Ghislaine Maxwell’s lawyers are pleading for leniency at sentencing for the disgraced socialite, citing claims that she was abused as a child and has continuously faced death threats inside her Brooklyn lockup.

Attorneys for Jeffery Epstein’s notorious henchwoman filed paperwork in Manhattan federal court Wednesday asking the judge in her case to consider a prison sentence “well below” the 20 years recommended by the probation department.

They said Maxwell — who was convicted of sex trafficking in December — shouldn’t bear the brunt of the punishment that was meant for Epstein, who killed himself while awaiting trial in 2019.

“[T]his Court cannot sentence Ms. Maxwell as if she were a proxy for Epstein simply because Epstein is no longer here,” they wrote in the 77-page document. “It would be a travesty of justice for her to face a sentence that would have been appropriate for Epstein.”

Maxwell, who was convicted of recruiting young girls for Epstein to sexually abuse from 1994 to 2004, is scheduled to be sentenced on June 28.

Her lawyers said the abuse she allegedly suffered as a child at the hands of her father made her vulnerable to Epstein’s influence.

Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell attend de Grisogono Sponsors The 2005 Wall Street Concert Series Benefitting Wall Street Rising, with a Performance by Rod Stewart at Cipriani Wall Street on March 15, 2005 in New York City.
Maxwell’s lawyers argue she shouldn’t bear the brunt of the punishment that was meant for Epstein, who killed himself while awaiting trial in 2019.
Patrick McMullan via Getty Image

“She had a difficult, traumatic childhood with an overbearing, narcissistic, and demanding
father,” the lawyers said. “It made her vulnerable to Epstein, whom she met right after her father’s death.”

In one instance when Maxwell was 13 years old, her father allegedly hammered her dominant hand — leaving it bruised and painful for weeks — when he grew outraged that she hammered a poster onto her freshly painted bedroom wall, the attorneys claim.

The lawyers also asked for a lighter sentence on the basis that Maxwell suffered a worse imprisonment than typical pretrial detainees with “conditions far more onerous and punitive.”

ROBERT AND ELIZABETH MAXWELL
Cannes Film Festival, France - May 1987
Maxwell allegedly suffered abuse as a child at the hands of her father, which made her vulnerable to Epstein’s influence, her lawyers claim.
Steve Wood/Shutterstock

“Her life has been ruined,” they wrote.

Maxwell spent nearly two years in solitary confinement before she was moved into the general population of Brooklyn’s Metropolitan Detention Center last month.

She has also faced multiple death threats while incarcerated, the attorneys claimed.

Most recently, a fellow inmate in her unit threatened to kill her, “claiming that an additional 20 years’ incarceration would be worth the money she’d receive for murdering Ms. Maxwell,” according to the paperwork.

The lawyers said Maxwell has been a law-abiding citizen who contributes to society — outside of the time she spent with Epstein.

“Ghislaine Maxwell is not an heiress, villain, or vapid socialite,” they said. “She has worked hard her entire life. She has energy, drive, commitment, a strong work ethic, and desire to do good in the world.”



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