Ghislaine Maxwell claims prison plot to murder her "in her sleep"

New York, New York - One of Ghislaine Maxwell’s fellow inmates at the Brooklyn federal lockup plotted to murder her, a defense lawyer said in a court filing Wednesday aimed at lightening Maxwell’s sentence on sex trafficking charges for procuring young women for Jeffrey Epstein.

A courtroom artist's depiction of Ghislaine Maxwell appearing via video link during her arraignment hearing in Manhattan Federal Court in 2020.
A courtroom artist's depiction of Ghislaine Maxwell appearing via video link during her arraignment hearing in Manhattan Federal Court in 2020.  © REUTERS

"(One) of the female inmates in Ms. Maxwell’s housing unit told at least three other inmates that she had been offered money to murder Ms. Maxwell and that she planned to strangle her in her sleep," Bobbi Sternheim wrote.

Maxwell’s attorney included the claim in papers filed ahead of her sentencing on June 28.

"The inmate who made the threat has been moved to the SHU (special housing unit), presumably to protect Ms. Maxwell," Sternheim claimed. In federal prisons like Brooklyn’s Metropolitan Detention Center, special housing units are solitary confinement.

"This incident reflects the brutal reality that there are numerous prison inmates who would not hesitate to kill Ms. Maxwell – whether for money, fame, or simple 'street cred,'" Sternheim wrote.

Federal Bureau of Prisons officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Maxwell’s claim by the New York Daily News.

Maxwell claims she was abused by her father

British newspapers reporting on Maxwell's guilty verdict in 2021.
British newspapers reporting on Maxwell's guilty verdict in 2021.  © Tolga Akmen / AFP

The filing also revealed graphic allegations of abuse Maxwell suffered at the hands of her father, disgraced British publishing baron Robert Maxwell, as well as details about a psychiatric evaluation Maxwell underwent in jail, which reported that her personality had changed since her summer 2020 arrest in New Hampshire. The doctor’s letter quotes Maxwell’s lawyer and longtime associate, Leah Saffian, as noting a "marked deterioration" in her well-being.

"Ms. Saffian added that recently, Ms. Maxwell has completely lost her sense of humor and often 'misses the beat,'" reads the August 2021 letter by Alexander Sasha Bardey, which was heavily redacted.

Maxwell’s lawyers asked Manhattan Federal Court Judge Alison Nathan to sentence her to less than the 20 years recommended by probation authorities, who had already suggested the 61-year-old serve less time than federal guidelines suggest.

Nathan upheld Maxwell’s conviction in April after she asked for a new trial based on a juror who withheld being abused as a child.

A jury found Maxwell guilty on December 29 of aiding convicted pedophile Epstein’s sex trafficking of teenage girls from 1994 to 2004. Epstein died by suicide in 2019 at the federal Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan.

Cover photo: REUTERS

More on the topic Crime: