The Inescapable Ghislaine Maxwell.
At one point during the Ghislaine Maxwell trial in New York City, a reporter I had newly befriended from The Times warned me that expressing any sympathy toward her would be “the end” of me.
She’s a “monster”— leave it at that— was his advice.
The guy liked my stories enough to worry that my framing her as a tragic Freudian catastrophe would ruin me. Although he agreed with my stance (Maxwell as a scapegoat meant to seal up a global scandal, serve Epstein’s sentence, and shut up public interest in the case), he urged me to reconsider chasing a sympathetic angle toward her.
Arguably, I didn’t have a choice. Not once I realized that none of the men involved would be facing public ousting. Witnessing redaction after reaction, I started to examine the back pages of the one woman paying the price for their crimes. In this evolving deep dive I uncovered (and wrote about) the grim details shadowing her lavish upbringing: born into monied elite, groomed by her father to cater to and seduce powerful men in his orbit for personal gain. A cycle she would repeat — to a criminal degree — for her lover later in life.
I found it absurd that the entire theme of her trial revolved around the evils of grooming but in that theme we were not supposed to ask anything about her past, which undeniably involved a sophisticated version of it.
With her as my main focus, I tried my best to expose WHY and HOW she seduced all the corridors of influence using refined power and persuasion, perfected throughout her childhood, to weave a web that ultimately ensnared prominent men into a labyrinth built on the illusion of sex in secrecy so that the value of her blackmail would ultimately provide her and Epstein a stake in the most elite corners of society where she was desperate to remain after the unexpected death of her father that nearly destroyed her.
“If she’s evil, I’m bored,” I told the reporter at the time. “If she’s anything else, I’d want to know everything there is to know about her.”
Hence, the two-year character study I committed myself to that connected me to sources with intimate insight throughout various stages of her life; Up to this latest chapter, prison connections who offer me (usually mundane) updates on her health and habits behind bars.
For instance, I know she’s still missing her reading glasses, has filed over 400 complaints, is deprived of internet access, lugs around large stacks of files and books she reads through in the library every day, frequently assists other women on their appeals, showed up at breakfast last week with a terrible rash on her face, had all of the classes she was teaching stripped from her without reason, sticks to a strict yoga regime, told an inmate who gave her extra tauter sauce for a soggy fish sandwich they would “be blessed” for their generosity, hides fruit in her sweatshirt in the cafeteria to keep as a snack back in her unit, and likes to gossip about Hollywood and UFOs “on occasion.”
What’s most amusing to me now is that even with a 20-year conviction to her name, it’s almost impossible for these guys to evade her entirely. Some have gone to great lengths to erase themselves from photographic proof of their connection to her. A couple even hired Israeli operations to scrape the internet free of their photos beside her. But I can’t help but wonder how much easier it would be to just admit she was a likable person then. A friend to them outside this scandal.
Some of them get it right. Others (like Bill Gates & Bill Clinton) get it really, really wrong.
Let’s take a look at the difference.
Robert F. Kennedy Jr On Flight Logs
Earlier this summer, months before I decided to jump into anything to do with election coverage, I sent a journalist friend of mine (I knew was supportive of RFK Jr.) a few photos linking him to Maxwell and Epstein. The images she had not seen before. She was also unaware of any connection between the three.
I sent the photos knowing his involvement included nothing nefarious. My suggestion was to out them to shut down a story before it ever became a story. I knew the context behind the scenes Kennedy was attached to and figured pushing them out to the public with honest explanations would be a smart move.
She urged me to wait on it. “We are still trying to prove he’s not an anti-vax nut job. Perhaps we spare him the Epstein accusations for now?”
Back in July I thought, “Fair enough.”
It turns out I didn’t have to expose anything. RFK admitted last week on live TV that he was on the plane twice.
According to Christina Oxenberg’s Account
Christina Oxenberg is a familiar face that appears in many of the Maxwell documentaries that have aired since her arrest. Oxenberg is a second cousin to Prince Andrew. According to her, her father, Howard Oxenberg, part of the “deposed Serbian royal family,” was a longtime friend of the Kennedy clan, namely John F. Kennedy.
In her 2021 book, “Trash: Encounters with Ghislaine Maxwell,” Oxenberg reveals she first met Ghislaine in 1990 at the wedding of Kennedy’s sister Kerry to Andrew Cuomo, who would go on to become governor of New York.
Bobby’s wife, Mary, a longtime friend of his sister’s, was Kerry’s maid of honor.
“I was standing with my then-husband, Damian Elwes, a British painter, when Ghislaine sauntered over,” Oxenberg wrote about the encounter at the wedding reception at Ethel Kennedy’s Hickory Hill home in McLean, VA on June 9, 1990.
