A lawyer for Ghislaine Maxwell said her client lost nearly 7 kg in prison under “punitive conditions” imposed in part after Jeffrey Epstein committed suicide last year.
Bobbi Sternheim made the claims on behalf of British celebrities after the director of the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn defended the terms.
The prison now says so Maxwell “remains in good health” and that her treatment follows the recommendations of the book for the protection of all federal inmates.
The letters were issued the same day the 58-year-old’s lawyers said they would renew their bail application – after compiling information that wasn’t readily available when her first application was denied in July.
Attorneys Mark S. Cohen and Christian Everdell said they had a “comprehensive bail package,” which includes financial information and letters from close family and friends who have volunteered to support Maxwell.
However, this is based on keeping them anonymous as they have “legitimate fear” that they will be subjected to the same “relentless media scrutiny” that Maxwell experienced.
She was arrested in the summer a year later Epstein was arrested and charged with sex trafficking.
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He killed himself in August 2019 in a federal prison in Manhattan awaiting trial without bail.
Maxwell has since gone into hiding and was discovered by FBI agents in July of that year after searching a property in New Hampshire.
She was arrested on charges of acquiring underage teenage girls who Epstein mistreated in the mid-1990s, but plead not guilty and is preparing for trial next summer.
Epstein’s one-time friend maintains her position of innocence and that she never saw the financier – what she called in a 2016 deposit – “Inappropriate Underage Activities”.
Ms. Sternheim wrote in her letter that Maxwell was exposed in part to harsh treatment because the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) could not prevent Epstein’s suicide in August 2019 as he was waiting for the trial of chargers for sex trafficking – and wanted to avoid that history repeats itself.
The attorney said, “It is evident that Ms. Maxwell bears the brunt of the BOP incompetence.
“The Department of Justice is trying to repair the BOP’s tarnished reputation by subjecting Ms. Maxwell to extremely harsh conditions, not in response to Ms. Maxwell’s demands but in response to failure to deal with an entirely different inmate.”
Ms. Sternheim said her client lost hair and over 15 pounds during her detention.
The attorney added that Maxwell was not adequately protected from the outbreak COVID-19, has repeatedly been subjected to unnecessary searches oneawakened during the night by guards loaded with flashlights, deleted important legal emails and did not always receive vegetarian food as requested.
Ms. Sternheim said, “The conditions in which she is incarcerated are criminal, unjustified, affect her ability to prepare her defense, and affect the attorney’s ability to provide the legal representation that she and every other incarcerated person deserve.”
Prison attorneys refute these claims – by writing in a letter that Maxwell’s weight is no more than two pounds from her current weight and that her dietary needs were also considered.
The other conditions are standard procedures for maintaining a “safe environment” for all inmates, the prison said.