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Saturday, July 18, 2020

July 18, 2020
© Thomson Reuters Ghislaine Maxwell appears via video link during her arraignment hearing where she was denied bail for her role aiding Jeffrey Epstein to recruit and eventually abuse of minor girls, in Manhattan Federal Court, in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S. July 14, 2020 in this courtroom sketch. REUTERS/Jane Rosenberg TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY

Ghislaine Maxwell was “worse than Jeffrey Epstein” and “masterminded” the alleged abuse of women and young girls, one of his victims has claimed.

Virginia Roberts Giuffre said she met Maxwell when she was 16 years old and alleged that the British heiress arranged for her to have sex with Prince Andrew three times when she was 17. The prince and Maxwell have adamantly denied the accusations.

“Ghislaine was much more conniving and smart than Epstein ever was,” Ms Giuffre, who now lives in Australia, told CBS News.

“I know that woman. I’ve known her really well. Put it this way — Epstein was Pinocchio, and she was Gepetto.”

Ms Giuffre, now 36, said she believes Maxwell "did it to keep Jeffrey happy" and "because she loves the control over people."

"Jeffrey was a sick pedophile. But she was the mastermind," she said.

She called Maxwell’s arrest two weeks ago on charges that she recruited girls for longtime associate Epstein, a “momentous” moment. “It’s one of those life moments that I’ll never forget,” she said.

Ms Maxwell is being held in the federal Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn, New York, on charges she helped lure at least three girls, one as young as 14, to be sexually abused by the late millionaire financier.

On Tuesday she pleaded not guilty to charges of trafficking and procuring young victims.

Maxwell’s lawyers have argued she has been a “victim of ‘media spin,’” and that she has been made a scapegoat since the death of Epstein by suicide in his prison cell last year.

“Ghislaine Maxwell is not Jeffrey Epstein,” Mark Cohen, her attorney, told a Manhattan court on Tuesday.

"The media focus quickly shifted to our client - wrongly trying to substitute her for Epstein - even though (she) had never been charged with a crime or been found liable in any civil litigation and has always denied any allegations of claimed misconduct," her lawyers said.


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