Maxwell, in fact, appears to have first cultivated the Kennedys in 1989, Oxenberg wrote, when Kerry and Michael were guests at a glittering party in Washington, DC, on the Lady Ghislaine, the yacht owned by Maxwell’s father Robert, the British press baron.
At the time he had bought Macmillan Publishing for $2.6bn and was trying to impress DC’s powerbrokers, hiring public relations firm Hill & Knowlton to secure A-list guests such as the Rev. Jesse Jackson and the then-CIA director William Webster, for the party on the 185-foot boat docked on the Potomac.
Then in 1993, Oxenberg related how Kennedy hired her and another woman, named only as “Jane,” to produce an event for him that involved then-New York City mayor David Dinkins.
“Bobby’s instructions were, ‘You have three months to complete the assignment. There is no budget, so you’ll have to get everything for free. Just ask for things and use my name. And get the ball rolling. I already borrowed an office for you to work from,’” she wrote.
The office space turned out to be Epstein’s “suite of offices on Madison Avenue” where Oxenberg and the associate identified operated out of a “large and comfy conference room.”
Epstein’s companies were registered to 457 Madison Avenue, opposite the rear of St. Patrick’s Cathedral; public records show Maxwell later used it as an address too.
“The office was populated by several female executive assistants, all of them in their early 20s and looking like flight attendants from yesteryear with tidy buns, high heels and short tight-skirted suits,” writes Oxenberg, adding that Maxwell and Epstein frequently showed up in the shared space.
“They mostly talked about their jet, or name-dropped the people they were ‘meeting’ with.”
One day, Maxwell told Oxenberg that she had arranged for Kennedy to take a ride in Epstein’s private jet.
“Ghislaine made a point of telling me she had arranged to take Bobby Kennedy Jr. on a day trip in the plane,” wrote Oxenberg.
“She got it exactly right by offering him a trip out West to see dinosaur bones. She almost always knew who liked what; she knew how to sell.
Epstein stayed on the plane during the South Dakota trip, and on the way back to New York, he insisted on making a stop in Chicago “where a beautiful blonde boarded the plane,” wrote Oxenberg, adding that Epstein got off the plane with the woman.
“It might have been as long as two hours that Bobby and the children waited on the plane before Jeffrey reappeared without the blonde,” she writes.
“For sure, Epstein had no interest in looking at dinosaur bones, but he did want a Kennedy on his plane.”
Kennedy told Fox of the fossil-hunting trip: “I flew again with my family with, I think, four of my children and Mary, my wife, to Rapid City, South Dakota, to go fossil hunting for a weekend.”
“It was Ghislaine’s job to make it happen, to entice Robert Kennedy Jr. into his trap,” Oxenberg wrote.
“The snag was that Kennedy showed up at the private airport with a group of kids and they were not the type Jeffrey had a predilection for.” — Via The New York Post
Source Close To Kennedy
A source close to Kennedy confirmed the two plane rides with his youngest kids in tow, pointing out that all parties are named in flight logs. Their names and flights, not under redaction.
The source I spoke to echoed details shared in Oxenberg’s book, adding that Kennedy was not fully aware of who Epstein was in relation to his wife’s friend (Ghislaine) when the first flight was arranged for them. The assumption then was that Epstein was Ghislaine’s boyfriend.
However, he did not join them on the fossil-hunting excursion Ghislaine organized for them, opting instead to wait it out in a rented SUV.
How very Epstein of him.
On the flight back to NYC, he announced a “change of plans” that diverted them to a stop in Chicago. When the plane landed at O’Hare airport, a beautiful blonde in a mink coat standing beside a Mercedes was awaiting him.
Seeing how visibly upset Ghislaine was over Epstein leaving with this woman is reportedly when Kennedy realized something was off about their dynamic.
After inquiring about how Epstein made his money — Kennedy wondered how he went from working as a math teacher at Dalton to handling Les Werner’s finances; Epstein offered him a shoddy explanation. His response, in addition to comments about not investing in the stock market unless he had inside information, shifted Kennedy’s opinion of him enough to avoid any further connections to him.
In this latest FOX video, Kennedy admits (with refreshing transparency) precisely where and how their interactions began and ended.
A photo from 1994 shows Kennedy and Epstein chatting at an event at the Pierre
RFK’s Twitter Response
“Yes, I was on #JeffreyEpstein’s plane twice, in the early 90s. Each time with my wife and kids. Neither time to his infamous island. All Epstein & Maxwell flight logs and client lists should be released. I’m not hiding anything, but they are! #EpsteinClientList.”
