Ghislaine Maxwell 'intimidated, humiliated' by prison guard who stood knee-to-knee with her in the toilet
'The guard team leader stood knee to knee with Ms Maxwell while Ms Maxwell sat on the commode in the small area containing one toilet and a sink,' wrote the disgraced socialite's attorney, Bobbi Sternheim
Ghislaine Maxwell has kicked up another stink after being "falsely accused" of having illegal papers behind bars.
The British socialite, a longtime associate of Jeffrey Epstein who was recently charged with sex trafficking minors, has accused jail guards of bullying and humiliating her by standing over her as she used the restroom. Only weeks ago, guards accused her of not flushing the toilet, an accusation she vehemently refuted, blaming the stench on decaying pipes.
The British socialite, 59, alleged in a letter to a judge submitted by attorney Bobbi Sternheim on Monday, April 26, that a senior guard at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn stood 'knee to knee' with her while she 'sat on the commode' on Saturday, April 24, the Daily Mail reported.
Maxwell's legal team denied the offense in court papers published by the news outlet, claiming that the guards waited until her attorneys were gone and then 'took unfair advantage of her.' This marks the latest twist in an increasingly acrimonious dispute over Maxwell's treatment in the federal prison where she's being held pending her trial for allegedly procuring underage girls for Jeffrey Epstein.
Maxwell's attorneys and prosecutors have clashed in the past about whether she could wear an eye mask, and whether she is flushing the toilet in her jail cell. Sternheim and colleague Leah Saffian attended a two-and-a-half-hour legal conference with Maxwell on Saturday, April 24, during which they were under the 'constant surveillance of four to five guards,' according to the filing.
Following the meeting, she received an email from MDC legal counsel Sophia Papapetru, alleging that Maxwell had "received paperwork that was not in her possession upon entering." The papers were seized and would be returned to Sternheim on her next visit, according to Papapetru, who cited MDC laws prohibiting lawyers from giving clients materials during a legal visit.
Sternheim denied the breach and said, "guards seized all of Ms. Maxwell's legal papers, consisting of multiple letter-sized manila folders containing documents and a composition notebook within a Redweld folder."
"The guards told Ms. Maxwell they believed she improperly retained documents given to her by her attorneys and that this was a very serious offense," she added.
According to Sternheim, the guards told Maxwell that they wanted her to know "that what you did was a very serious infraction." She quoted them as saying: "It was so serious that it is worthy of an incident report and a disciplinary. It has been decided this time you will receive a caution."
Following this, Maxwell was given permission to use the bathroom as she had requested. "But unlike any other occasion, the guard team leader stood knee to knee with Ms Maxwell while Ms Maxwell sat on the commode in the small area containing one toilet and a sink," Sternheim wrote.
She said that along with denying Maxwell any privacy, the guard went into a confrontation with her in a confined space off-camera. "Although Ms. Maxwell was ultimately informed that she would not receive a disciplinary infraction for the incident, being falsely accused of "a very serious offense" and having a guard standing over her while she used the commode caused Ms. Maxwell to feel intimidated and humiliated," she said.
'Fearful to be subject to retaliation'
The attorney then went on to say that a "falsely accused" Maxwell feels a "heightened insecurity under the control of her officious handlers." The incident, she said, has put a 'chill' on their communication as attorney and client because Maxwell feels she cannot bring legal documents while meeting her lawyers.
Sternheim said the "accusation is inaccurate as is the information reported to you by your staff," in an emailed response to Papapetru. "Nothing in Ms. Maxwell's legal papers was given to her by me or by Leah Saffian, Esq," she said. She also said the guards' conduct was 'reprehensible', adding that they 'took undue advantage' of Maxwell by waiting until her lawyers had left the scene.
Maxwell is concerned that the confidentiality necessary to plan her defence has been 'irreparably violated,' and that her confidential records have been copied and disseminated, despite Sternheim's denial. The attorney said Maxwell is "fearful that she will be subject to retaliation, baseless allegations, and unwarranted and unprovoked discipline."
She 'flushes frequently'
Maxwell is appealing her third bail denial, and her lawyer, David Oscar Markus, admitted that she does not have an eye mask to stop her from waking 'every 15 minutes' to guards checking on her with a flashlight. She is using a sock as a makeshift facemask and towel, the Dail Mail said.
Officials from the MDC said earlier this year that Maxwell keeps her cell dirty and doesn't flush the toilet, causing it to stink. Sternheim came to the rescue to say that the socialite "flushes frequently to avoid plumbing problems", otherwise "gases escape from the drains" causing a stench.