Ghislaine Maxwell and Jeffrey Epstein weren't so close, her lawyers have told a New York court. In fact, the longtime companions had no contact for at least the last decade of Epstein's life, a court filing Thursday maintains. Maxwell's lawyers made the statement in asking a judge to free her on $5 million bond while she awaits trial, the New York Times reports. Prosecutors say Maxwell, 58, helped Epstein recruit, groom and sexually abuse girls for years, but her lawyers told the court that not only does she deny the charges, "Ghislaine Maxwell is not Jeffrey Epstein." The filing was Maxwell's first significant response to the charges she faces. Epstein died in his New York cell before his trial could begin.
Maxwell was arrested last week in New Hampshire. Prosecutors said she had "effectively been in hiding" since Epstein was arrested in July 2019, per CNN, and "poses an extreme risk of flight." Her lawyers contested that, pointing out that Maxwell has lived in the US since 1991 and hadn't left since Epstein was arrested, though she knew she was under criminal investigation. In fact, the lawyers say, Maxwell wasn't hiding and was in contact with the prosecutors all along. A spokesman for the US Attorney's office in Manhattan would not comment on that contention. Maxwell is due in court Tuesday on her request to be released until trial. (Read more Ghislaine Maxwell stories.)