Ghislaine Maxwell case update: Former socialite placed on suicide watch ahead of sentencing

Ghislaine Maxwell's lawyer says their client is not suicidal (Image via Getty Images)
Ghislaine Maxwell's lawyer says their client is not suicidal (Image via Getty Images)

Ghislaine Maxwell, Jeffrey Epstein's former lover, is on suicide watch but is not really suicidal, Maxwell's lawyer said. With the declaration of a suicide watch for the disgraced British socialite, her attorney hopes to get an extension for her sentencing.

Maxwell has been convicted of helping Epstein exploit underage girls and awaits sentencing on June 28.

In a letter to U.S. Circuit Judge Alison Nathan, attorney Bobbi Sternheim wrote:

"If Ms. Maxwell remains on suicide watch, is prohibited from reviewing legal materials prior to sentencing, becomes sleep-deprived, and is denied sufficient time to meet with and confer with counsel, we will be formally moving on Monday for an adjournment."

Prosecutors are pushing for a sentence of 30 to 55 years for Maxwell after she was found guilty on five of six criminal counts, including s*x trafficking of a minor, transporting a minor with the intent to engage in criminal s*xual activity, and three related counts of conspiracy.

Meanwhile, Maxwell's lawyers requested the judge to reduce her sentencing, basing her actions on a rough childhood that also made her vulnerable to Epstein. The lawyers even maintained that Maxwell should not be tried for Epstein's crimes.


Ghislaine Maxwell in solitary confinement

Maxwell's lawyer, in a letter to the judge, stated how it has been difficult to "properly prepare" for the sentencing. This reportedly happened after officials at a Brooklyn jail abruptly put Maxwell in solitary confinement after she was put on suicide watch.

In the letter to Judge Nathan, Maxwell's lawyer wrote:

"Dear Judge Nathan, I write to inform the Court of a recent development which may require the postponement of Tuesday's sentencing proceeding. Yesterday, without having conducted a psychological evaluation and without justification, the MDC placed Ms. Maxwell on suicide watch."

Because of this, officials have taken away her regular clothes, toothpaste, soap, and documents, Ghislaine Maxwell's attorney Sternheim said.

The attorney, speaking about the things she's not permitted to possess, further stated:

"She is not permitted to possess or review legal documents and is not permitted paper or pen. This has prevented her from preparing for sentencing."

However, Sternheim confirmed that Ghislaine Maxwell was not suicidal. This assessment was also backed up by a psychologist who evaluated Maxwell.

Prosecutors have accused Ghislaine Maxwell of assisting Epstein in setting up a scheme where they lured young girls between 1994 and 2004.

Back in 2008, Epstein had pleaded guilty to the crime. He was indicted on federal s*x trafficking charges in July 2019. However, Epstein died in August 2019 at a Manhattan federal detention facility, a month after he was placed on suicide watch.

A psychologist had taken Epstein off of suicide watch some time before he killed himself. The detention facility has since been closed down, possibly temporarily, to address certain "issues."

If you or someone you know is experiencing depression or has had thoughts of harming themselves or taking their own life, get help. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-8255) provides 24/7, free, confidential support for people in distress, as well as best practices for professionals and resources to aid in prevention and crisis situations. Help is also available through the Crisis Text Line — just text "HOME" to 741741.

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Edited by Soumyadyuti Ghosh
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