Ghislaine Maxwell, the alleged madam of the late pedophile Jeffrey Epstein, is sleeping with a sock over her face to shield herself from prison guards who shine a light into her cell every 15 minutes, the Daily Mail reported on Monday.
According to her attorneys, the former British socialite is using a prison-issued sock as a makeshift face mask to avoid being woken up. Maxwell's lawyer, David Markus, reportedly said during Maxwell's third bail hearing she sometimes covers her face with a towel when she doesn't have a sock on hand.
"The government has used the word routine to say how Miss Maxwell is being treated," Markus said. "There’s absolutely nothing routine about it. She’s being treated differently than any other inmate ever in that institution. The idea she has an eye mask that wraps around her head to block out the light is wrong. She tries to use either a sock or a towel to block out the light on her own, it’s not wrapped around her head. You can imagine trying to keep that on your eyes at night so the guards don’t wake you every 15 minutes."
All Maxwell wanted was a "fair shot" to prepare for her trial and a "good night's sleep," according to Markus. He also added that she was only subjected to these conditions because Epstein died in August 2019 while awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges in a federal prison.
According to the report, the judges were taken aback by the fact that Maxwell, who is a suspect in a sex trafficking case, was being treated so harshly. They asked why Maxwell was getting a light shone in her cell every 15 minutes during the hearing at the Second Circuit appeal court in New York.
"It’s routine to shine a light into the eyes of every prisoner every 15 minutes? Are you really telling us that?" one of the judges reportedly asked the prosecution, whose representative in court said the guard shined light into the ceiling to "check on her security," although there have been no reports of Maxwell being suicidal.
According to the report, the 59-year old suspect has denied the accusations of sex trafficking of a child, sex trafficking conspiracy, and perjury. Maxwell appeared in federal court in New York for the first time last Friday, looking frail and wearing her now long black hair down, revealing gray roots.
Maxwell pleaded not guilty in her first in-person trial since her arrest last year.
'Yes, your honor,' and 'I have, your honor,' were Maxwell's only responses to the judge before waiving the right to have the charges read aloud in public.
According to the Daily Mail, however, there was no evidence of the hair loss her attorneys said she had suffered while in jail, nor was there any sign of her husband Scott Borgerson, who was expected to turn up to support her.
A blonde woman named Danielle Bensky, an Epstein survivor, sat in the public gallery and confronted Maxwell in court. Bensky reportedly rushed to the hearing at the last minute and craned her neck to see Maxwell.
"To be honest I was too afraid to come to the Epstein trial so this is a new feeling for me to sit there and accept a lot [of things]. I do think it's hard to sit through it [the hearing] and it's painful, but it's good too, it's healing," Bensky said afterward outside court. "After not having a trial for Epstein this will provide closure for the victims."
Speaking to reporters after the hearing, Maxwell's lawyer Markus said that his client "is staying strong, she's getting ready for trial. Ghislaine is looking forward to that trial and she's looking forward to fighting, and she will fight."
Last month, a rewritten indictment filed against the British socialite added sex trafficking charges to claims that she recruited three teenage girls for then-boyfriend Jeffrey Epstein to sexually harass between 1994 and 1997. The conspiracy was extended to 2004 with new charges concerning the sex trafficking of a minor.
Maxwell's trial is scheduled for July 12. Her attorneys asked for the trial to be postponed until January of next year, claiming that the latest allegations would take months to investigate.