Prison guards want to know how Ghislaine Maxwell, the British celebrity accused of facilitating Jeffrey Epstein’s sexual abuse, got a bruise around her left eye.
- Mrs. Maxwell said she did not know where the bruise was coming from
- She said that guards put lights into her cell every 15 minutes to make sure she did not commit suicide
- Judge Nathan ordered prosecutors to declare the surveillance by May 5th
Ms. Maxwell’s attorney, Bobbi Sternheim, attached a photo of the blue eye to a letter to U.S. District Judge Alison Nathan in Manhattan overseeing Ms. Maxwell’s criminal case.
Brooklyn Prison guards, Ms. Maxwell, 59, confronted her with the bruise Wednesday night and threatened to move her to a separate residential unit if she does not explain her origins, the letter said.
Ms. Sternheim said Ms. Maxwell didn’t know where the bruise was coming from but suggested that she could shield her eyes with a sock or towel as the guards shine light into her cell every 15 minutes to make sure she was breathing and has not committed suicide.
Neither prison officials nor the US Attorney’s Office in Manhattan, who is prosecuting Ms. Maxwell, immediately responded to requests for comment.
Ms. Sternheim did not immediately respond to a similar request. Her letter didn’t say who took the photo.
Late Thursday, Judge Nathan ordered prosecutors to explain by May 5 whether and why prison officials could put Ms. Maxwell under nightly “flashlight surveillance” and whether she could be given “adequate eye protection”.
Ms. Maxwell’s attorneys have repeatedly complained about her detention, saying the conditions undermine her preparation for the July 12 trial.
Ms. Maxwell pleaded not guilty of sex trafficking and other charges for her alleged role in the procurement of four teenage girls for Epstein who were molested between 1994 and 2004.
Epstein killed himself in prison in August 2019 while awaiting trial for sex trafficking.