Ghislaine Maxwell told government officials in July that she was “in the process of divorcing her husband” Scott Borgerson, federal prosecutors say in a new court filing.
The revelation comes in response to a new proposal from Maxwell asking that she be released on a $28.5 million bail package while awaiting trial.
Maxwell was arrested in July on charges of recruiting and grooming girls for Jeffrey Epstein to sexually abuse, and sexually abusing them herself.
Maxwell’s current relationship status is unclear. Prosecutors say her bail application asked permission that she live with someone other than her husband.
Her lawyers also said that she’d waive her non-extradition rights in France, where she’s a citizen, but a French official said that isn’t an option.
In a federal court filing on Monday, lawyers for Ghislaine Maxwell – the multimillionaire, jet-setting longtime associate of the now-dead sex offender Jeffrey Epstein – argued that Maxwell should be released on bail.
She’d never try to flee the United States, they said, because Maxwell is in a loving relationship with her husband and would never turn his back on him.
“She will not risk destroying the lives and financial well-being of those she holds most dear to live as a fugitive during a worldwide pandemic,” the lawyers wrote.
But in July, prosecutors say, Maxwell told government officials she was “in the process of divorcing her husband.”
The revelation comes from a new court document filed on Friday afternoon arguing against Maxwell’s bail application. Maxwell was arrested in July and charged with various crimes related to accusations that she recruited and groomed several girls for Jeffrey Epstein to sexually abuse, sexually abused them herself, and lied about it in a deposition. Maxwell has pleaded not guilty to the charges against her.
The judge overseeing the case, Alison Nathan, rejected a bail application from Maxwell in July. Her lawyers filed a new bail package offering a $28.5 million bond, $22.5 million of which is from assets belonging to Maxwell and her husband, Scott Borgerson, the CEO of a maritime analytics company.
Maxwell’s renewed bail application also asks if she would be permitted to live with an individual who isn’t her spouse if she’s released on bail, prosecutors say. The individual’s name is redacted from court documents.
“A spouse’s desire to distance himself in that manner – particularly when coupled with the defendant’s inconsistent statements about the state of their relationship – undermine her assertion that her marriage is a tie that would keep her in the United States,” federal prosecutors in Manhattan wrote in their filing.
The current status of Maxwell’s relationship with Borgerson is unclear. In a heavily redacted letter accompanying her renewed bail application, he wrote that she was a “wonderful and loving person” and was innocent of the accused crimes.
“This letter demonstrates that Ms. Maxwell has powerful family ties to the United States that she will not abandon,” Maxwell’s lawyers wrote. “It describes the committed relationship between Ms. Maxwell and her spouse, who is a US citizen, and how they lived a quiet family life together.”
Maxwell’s lawyers said she waived her extradition rights in France. French officials say that isn’t a thing.
In her bail application letter Monday, Maxwell’s lawyers made several other arguments in favor of her release.
In addition to her US citizenship, Maxwell is a citizen of France and the United Kingdom. France does not extradite its citizens outside the European Union, but Maxwell’s lawyers said she agreed to “irrevocable waivers of her right to contest extradition.”
Prosecutors checked with France, which said that waiving extradition isn’t possible.
Philippe Jaeglé, an official in France’s version of the Department of Justice, said that France has “never deviated” from its principle of non-extradition of nationals outside of the European Union. He pointed to the 1996 extradition treaty signed between France and the US, which permits the US to extradite its nationals to France, but says that France is not bound to do the same.
“In application of this Treaty and of the general principle of non-extradition of nationals under French law, France systematically refuses to grant the extradition of French nationals to the American judicial authorities,” Jaeglé wrote in a letter filed by prosecutors.
The new filing from prosecutors also addresses Maxwell’s lawyers’ contention that she only fled from the FBI trying to arrest her because she believed they were members of the media who found her in her New Hampshire hideaway.
“The agents who entered the defendant’s property were wearing clothing that clearly identified them as FBI agents,” prosecutors wrote. “Moreover, the FBI announced themselves as federal agents to the defendant when they first approached her. Thus, even if the defendant was following her private security’s protocol when she fled, she did so knowing that she was disobeying the directives of FBI agents, not members of the media or general public.”
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