In her first picture from behind bars since her arrest last year, Ghislaine Maxwell is seen with a black eye. The photo was included in a court filing Thursday by the former British socialite's lawyers as part of their continuing complaints about Maxwell's custody conditions at Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn.
Maxwell's attorney Bobbi Sternheim wrote in a filing to the federal court in New York that Maxwell was "confronted by MDC staff due a visible bruise over her left eye" on Wednesday evening. Despite having 24/7 camera surveillance on her at all times, Sternheim said Maxwell received a "black eye."
"No guard addressed the bruise until Ms. Maxwell, who has no mirror, caught a reflection of her aching eye in the glean of a nail clipper," the filing said. "At that point, MDC staff confronted Ms. Maxwell regarding the source of the bruise, threatening to place her in the SHU if she did not reveal how she got it' - the SHU is the most restrictive part of the prison."
Despite claiming not to have a mirror, Maxwell seems to keep up with her appearance.
"While Ms. Maxwell is unaware of the cause of the bruise, as reported to medical and psych staff, she has grown increasingly reluctant to report information to the guards for fear of retaliation, discipline, and punitive chores," Sternheim continued in the letter. "However, there is concern that the bruise may be related to the need for Ms. Maxwell to shield her eyes from the lights projected into her cell throughout the night."
It would be "ironic" if Maxwell was placed in the SHU, according to Sternheim, since it would mean that she "needs security from the very staff so bent on protecting her, because she has no contact with anyone but staff."
"As suggested by the Circuit, we ask the court to address Ms. Maxwell's sleeping conditions by directing the MDC to cease 15-minute light surveillance of Ms. Maxwell or justify the need for the disruptive flashlight surveillance," the letter concluded.
Maxwell, who holds American, British, and French citizenship, is considered a flight risk by the court, and she continuously has been refused bail.
Maxwell's lawyer said that guards in her Brooklyn jail kept her awake at night to prevent her from committing suicide as financier mogul and pedophile Jeffrey Epstein presumably did in his jail cell in 2019. However, the 2nd US Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan said in a brief order that Maxwell should seek relief from US District Judge Alison Nathan, who handles her criminal case, if she is being deprived of sleep.
And on the same day, Judge Nathan ordered MDC to clarify information regarding the defendant's pleas and the alleged sleep deprivation.
Maxwell is charged with the provision of underage girls who had been sexually assaulted by notorious financier Jeffrey Epstein. The 59-year-old suspect pleaded not guilty to sex trafficking and other charges related to her alleged involvement in obtaining four teenage girls for Epstein to abuse between 1994 and 2004.
If convicted, Maxwell could face up to 80 years behind bars. She is requesting a postponement of her trial, which is currently set for July 12, 2021.