Ghislaine Maxwell has said she wished that she had never met billionaire paedophile Jeffrey Epstein and claimed he was murdered in prison in a bombshell interview with Talk TV.
In her first TV interview since she was jailed for child sex trafficking, the British socialite boasted of meeting the Queen and ex-US president Bill Clinton.
During an hour-long show on TalkTV, Maxwell, 61, offered no apology to her victimsand told them to take out their anger on the authorities who ‘allowed’ her former boyfriend Epstein to die in prison.
She branded the infamous photo of her with Prince Andrew – showing his arm around accuser Virginia Roberts (now Giuffre), then 17 – as ‘fake’, triggering a backlash as victims condemned her controversial remarks.
Maxwell was jailed for 20 years last June after being convicted in the US of masterminding a scheme to round up schoolgirls for Wall Street financier Epstein to molest. The daughter of disgraced newspaper tycoon Robert Maxwell had two US presidents, a Pope and A-lister celebrities on speed-dial on her phone.
But she was abandoned in court by friends, including Andrew, with none offering a character reference.
However, Maxwell last night called the prince her ‘dear friend’ and branded the accusations against him baseless.
She said: ‘In [Ms Giuffre’s] deposition…her stories are very detailed and elaborate. If your memories are so poor then how can you rely on anything that she says?
‘Once you retract on men you make claims against on the grounds that your memory is faulty, you have to question everything she says.’
Maxwell was referring to Ms Giuffre dropping a separate sexual abuse claim against Epstein’s former lawyer Alan Dershowitz last year.
Andrew paid up to £12million to Ms Giuffre, now 39, in an out-of-court settlement last year – but now hopes to overturn the legal deal and ‘prove’ his innocence to end his royal exile.
In last night’s edition of Jeremy Kyle’s TalkTV show, viewers saw Maxwell speaking for the first time since she was jailed. The show featured video and audio phone calls from prison in Florida, in which she told her brother Ian Maxwell and journalist Daphne Barak that the biggest misconception about her was that she was the ‘cruellest, meanest, most poisonous person’.
And she rued the day she met Epstein, for whom she procured schoolgirls to molest. She said: ‘I honestly wish I had never met him.’
Laughing, she added: ‘I didn’t know that he was so awful. I mean obviously now, looking back with hindsight, of course. But at the time, I mean he had lots of friends. He was friendly with just about everybody you could imagine.’
At her trial, the jury believed three women who told them Maxwell herself had fondled their breasts and used her position as a supposedly respectable, glamorous, older woman to lure the schoolgirls into the clutches of Epstein.
The billionaire was found hanged in his cell in New York in 2019 while he was awaiting trial for sex trafficking, triggering conspiracy theories that he was murdered. Maxwell said last night: ‘I believe that he was murdered. I was shocked. Then I wondered how it had happened.’
At her sentencing in New York, six of Maxwell’s victims delivered devastating speeches urging the judge to jail her for life. Two others submitted damning statements – including Ms Giuffre who lambasted her for ‘using your femininity to betray us’. But last night Maxwell showed a lack of remorse.
Asked about the victims, she said only: ‘I say that Epstein died and they should take their disappointment and upset out on the authorities who allowed that to happen.
‘I hope that they have some closure via the judicial process that took place. And I wish them… to be able to heal and have a productive and good life going forward.’
Speaking of the Andrew photo with Ms Giuffre, she said: ‘Well, it’s a fake. I don’t believe it’s real. In fact I’m sure it’s not. There’s never been an original. I’ve only even seen a photocopy of it. I don’t believe it happened.’ The vegetarian also complained about her ‘tasteless’ prison diet of tofu and beans. Lawyer Lisa Bloom told Good Morning Britain that Epstein’s victims ‘are disgusted and offended every time Ghislaine Maxwell opens her mouth’.
She added: ‘I can tell you that Prince Andrew, when there was an active case against him, had every right to get the original, to send it out for testing, to prove the point it was a fake… and it never happened.
‘Instead he settled, reportedly for millions of dollars. And that’s where it’s going to end. It really doesn’t matter what Ghislaine Maxwell has to say about it.’ She said Andrew’s chances of overturning the legal settlement were zero.
Former US attorney general Bill Barr has said he had ‘personally’ reviewed surveillance footage and concluded that Epstein was alone in the cell when he hanged himself.