World

Ghislaine Maxwell offers to renounce citizenships in third bail attempt

Ghislaine Maxwell offers to renounce citizenships in third bail attempt
Ghislaine Maxwell, a British socialite awaiting trial on charges that she recruited teenage girls for Jeffrey Epstein to sexually abuse, says she'll renounce her UK and French citizenships if she can be freed on bail, according to a court filing.
Ms Maxwell's lawyers made the offer on Tuesday in a third try at getting Ms Maxwell out of jail before a trial scheduled for July in Manhattan federal court.
A judge has previously rejected two bail attempts, including a $35.8 million bail release proposal in December.
Lawyers for socialite Ghislaine Maxwell have made a third bail attempt. The British socialite is awaiting trial on charges that she recruited teenage girls for Jeffrey Epstein to sexually abuse. (Laura Cavanaugh/Getty Images)
As part of the latest bail proposal, defence lawyers wrote that they will put the bulk of the $28.3 million estate belonging to Ms Maxwell and her still-unidentified husband into a special account to be overseen by an "asset manager" — a former federal judge and US lawyer from Georgia.
The deal would set aside about $500,000 for living expenses and more than $8 million for legal fees.
The 59-year-old was arrested seven months ago on charges alleging she recruited three girls for Epstein to abuse in the mid-1990s. She has pleaded not guilty.
Epstein, her one-time boyfriend, took his own life in a Manhattan federal detention centre in August 2019 as he awaited trial on sex trafficking charges.
Ms Maxwell's lawyers say the new proposed bail package would resolve some of the concerns that previously got proposals rejected, including a failure to show Ms Maxwell would not be able to access her assets to flee or rely on her citizenship of France, which would not extradite her to the US. Maxwell also holds US citizenship.
Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell in 2005. Maxwell has offered to renounce her UK and French citizenships as part of a bail deal with US authorities. (Getty)
The lawyers also wrote that they hoped a dozen separate arguments recently made to get the criminal charges against their client thrown out or reduced would also affect any bail decision.
The challenges included claims that Ms Maxwell should benefit from a non-prosecution agreement Epstein signed with federal prosecutors a dozen years ago and claims that coronavirus crackdowns forced a suburban grand jury to return her indictment, depriving her of the diversity of a Manhattan-based panel.
"These motions significantly call into question the strength of the government's case against Ms Maxwell and the underlying justification for continued detention," the lawyers wrote.
The lawyers also wrote that Ms Maxwell has been the victim of "vicious slurs, persistent lies, and blatant inaccuracies" and has been "depicted as a cartoon-character villain in an attempt to turn her into a substitute replacement for Jeffrey Epstein".
Ghislaine Maxwell has been held in the Metropolitan Detention Centre in the Brooklyn borough of New York. (AP)
They added: "Yet, Ms Maxwell is determined — and welcomes the opportunity — to face her accusers at trial and clear her name."
Prosecutors declined to comment through a spokesperson.