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Ghislaine Maxwell appeared to have it all. The daughter of a wealthy, if scandal-ridden, British publishing tycoon, Maxwell moved effortlessly through high society, rubbing elbows with old world aristocracy and newer generations of monied elite.
So why did she risk it all to stand by financier Jeffrey Epstein, who, after a 2008 plea deal in which he admitted to soliciting and procuring a minor for prostitution, was an established pedophile sex offender? Of course, federal prosecutors would later allege that Epstein’s pattern of sexually abusing young girls was much more extensive and depraved than that original plea deal indicated and the question of how much Maxwell, his close friend and confidante, knew and indeed what role she may have played in enabling that ongoing abuse (she’s charged with sex trafficking for allegedly recruiting and grooming girls, some as young as 14 and has pleaded not guilty), is the central question of her own pending criminal prosecution.
It’s also the focus of the new three-part docuseries “Epstein’s Shadow: Ghislaine Maxwell,” available now on Peacock and airing on Oxygen on Tuesday, August 10 at 8/7c.
“I truly wonder what Ghislaine’s first instinct was when she learned about Jeffrey’s dark secret, because what is part of history is that Ghislaine didn’t run away, she didn’t flee, she didn’t drop him like a hot potato and go back to England. She stayed with him,” Barry Levine, author of “The Spider: Inside the Criminal Web of Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell,” says in an exclusive clip from the series.
For writer Anna Pasternak, who attended Oxford University with Maxwell, the dynamic of Maxwell’s relationship with Epstein revolved around the notion of power.
“I think Ghislaine stayed with Jeffrey because that had become her life and she saw herself as this kind of all powerful partner to this powerful man,” Pasternak says in the clip.
For more on Ghislaine Maxwell — her life and how she became entangled with Epstein — watch “Epstein’s Shadow: Ghislaine Maxwell,” produced by Blue Ant Studios and streaming now on Peacock.
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