Ghislaine Maxwell set to appear in court today for first time since dramatic arrest over Epstein sex trafficking claims
GHISLAINE Maxwell is expected to appear before court for the first time today since she was arrested for allegedly procuring underage girls for her pedophile ex-lover Jeffrey Epstein.
The British socialite, 59, will appear for her arraignment on two sex-trafficking charges that were added to her indictment last month.
Maxwell had requested that her arraignment took place in person, The New York Post reports.
She has maintained her innocence throughout and is expected to plead not guilty to the additional counts today.
The counts – sex trafficking and sex trafficking conspiracy – are for allegedly recruiting an unnamed underage girl in the 2000s.
Her attorney Jeffrey Pagliuca and lawyer Laura Menninger have been pictured arriving at the Daniel Patrick Moynihan United States Courthouse in Manhattan, NY.
Pagliuca is a trial lawyer who has 39 years experience in state and federal courts, while Menninger has represented Maxwell in previous civil actions.
Menninger was a financial analyst at Goldman before going to Stanford Law School and then moved to Colorado where she became a Deputy State Public Defender.
It comes after her family insisted she's "no monster" as they launched a website in support of the jailed British socialite.
Her family launched realghislaine.com and have invited the public to "get to know the real Ghislaine".
The site includes information about her life and upcoming trial as well as her allegedly brutal jail conditions.
Her trial is set to start in July in New York City – where Epstein owned a home in which many young girls were allegedly abused.
In a video statement, her brother Ian insists his sister is innocent and is being held in solitary confinement.
He said: "I and my brothers and sisters love her very much.
"We believe in her innocence and that she'll be exonerated in the end, which is why it's so hard for us to see her held in an American prison in solitary confinement without bail for over 260 days and counting.
"My sister is no monster. Ghislaine is a stepmother. A wife. A friend to many. A sister to me. No one deserves to be tortured when they're presumed innocent."
He added that the socialite is awaiting trial "based on allegations that date back 25 years by accusers whose names not even her own lawyers know."
Ian says his sister is "kind and compassionate" and claims she has received "hundreds" of letters of support while in prison.
Maxwell is being held in "restrictive" conditions in prison including guards sticking their fingers in her mouth and shining torches in her face every 15 minutes, the site alleges.
In the site's FAQ section, it claims: "The drinking water is full of contaminants and the food is inedible.
"Food has been fed to her on plastic trays that have melted when exposed to microwaved heating, making the food inedible and unsafe."
The socialite was arrested last July at a $1m home in New Hampshire and is being held at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn.
She is understood to be under suicide watch after Jeffrey Epstein killed himself while awaiting trial in August 2019.
Ghislaine Maxwell strongly denies all allegations of misconduct made against her.
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