The mainstream media’s pronunciation of my sister’s name has been about as accurate as their coverage of her. No, it’s not ‘Jizlaine’, it’s ‘Giilen’. Firmly a French name, it was my mother, Betty’s riposte to my father’s choice of the name Kevin for my younger brother.
My mother is all too often written out of the Maxwell story but in fact she was the major influence on all our lives. That’s partly because of her loving nature but also because my father was so seldom present in our childhood. He was an incessant traveller and his many interests kept him away.
Betty was determined to maintain our French identities. We all have dual British and French nationality and that’s why, if Ghislaine had had any thought she might be arrested, she could have left after Epstein died and gone to France from where there is no extradition to America.
Whilst my mother gave us all the security and love that has welded us together as a family, my father provided the discipline. He was a hugely courageous soldier in the British army and fought the most gruelling battles of the war from the Normandy beaches to Berlin for which he was conferred the Military Cross.
Bob was a survivor. He was also a man of profound inner sorrow having lost his parents and most of his family in Auschwitz, the pain of which he carried with him all his life. He survived by developing a thick carapace combined with relentless self-promotion but underneath he was forever grieving.
In our different ways we have all inherited Bob’s survivor gene. The vile conditions in the Metropolitan Detention Centre are well documented: the rats, the poor sanitation, being woken every 15 minutes with a torch shone in her eyes.