Epstein girlfriend Ghislaine Maxwell pictured at burger bar in first public sighting since financier’s death
Spotting of socialite comes as two women sue Epstein estate for $100m
The “missing” former girlfriend of Jeffrey Epstein and the woman accused of recruiting young women for him – claims she has strongly denied – has been spotted eating at a fast food restaurant in Los Angeles.
In the days since the death of the disgraced financier, accused of sex trafficking young girls, much attention has focused on the whereabouts of socialite Ghislaine Maxwell, daughter of the late press baron Robert Maxwell, and Epstein’s longtime confidante. Reports suggested she was living in France or elsewhere in Europe, or even in Massachusetts.
The matter now seems to have been at least party cleared up after a tabloid newspaper published a picture of her taken in an unlikely location.
“Well, I guess this is the last time I’ll be eating here,” the 57-year-old is said to have remarked after being snapped at an In-N-Out restaurant in Los Angeles, according to the New York Post.
The newspaper claimed Ms Maxwell was enjoying a burger, fries and a shake, while she sat reading The Book of Honour: The Secret Lives and Deaths of CIA Operatives, a 2000 nonfiction bestseller by journalist Ted Gup.
While Ms Maxwell has never been charged with any crimes relating to Epstein’s alleged actions in Florida and New York, this week one of his accusers filed a lawsuit against her, alleging she conspired with members of the disgraced financier’s household staff “to make possible and otherwise facilitate the sexual abuse and rape” the alleged victim she said she endured in 2002 at the age of 15.
Three years ago, she was sued for defamation by another of Epstein’s alleged victims, Virginia Giuffre, for calling allegations against her “obvious lies”. The case was settled out of court for an undisclosed sum. Ms Giuffre had said that she was groomed from the age of 15 by Ms Maxwell and forced to have sex with Epstein and several powerful men, all of whom have denied the allegations.
The public sighting of Ms Maxwell comes as two women who said they were recruited 15 years ago to provide massages to Epstein, only to be later sexually molested by him at his Manhattan mansion, filed a $100m (£82.3m) lawsuit against the financier’s estate.
The lawsuit filed on Thursday night in Manhattan is at least the second against the estate over the 66-year-old’s alleged misconduct, following his 10 August 10 death of an apparent suicide.
Lawyers who represented Epstein did not immediately respond on Friday to requests for comment. The plaintiffs, identified as Jane Doe 1 and Jane Doe 2, said they now live in Okinawa, Japan, and Baltimore.
Prior to his death, Epstein had pleaded not guilty in July to charges of sex trafficking involving dozens of underage girls from 2002 and 2005.
Prosecutors said he recruited and paid girls to give him massages, which became sexual in nature. Attorney general William Barr said the government will continue its investigation into any possible co-conspirators.
He has also ordered a probe into how Epstein was able to kill himself, while supposedly being under a routine of close monitoring at the New York jail where he was being held awaiting trial.
There has been a flood of conspiracy theories about Epstein’s death since he was found a day after fresh documents about the accusations against him were unsealed by a court. Among those to spread such theories has been Donald Trump, who was once a regular associate of Epstein, and who in 2002 told a magazine he was “a terrific guy”.
An autopsy of Epstein found that his neck had been broken in several places, two law enforcement sources said.
Epstein had been alone in his cell when he was found hanging there. He had previously been on suicide watch.
Additional reporting by Reuters