Bill Cosby and Harvey Weinstein didn't have to put up with this, an attorney for Ghislaine Maxwell has told a court. "Wealthy men charged with similar or more serious offenses, many of whom have foreign ties, are routinely granted bail so that they can effectively prepare for trial," David Oscar Markus wrote in the Thursday filing. "Ms. Maxwell is entitled to the same opportunity as male defendants to prepare her defense." The former girlfriend of Jeffrey Epstein is jailed pending her trial, scheduled for July, on sex trafficking and conspiracy charges. She's pleaded not guilty. The brief said rich men facing other sorts of charges also were allowed out until their trial, Yahoo News reports, mentioning Bernie Madoff and John Gotti. Prosecutors added charges this week, which Markus said could require postponing the trial.
Maxwell's lawyer also complained about the conditions at Brooklyn's Metropolitan Detention Center, which he said are "fitting for Hannibal Lecter." Maxwell is on suicide watch and "continues to lose weight, her hair, and her ability to concentrate," the brief says, per the New York Post, asking that she be released on bail before she reaches the point where she's not capable of helping with her defense. The filing says guards wake Maxwell up every 15 minutes by shining lights into her cell and conduct intrusive searches—"including having hands forced into her mouth in a squalid facility where COVID has run rampant." Her lawyers criticized the charges as merely "old, anonymous accusations that have never been tested." The court did not immediately rule on the bail request. "All we are asking for is a chance to defend the case," the brief says. (More Ghislaine Maxwell stories.)