Ghislaine Maxwell has claimed that her treatment in prison is so bad it would be ‘fit for Hannibal Lecter’.
Jeffrey Epstein’s alleged madam claimed that the conditions as she awaits trial would be appropriate for the fictional serial killer in ‘The Silence of the Lambs’.
But they are not appropriate for a ’59-year old woman who poses no threat to anyone’, Maxwell’s lawyers claimed.
They suggested she is the victim of sexism because high-profile male prisoners who had been accused of serious crimes like Bill Cosby and mob boss John Gotti were given bail while she wasn’t.
The claim was made in a 31-page document filed in the Second Circuit appeal court in New York by Maxwell’s lawyers as they sought to overturn a judge’s rejection of her third attempt at bail.
Ghislaine Maxwell has claimed that her treatment in prison is so bad it would be ‘fit for Hannibal Lecter’
In the Oscar-winning ‘The Silence of the Lambs’, Lecter, played by Sir Anthony Hopkins, was kept in his own cell at the Baltimore Hospital for the Criminally Insane. In the film Lecter’s cell had reinforced glass walls with holes in them so he could speak to visitors
Judge Alison Nathan earlier this month refused Maxwell again and said that she remained a flight risk.
Maxwell’s lawyers have repeatedly and vocally complained about her treatment in the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn, New York, where she is being held until trial, which is due to start in July.
They have said she is losing her hair and losing weight because the prison food is inedible.
According to court filings, the water in the taps is cloudy, Maxwell is kept in isolation and she is woken every 15 minutes to be searched by a flashlight.
The latest claims were made in a letter by David Oscar Markus, one of Maxwell’s lawyers, who called her conditions ‘nightmarish’.
He said: ‘Though she is a model prisoner who poses no danger to society and has done literally nothing to prompt ”special” treatment, she is kept in isolation – conditions fitting for Hannibal Lecter but not a 59-year old woman who poses no threat to anyone’.
In the Oscar-winning The Silence of the Lambs, Lecter, played by Sir Anthony Hopkins, was kept in his own cell at the Baltimore Hospital for the Criminally Insane.
But while the cell was basic it sounds less grim than Maxwell’s lawyers claim her treatment is.
In the film Lecter’s cell had reinforced glass walls with holes in them so he could speak to visitors.
There was a table for writing and he was given art supplies which he used to make drawings and hang them on the walls.
Maxwell’s lawyers have repeatedly and vocally complained about her treatment in the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn
In Hannibal Lecter’s cell there was a table for writing and he was given art supplies which he used to make drawings and hang them on the walls
In the court filing Markus claimed that high profile men who were detained by federal prosecutors were treated much differently than Maxwell.
He said: ‘The truth is that wealthy men charged with similar or more serious offenses, many of whom have foreign ties, are routinely granted bail so that they can effectively prepare for trial. Bernie Madoff. Harvey Weinstein. Bill Cosby. John Gotti. Dominique Strauss-Kahn. Adnan Khashoggi.
‘The list goes on and on. In each case, the court set reasonable conditions of bond and the defendants appeared, despite similar arguments by the government that the defendant faced serious charges or that the evidence was strong or that he had foreign ties or that he had great wealth. Ms. Maxwell is entitled to the same opportunity as male defendants to prepare her defense’.
Markus claims that Maxwell was ‘living peacefully’ at her $1million New Hampshire home – which she bought through an anonymous company to disguise her identity – when she was arrested by a ‘SWAT team’ from the FBI in July last year.
He writes that the ‘Epstein Effect’ had ‘clouded the judgement of the prosecutors into charging Ms. Maxwell because it needed a scapegoat’ after Epstein hanged himself while awaiting trial.
Markus claims that Maxwell was charged as a ‘substitute for Epstein’ and that prosecutors are ‘reverse engineering a charge’ because their main target died.
In a striking passage, Markus’ letter says: ‘Perhaps never in the history of the US Justice System has the public relations imperatives of the government permitted such wildly inappropriate and unconstitutional treatment of an innocent human being’.
Her lawyers suggested she is the victim of sexism because high profile male prisoners who had been accused of serious crimes like Bill Cosby and Harvey Weinstein were given bail while she wasn’t
Maxwell, who is accused of acting as Epstein’s ‘madam’ by finding him young women to abuse and then ‘training’ them to comply with his desires, was arrested on July 2, nearly a year after his death
In similarly hyperbolic language, Markus claims: ‘Ms. Maxwell’s continued detention would be wrong at any point in this nation’s history, even when stealing a loaf of bread was a felony’.
He adds that it ‘is especially unwarranted now’ due to the coronavirus pandemic.
One positive part of Maxwell’s conditions highlighted by Markus’ letter is that the prison is now heating her microwave meals properly.
Previously they had been overheating them, causing the plastic to melt into the food and making it inedible.
Earlier this week Maxwell was hit with two new charges of sex trafficking conspiracy and sex trafficking of a minor.
She now faces eight counts and has pleaded not guilty to the six previous ones.
Her lawyers this week complained about the new charges with attorney Bobbi Sternheim calling them a ‘shocking, unfair abuse of power’ because it comes so close to her trial.