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Ghislaine Maxwell’s attorneys are going after her for nearly $1 million, after claiming in a civil suit that the incarcerated British socialite and her family has failed to pay her legal fees.
Denver-based firm Haddon, Morgan and Foreman, P.C. filed a lawsuit Monday against Maxwell, her brother Kevin Maxwell and husband Scott Borgerson in an attempt to recover more than $878,000 in outstanding legal fees that the firm says have accumulated since her arrest for sex trafficking and criminal conspiracy in 2020, according to The Denver Post.
After her arrest, the attorneys alleged in the suit that Ghislaine’s brother, Kevin, assured them that he would “coordinate the financial aspects of her defense” but only paid them a fraction of what was owed throughout the legal preparation and trial and even urged them to keep working on her appeal, despite the growing unpaid fees.
Two attorneys from the firm, Laura Menninger and Jeffrey Paglicua, had been fixtures on Maxwell's defense team.
The firm—which has represented other high-profile clients including Kobe Bryant and JonBenét Ramsey’s father John Ramsey—had concerns about Ghislaine’s “willingness and ability to meet her financial obligations” as early as 2020. Haddon, Morgan and Foreman notified Kevin in August of that year that they “could no longer represent” Ghislaine, whom they’d provided legal services to in the years before for civil matters centered around Epstein.
However, Kevin Maxwell allegedly assured them that he would “personally guarantee and agree to maintain a $100,000 balance in the firm’s client trust account at all times.”
The retainer was “exhausted” before the year was out. Kevin made “sporadic payments” to keep the firm from withdrawing from her case, but the bills were never fully paid, according to the lawsuit.
“Despite his promises, however, he never brought Ms. Maxwell’s account current, let alone refreshed the evergreen retainer,” the firm wrote.
Throughout the relationship, the firm said Kevin continued to insist he “was on the verge of obtaining financing” on his sister’s real estate properties that would allow him to cover the bills, according to the suit, also obtained by The Daily Beast.
As Maxwell’s December trial loomed, the firm decided to require a trial retainer of $1 million to cover anticipated fees and costs associated with the month-long trial and warned Kevin that without immediate payment they could not continue on her case, according to the filing.
Yet, her attorneys continued to represent Ghislaine. Kevin later allegedly told the firm that Borgerson “controlled Ms. Maxwell’s money and was responsible for delaying payments to the firm.”
The firm has alleged in the lawsuit that Borgerson tried to hide Ghislaine’s real estate assets in limited liability companies to protect the money from the law firm or other creditors seeking payments, CNN reports.
After the trial concluded, the lawsuit alleges Kevin falsely claimed he had wired the legal funds despite knowing the claims “were knowingly false,” according to the suit.
“HMF never received payment,” they wrote in the lawsuit.
By the end of June, the unpaid balance had reached $878,302, not including interest.
Ghislaine was convicted in December of five counts, including sex trafficking and conspiracy. The longtime associate of late sex offender Jeffrey Epstein is currently serving her 20-year prison sentence at FCI Tallahassee, a low-security women’s federal prison in Florida.
Her brother, Ian Maxwell, told The Associated Press the family would not be commenting on the lawsuit. Oxygen.com reached out to HMF but did not receive an immediate response.
For more on the Ghislaine Maxwell case, watch the three-part docuseries “Epstein’s Shadow: Ghislaine Maxwell,” available now on Peacock.
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