03:53 GMT28 January 2021
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    British publishing heiress Ghislaine Maxwell was arrested in July this year accused of grooming and sex trafficking minors for further abuse by Jeffrey Epstein, as well as lying under oath.

    The legal team of Jeffery Epstein's ex-girlfriend Ghislaine Maxwell’s claim she's lost almost 7 kg since her arrest and is now losing her hair too, according to a court filing cited by the UK's Independent newspaper.

    The lawyers blamed “extraordinarily onerous conditions” in Maxwell’s prison for her alleged health problems. The complaint came as a response to an earlier letter by the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) which says the British socialite remains in a good condition with a healthy weight of nearly 60 kg.

    However, Maxwell’s lawyer Bobbi Sternheim said in a note to US district judge Alison Nathan that it was “obvious” that his client was “bearing the brunt of BOP incompetence.”

    Maxwell’s legal team believes that the circumstances surrounding Epstein's death (he is said to have committed suicide while in prison in August 2019) are affecting her treatment while incarcerated.

    Sternheim claims that "despite non-stop in-cell camera surveillance Ms. Maxwell's sleep is disrupted every 15 minutes when she is awakened by a flashlight to ascertain whether she is breathing." Her legal team says this is happening because her imprisonment is being handled as a response to “the failed handling of a completely different inmate” – Epstein – and not due to security rationale.

    Maxwell was arrested at her New Hampshire home in July this year and is being held at the Metropolitan Detention Centre (MDC) in Brooklyn. She was recently quarantined after a prison guard tested positive for coronavirus.

     In this July 2, 2020 file photo, Audrey Strauss, Acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, speaks during a news conference in New York, to announce charges against Ghislaine Maxwell for her alleged role in the sexual exploitation and abuse of multiple minor girls by Jeffrey Epstein
    © AP Photo / John Minchillo
    In this July 2, 2020 file photo, Audrey Strauss, Acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, speaks during a news conference in New York, to announce charges against Ghislaine Maxwell for her alleged role in the sexual exploitation and abuse of multiple minor girls by Jeffrey Epstein

    Right after her arrest, Maxwell's request to be released on bail in exchange for a $5 million-bond was denied, as prosecutors argued that there was an “extreme” risk she would run away.

    A new bail application has been filed by Maxwell’s lawyers, who argue that the she should stay in a New York hotel until her trial in July 2021 due to risks associated with coronavirus.

    In a 25 November filing unsealed this week, another of Maxwell's lawyers, Mark Cohen, asked the district judge not to make her new bail application public to protect her family from “harassment.”

    Meanwhile, the judge has stated that the hearing on the possible bail release will still be held in open court.

    Maxwell has been charged with six federal crimes, including sex trafficking, enticement of minors, and perjury. She had pleaded not guilty to all charges, but many of Epstein’s accusers claim that she not only facilitated his crimes, but actively participated in sexual offences while helping to groom young girls for future abuse.

    Tags:
    prison, Jeffrey Epstein, Ghislaine Maxwell, United States
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