“In retrospect, maybe he was trying to curry favor by flying my family to our vacation (once Florida to visit my mom, once fossil-hunting in South Dakota). This was long before he became known as a sexual predator.”
“Ghislaine made a point of telling me she had arranged to take Bobby Kennedy Jr. on a day trip in the plane. She got it exactly right by offering him a trip out West to see dinosaur bones. She almost always knew who liked what; she knew how to sell.”
Trump “I Wish Her Well, Frankly”
Trump’s response is my favorite. He readily admits to a friendship with Ghislaine but denounced Jeffery in the past, long before his crimes were public.
Notoriously, he banned Epstein from Mar-A-Lago for being inappropriate with a staff worker’s daughter.
The fact that he wished Ghislaine well, despite the backlash it briefly garnered, successfully eased any suspicions I had about him.
His remarks were the only public sentiments to offer Maxwell any sense of support. He is literally the only one to address her as a real person in a sea of globally stretched connections pre arrest.
“I was very touched that he would remember me and that he would wish me well,” Maxwell told the Mail. “And I was very touched by his remembrance of me,” she stated, adding that his comments gave her a “big boost” during a dark period.
Watch President Donald Trump wish his girlfriend Ghislaine Maxwell well while she and her partner Jeffrey Epstein were in jail.
Bill – On The Other Hand – Might Have More To Hide
Ask Doug Band. He revealed to Vanity Fair years ago how vital Ghislaine was to the Clintons. Lending her yachts, setting up their foundation, facilitating connections and, among other favors, regularly planning parties for them.
Their sexual relationship, an affair once rumored about but now common knowledge, has largely remained under the radar. To an extent, Bill’s interest in Ghislaine could serve as an alibi but since the press doesn’t ever press him on it it’s probably not of top concern to him.
Many who knew them both during this time say Clinton was mainly around Epstein to get closer to Ghislaine. Band was even quoted saying that in the end, Ghislaine, above Epstein, was of most value to the Clintons.
Ironic, when you consider in her latest interview she revealed that her long-standing “friendship” with Clinton soured over her support for Trump.
When Bill Clinton was confronted with his alleged links to child sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein, he replied: “I think the answer is clear.”
By the fall of 2011, the rivalry had turned into a war of attrition. Band looked for an advantage anywhere he could find one. The Clintons’ ties to Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell provided one. Band told me he had been trying to push Epstein out of Clinton’s orbit ever since their much-discussed 2002 trip to Africa aboard Epstein’s private 727, dubbed the “Lolita Express.” Band recalled that Epstein had made a bunch of ridiculous claims on the trip, like boasting that he invented the derivatives market. Band said he had no idea about Epstein’s sex crimes back then but got enough bad vibes that he advised Clinton to end the relationship. But Clinton continued to socialize with Epstein and take his money. In 2006 Epstein donated $25,000 to the Clinton Foundation. Clinton made more than two dozen trips on Epstein’s jet around this time, Epstein’s flight logs show. In January 2003, according to Band, Clinton visited Epstein’s private Caribbean island, Little St. James. Band said it was one of the few trips he declined to go on in his time with Clinton. A Clinton spokesperson said the president had never been to the island and provided detailed travelogue entries of the period in question that did not contain a visit.
“Ghislaine had access to yachts and nice homes,” Band told Vanity Fair. “Chelsea needed that.”
“I knew in telling everyone to stop including Ghislaine that Chelsea and her father would be very angry,” he said. “It made it harder for them to justify being close to her.”
Watch the interview with Ghislaine Maxwell from her prison here.
Prince Andrew’s ex-girlfriend, Lady Victoria Hervey, talks here about Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell, whom she knew for over two decades.
Chris Cuomo Thanks (But Later Loathes) Me For Pointing Out Maxwell Was A Guest At His Brother’s Wedding . . .
This past weekend Chris Cuomo paused to talk to a few lingering people left over from a Kennedy appearance in Palm Beach after he recorded a live interview for News Nation. I was not planning on asking him anything about anything but when another bystander (Kyle Kemper) brought up Epstein’s plane, it led to what I thought was a noncontroversial fact slip where I simply stated that Maxwell was a guest at his brother’s wedding.
Prominent journalist Chris Cuomo is the younger brother of Andrew Cuomo, the former governor of New York State who resigned over a sexual harassment scandal. Chris Cuomo spoke about Andrew Cuomo, who also flew on Jeffrey Epstein’s “Lolita Express”.
Apparently, he was not aware.
I thought the conversation was a fair exchange and that he answered it perfectly, but later that night I’d come to see how angry it made him
(details for another post).