- Ghislaine Maxwell’s lawyers have requested a sentence of just over five years in prison.
- They said a fellow inmate said she was paid to strangle Maxwell in his sleep.
- Prosecutors have recommended that Maxwell serve 20 years behind bars.
Lawyers for Ghislaine Maxwell argued Wednesday that she should spend fewer years in prison than the 20-year sentence recommended by prosecutors, citing alleged threats from other inmates and what they described as a troubled childhood .
One of their allegations was that a fellow inmate threatened to kill Maxwell, according to a pre-sentencing memo seen by Insider.
“One of the inmates in Maxwell’s living unit told at least three other inmates that she had been offered money to murder Maxwell and that she planned to strangle him in his sleep,” wrote the lawyers.
The inmate said killing Maxwell was worth serving another 20 years in prison, the lawyers claimed. The report adds that the inmate who made the threat was moved to another facility, “presumably” for Maxwell’s safety.
Lawyers also said Maxwell’s father, the late Robert Maxwell, abused her. They described him as “a physically large man with a booming voice” who would “blow up, threaten and rant at children until they were reduced to pulp”.
“Mr. Maxwell was relentless, with children ending in tears, punishments doled out and the whole family in utter distress,” the lawyers wrote.
Maxwell was arrested in July 2020 on suspicion of helping convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein organize the sexual abuse of underage girls and participating in the abuse herself. The British socialite maintained that she was innocent.
In December, she was found guilty of three counts of conspiracy, a separate count of sex trafficking and a charge of transporting a minor to engage in unlawful sexual activity.
Her lawyers said Wednesday that she should not be held accountable and punished for Epstein’s actions, calling the late financier the “mastermind” of the abuse. Epstein was found dead in his Manhattan jail cell in 2019.
“Indeed, if Ghislaine Maxwell had never had the deep misfortune of meeting Jeffrey Epstein more than 30 years ago, she would not be here,” argued her lawyers.
The lawyers asked for a sentence of just over five years, much less than the 20 years recommended by probation authorities.
Maxwell, 60, faces a maximum sentence of 55 years behind bars. He was reduced from a potential 65 when U.S. Circuit Judge Alison Nathan ruled in April that two of his guilty charges overlapped. Nathan is due to sentence Maxwell on June 28.
Maxwell is represented by Bobbi Sternheim, Christian Everdell, Jeffrey Pagliuca and Laura Menninger.