maxwell wasn’t explicitly named, she’s long been at the center of the Epstein controversy as his girlfriend-turned-majordomo and recruiter of his minor victims. And now that Epstein is dead, all eyes are on Maxwell as the keeper of his secrets.
“It could be that investigators have already talked to her and are not making that known that she’s cooperating. Or it could be that she is under investigation herself. She even could have been indicted under seal.”
— Former U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade
The government will have access to the full, unredacted evidentiary record in the case Giuffre brought against Maxwell, Boies said.
“In my view, it is very unlikely that Maxwell will escape prosecution,” Boies said. “If that’s right, she would have an enormous incentive to see if she could do a deal.”
He added, “It would be a lot better for her to cooperate as opposed to fight it, because somebody’s going to cooperate. There are too many people with knowledge. There are too many people involved in the criminal enterprise. Somebody’s going to cooperate, and in that context, if you’re somebody in Maxwell’s position, you want to be sure you’re in as early as possible.”
Barbara McQuade, the former U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan, said Maxwell could remain as the most egregious offender in Epstein’s case.
“I would imagine if I were a prosecutor or an investigator in the Epstein case, I would be considering her a subject of the investigation,” said McQuade, a professor at the University of Michigan Law School. “People are usually subjects, witnesses or targets. You gather evidence about people.”
“Just what we know from the press, there’s some complicity there,” McQuade added.
McQuade said that if Maxwell were charged, the complaint would likely be filed under seal. And that the FBI has offices across the world to work with foreign agencies to find her—if Maxwell is hiding from authorities.
“She is an intriguing figure here,” McQuade told The Daily Beast. “It could be that investigators have already talked to her and are not making that known that she’s cooperating. Or it could be that she is under investigation herself. She even could have been indicted under seal.”
Based on the allegations brought by victims to the media, Maxwell could face charges for being co-conspirator of Epstein, McQuade said. One of the child sex-trafficking charges in Epstein’s indictment, 18 U.S.C. 1591, refers to recruiting and enticing minors.
“She herself could be liable as a principal even if she was not engaged in any sex acts with the girls,” McQuade said.
— Additional reporting by Adam Rawnsley and Blake Montgomery