Ghislaine Maxwell, the former girlfriend and associate of sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, has proposed a $28.5 million bail package in a bid to free herself from a New York jail, according to a new motion unsealed on Dec. 14.
The proposed bail package would include armed guards 24 hours a day to protect her safety and ensure she stays in a New York City residence, a filing with the U.S. District Court in Manhattan states.
Maxwell, 58, who is in prison on charges related to Epstein’s sexual abuse of underage girls, said she would post a $22.5 million bond that mirrors the assets of her and her husband, whom she married in 2016. Her spouse was not identified in court papers.
Friends and family would guarantee most of the remaining bail, Maxwell proposed.
The proposal is “exceptional in its scope and puts at risk everything that Ms. Maxwell has—all of her and her spouse’s assets, her family’s livelihood, and the financial security of her closest friends and family—if she were to flee, which she has no intention of doing,” her attorney Mark Cohen wrote.
While it's unclear where Maxwell would reside if the bail package is accepted, she would have electronic monitoring, according to court papers. She would also be monitored by private security guards 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
The filing also said Maxwell “vehemently maintains her innocence” and is not a flight risk, despite media that have “ruthlessly vilified her and prejudged her guilt” in far more articles than the comedian Bill Cosby and movie producer Harvey Weinstein had after their arrests.
“Ms. Maxwell is not the person the media has portrayed her to be, far from it,” the filing said. “Ms. Maxwell wants to stay in New York and have her day in court so that she can clear her name and return to her family.”
Attorney Bobbi Sternheim said in a court filing that the government left out a variety of issues in describing how Maxwell is being held.
Epstein was found dead in his Manhattan jail cell last year, which triggered speculation about whether he really died of a suicide, as the city’s medical examiner ruled. He counted powerful figures such as former President Bill Clinton, Britain’s Prince Andrew, and Microsoft’s Bill Gates as friends.
Epstein was charged in July 2019 with sexually exploiting dozens of girls between 2002 and 2005. Maxwell, meanwhile, was accused of helping Epstein recruit and eventually abuse girls from 1994 to 1997 and lying about her role in 2016.
Maxwell’s trial is scheduled to begin in July 2021, and she faces up to 35 years in prison if convicted.
U.S. District Judge Alison Nathan could rule on Maxwell’s bail application this month.