Ghislaine Maxwell Requests Bail Release Due to COVID-19 Pandemic

The socialite was arrested last week on charges that she conspired with Jeffrey Epstein to recruit and sexually abuse minors

Ghislaine Maxwell in 2003
Ghislaine Maxwell pictured in 2003 in New York City. (Mark Mainz / Getty Images)

Ghislaine Maxwell on Friday requested that she be released from New York’s Metropolitan Detention Center on bail and placed in home confinement due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Maxwell’s attorneys proposed bail conditions that include a $5 million personal recognizance bond “co-signed by six financially responsible people,” forfeiture of her travel documents, home confinement with GPS monitoring aside from court appearances and meeting with attorneys and limited visitation by “immediate family, close friends and counsel.”

“As this Court has noted, the COVID-19 pandemic represents an unprecedented health risk to incarcerated individuals, and COVID-19-related restrictions on attorney communications with pretrial detainees significantly impair a defendant’s ability to prepare her defense,” Maxwell’s attorneys wrote in court documents filed on Friday. “Simply put, under these circumstances, if Ms. Maxwell continues to be detained, her health will be at serious risk and she will not be able to receive a fair trial.”

Last week, prosecutors argued that Maxwell should be denied bail because she “poses an extreme risk of flight,” due to her wealth and citizenship in two foreign countries.

But her attorneys disputed that Maxwell is a flight risk, noting that she only “left the public eye” for the “understandable purpose of protecting herself and those close to her from the crush of media and online attention and its very real harms.”

“But sometimes the simplest point is the most critical one: Ghislaine Maxwell is not Jeffrey Epstein,” the attorneys said. “Ms. Maxwell vigorously denies the charges, intends to fight them, and is entitled to the presumption of innocence.”

Maxwell, 58, was arrested last week on charges that she conspired to recruit, groom and sexually abuse minors — some as young as 14 years old — with Jeffrey Epstein, the financier who died by suicide while awaiting trial on federal sex trafficking charges. She faces up to 35 years in prison if convicted of the charges.

Her arraignment is scheduled for Tuesday.