Ghislaine maxwell

My sister Ghislaine was denied justice

There is a cartoon doing the rounds this week that shows two women having a drink. One says to the other ‘My dream is to travel back in time’. Her friend replies ‘Just book a ticket to the USA’. No doubt the cartoonist had in mind the topical issues of the Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe vs Wade and its striking down New York’s law requiring ‘proper cause’ to carry guns in public. But it could equally apply to a federal court’s decision this week to impose a 20-year sentence of imprisonment on a 60-year-old woman, my sister Ghislaine. This cruel sentence arises from her conviction at trial six months ago and

Ghislaine Maxwell is no victim

The disgraced socialite Ghislaine Maxwell was sentenced yesterday to 20 years for crimes relating to sex trafficking. After three weeks of silence, Maxwell finally spoke, saying she was ‘sorry’ for the ‘pain’ her victims experienced. She told the court that she hoped her ‘conviction’ and ‘incarceration’ would bring ‘closure.’ There was one particular line that stood out in her statement: ‘I also acknowledge that I have been a victim of helping Jeffrey Epstein commit these crimes.’ Maxwell had immense power and privilege, and she was not coerced into a victimless crime This is syntactical subterfuge. First, there’s the strange use of the present perfect tense – ‘I have been a

In praise of January

Gstaad According to a little bird, Boris has gone from brilliant to bawd, and according to me this village has gone from unlivable to perfect in one easy week. The slopes are empty, the snow is excellent, the restaurants now take reservations, and the slobs are visible but not dominant in town. If April is the cruellest month, according to T.S. Eliot, January is the nicest one as far as yours truly is concerned. The liver has a break, the insect-eating grinning imbeciles have gone back down to the cities, and my brain cells are beginning to function again. It’s only a short break, three weeks, and then the mobs

Prince Andrew’s royal excommunication is complete

Prince Andrew has been well and truly cut adrift. By his only family. From birth, he was styled His Royal Highness. He will go to his grave unencumbered by it. The removal of the style HRH, at the age of 61, will hurt a son of the Queen who doesn’t wear his royal status lightly. He remains a prince and a duke, but the Falklands veteran has no military titles. The uniform of an admiral he’d asked a tailor to run up will now remain in a wardrobe. Unworn in public. His patronages are gone too. Henceforth, he’s Prince Andrew, Duke of York: the non-royal, royal This is what a

The truth about my sister, Ghislaine Maxwell

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

Ian Maxwell: Ghislaine thinks Epstein was murdered

Away from the shenanigans of Westminster, the details of Ghislaine Maxwell’s ongoing trial have been filling our national newspapers this week. Images have been released of the British socialite cavorting with the convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein at Balmoral, the Queen’s home in Scotland, with Maxwell facing allegations that she facilitated and participated in the sexual exploitation of girls for her longtime companion. In such circumstances, Steerpike was intrigued to hear that Ian Maxwell, Ghislaine’s brother, was appearing on The Spectator’s Americano podcast to discuss the ongoing trial. Among the highlights of the episode: the businessman’s thoughts on the conspiracy theories surrounding Epstein’s reported suicide – an event which echoed the

It’s hard not to pity Ghislaine Maxwell

This week, I’m having puppies! First litter! The Johnsons were not doggy as we always moved around too much (my late mother claims it was 32 times in 17 years), but once you have a dog, life seems boring without. I have a theory that children give couples something to talk about and, when they go, only a dog can fill the conversational void. The mother (or ‘dam’) is Ziggy, who entered our lives one week before lockdown after I had a sudden strong urge to get a dog. On 13 March last year I drove to a farm in Somerset and fell for a puff of white fur with

Nicholas Coleridge: The Ghislaine Maxwell I knew

I have known Ghislaine Maxwell for more than 40 years, since she was a student at Balliol. I always liked her, everyone did, and I find it hard to reconcile the Ghislaine I knew with the heinous crimes of which she now stands accused. I visited her several times at Headington Hall, her family house on the edge of Oxford, when her father Robert Maxwell was at the height of his power. It was a peculiar house, rented from the council, like an enormous municipal town hall. The entrance hall and corridors were lined with at least a hundred framed cartoons by Jak and Mac of the great narcissist newspaper

How did I end up in Epstein’s little black book?

Every time Jeffrey Epstein is in the news, I start getting calls from strangers wanting to scream abuse at me. This happened a lot when the billionaire financier was found dead in his jail cell last year after being arrested on sex trafficking charges, and it has started again following the arrest of his ex-girlfriend Ghislaine Maxwell a couple of weeks ago. The reason is that my contact details were in Epstein’s ‘little black book’, and whenever his name pops up some kindly soul takes it upon themselves to post a picture of the relevant page, which shows my mobile phone number, on Twitter. I may have to change my

My advice to Johnny Depp

Gstaad Are any of you tired of reading about Ghislaine Maxwell and her sleazy life? Bored by old news repeated ad nauseam by people who hadn’t — and still don’t have — a clue? Well, your intrepid High life correspondent does have a clue, so here goes. But before I go on about la Maxwell, a few thoughts about the drama taking place in Court No. 13 of the Royal Courts of Justice on the Strand, where I had the leading role in a 1986 drama — also starring Charles Moore and some lesser characters — that almost broke the poor little Greek boy and also impoverished our great ex-proprietor

The Ghislaine Maxwell I know

My wife and I were introduced to Ghislaine Maxwell by Sir Evelyn and Lady Lynne de Rothschild, and we subsequently met her on several occasions — generally in the presence of prominent people such as Bill and Hillary Clinton, Nobel Prize-winning scientists, presidents of universities, and prominent academic and business people. We never saw her do anything inappropriate. We knew her only as Jeffrey Epstein’s thirty-something girlfriend. Now she stands accused of serious crimes allegedly committed a quarter of a century ago. Like every other arrested person, she must be presumed innocent. Many in the public however, will presume her guilty because of the portrayal of her in the Netflix

Jeffrey Epstein really was a streak of slime

Did Jeffrey Epstein kill himself or was he murdered — and frankly who cares? Actually, having watched the four-part Netflix series — Jeffrey Epstein: Filthy Rich — about his secretive, sordid life, I care very much. Sure, his squalid death in jail, apparently from suicide while awaiting trial for numerous sex crimes, was thoroughly deserved. But justice would have been far better served if this noisome creep had spent the rest of his days rotting in prison, deprived for ever of all sexual activity save the involuntary variety provided in the showers whenever he dropped the soap. I hadn’t expected to respond quite this viscerally to the Epstein tale. Indeed,