Brooklyn, NY – The brother of British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell, the former girlfriend of Jeffrey Epstein, has claimed the conditions at the federal jail where she is being held are “grotesque” and “degrading” and amount to “torture.”
Ghislaine, 59, has been in federal custody in Brooklyn since July of 2020, when she was arrested for allegedly recruiting and grooming teenage girls for Epstein to sexually abuse, according to the Associated Press.
She’s been denied bail twice after being deemed a flight risk and is slated to go to trial in July.
Ghislaine has been accused of recruiting three teens for Epstein to sexually abuse between 1994 and 1997, according to the Associated Press.
At least one was just 14 years old.
She also allegedly participated in the abuse on some occasions, the Associated Press reported.
Epstein, who was awaiting trial for sex trafficking, died in a Manhattan federal jail facility in August of 2019.
During a sit-down with the BBC on Wednesday, Ghislaine’s brother, Ian Maxwell, claimed Epstein’s alleged cohort has been languishing “in effective isolation” inside a six-by-nine-foot cell with no natural light, the Associated Press reported.
Her quarters contain little more than a toilet and a bed made of concrete, Ian alleged.
According to Ian, Ghislaine is monitored by 10 cameras and four guards at all times, the Associated Press reported.
He claimed his sister has been provided with “brown” water, and said her food is “highly microwavable…and basically inedible,” according to Yahoo News.
Ian said the federal lockup is also depriving Ghislaine of sleep.
“She has a flashlight shone in her cell every 15 minutes throughout the night,” he claimed, according to the Associated Press. “It’s grotesque and in that respect, it amounts to torture.”
Ian said Ghislaine is suffering hair loss and difficulties with her eyesight, and that the “tremendous pressure” of being in jail has negatively impacted her ability to concentrate, the New York Post reported.
He said his sister is being “overmanaged” as a result of Epstein’s death.
“Ghislaine is not a suicide risk. She has never been a suicide risk,” Ian insisted. “She is being completely overmanaged.”
“She’s strong in her spirit and undaunted, but obviously this is very, very wearing physically,” he said, according to the New York Post.
The conditions at the federal jail are also making it impossible for her to prepare for her upcoming trail, he alleged.
“No human being should have to go through what she’s been put through,” Ian declared during the BBC interview, according to the New York Post. “It is really degrading…this is not the way that a democratic country should be running its prison system.”
“I am worried about Ghislaine’s capacity to endure much more of this treatment,” he added.
Ghislaine’s attorney, Bobbi Sternheim, told a Manhattan federal judge last month that her client reported having been physically abused by a guard and the jail and then punished for having made a complaint about the alleged incident, WMUR reported.
“She is withering to a shell of her former self — losing weight, losing hair, and losing her ability to concentrate,” Sternheim wrote at the time. “In addition to the many difficulties impacting her review of electronic discovery materials, the over-management and stress are impacting her stamina and effectiveness in preparing her defense and conferring with counsel.”
Gloria Allred, an attorney representing the victims in the case, said she does not believe Ghislaine should be allowed to walk out of jail before her day in court, Yahoo News reported.
“I know Miss Maxwell is probably suffering in jail,” Allred acknowledged. “Nobody likes being in jail. Nobody likes having their freedom restricted, but I really think bail should be out of the question. It would be very upsetting to the victims.”
“The charges against her are very serious,” she added. “She needs to stay where she is – in custody.”
Ghislaine faces up to 35 years in prison if she is convicted, according to Yahoo News.