Politics

Mystery of Ghislaine Maxwell's whereabouts deepens as Jeffrey Epstein accusers eye his alleged madam

Key Points
  • The mystery over Ghislaine Maxwell's whereabouts deepened Wednesday on a report that the alleged madam for Jeffrey Epstein, an accused child sex trafficker, was holed up in a Massachusetts mansion, as an Epstein accuser filed suit against Maxwell.
  • Maxwell in the past was photographed with Epstein socializing with President Donald Trump, and attending the wedding of Chelsea Clinton, whose father, President Bill Clinton, like Trump had been friends with Epstein.
  • Epstein died Saturday of a suspected suicide in a federal jail in Manhattan.
Ghislaine Maxwell attends VIP Evening of Conversation for Women's Brain Health Initiative, Moderated by Tina Brown at Spring Studios on October 18, 2016 in New York City.
Sylvain Gaboury | Patrick McMullan | Getty Images

The mystery over Ghislaine Maxwell's whereabouts deepened Wednesday on a report that the alleged madam for Jeffrey Epstein, an accused child sex trafficker, was holed up in a Massachusetts mansion, as an Epstein accuser filed suit against Maxwell.

Hours after The Daily Mail reported that Maxwell was living in tech-firm CEO Scott Borgerson's mansion in Manchester-by-the-Sea, NBC News reported that a property manager of an adjacent parcel of land said that Maxwell was living at Borgerson's residence as recently as two weeks ago.

Borgerson told CNBC, however, ""This is all a suprise to me."

"Ghislaine Maxwell is not at my house. I don't know where she is," Borgenson said.

VIDEO3:4703:47
What happens next in the Jeffrey Epstein legal drama after his apparent suicide

The speculation over Maxwell came as prosecutors and Epstein's accusers set their sights on her, and on the heels of Epstein's apparent suicide in jail last Saturday.

Before Wednesday's reports, the most recent indication of Maxwell's location was in 2017, when her civil lawyers reportedly told a judge she was living in London, but without a firm address there.

Maxwell's camera shyness in recent years stands in sharp contrast to her past, when she was photographed with Epstein socializing with President Donald Trump, and attending the wedding of Chelsea Clinton, whose father, President Bill Clinton, like Trump had been friends with Epstein. In 2016, she sold her Manhattan townhouse for $15 million.

If she remains out of sight — and possibly out of the United States — the Oxford-schooled Maxwell could avoid potential civil liability and prosecution related to her relationship with Epstein.

Lawyers for Maxwell, and a spokesman for the U.S. attorney's office in Manhattan, which had been prosecuting Epstein, did not return requests for comment.

Before her association with Epstein, Maxwell was best known to the public as the namesake of the Lady Ghislaine, the yacht that her father, disgraced English media mogul Robert Maxwell, either jumped from or fell from when he mysteriously died at sea, leaving $4 billion in debt behind.

Maxwell, 57, long has been named by Epstein's accusers as a woman who recruited underage girls so that he could sexually abuse them under the pretext of getting massages at his luxurious properties in Manhattan, Palm Beach, Florida, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. One employer of Epstein's called Maxwell the "lady of the house," referring to his mansion in Palm Beach.

Some accusers have also said Maxwell at times participated with Epstein in abusing them sexually. Maxwell has denied the allegations.

VIDEO0:5800:58
NBC archive footage shows Trump partying with Jeffrey Epstein in 1992

In court documents released last week, a woman named Virginia Giuffre said Maxwell directed her as a teenager to have sex with Prince Andrew of Britain, former Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell, ex-New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, hedge funder Glenn Dubin, late MIT scientist Marvin Minsky, modeling company founder Jean-Luc Brunel, the owner of a large hotel chain, and another prince.

All of the men, with the exception of the late Minksky, denied Giuffre's claims last week.

"I was told to do something by these people constantly ... my whole life revolved around just pleasing these men and keeping Ghislaine and Jeffrey happy," Giuffre said in a deposition released Friday.

"Their whole entire lives revolved around sex."

U.S. financier Jeffrey Epstein appears in a photograph taken for the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services' sex offender registry March 28, 2017 and obtained by Reuters July 10, 2019.
New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services | Handout | Reuters

Maxwell, who has adamantly denied Giuffre's claims, has never been criminally charged in connection with her relationship to Epstein, her former boyfriend.

But Epstein's arrest last month on charges of child sex trafficking and conspiracy to commit child sex trafficking sparked speculation that Maxwell was among the unnamed people in the indictment believed by federal prosecutors to have facilitated his abuse of girls, some as young as age 14.

Epstein, 66, is believed to have hanged himself in his cell at the Metropolitan Correctional Center, where he was found unresponsive on Saturday.

While his death, which is under investigation, effectively ended the criminal prosecution against him, it did not forestall the possibility that prosecutors would charge others in Epstein's orbit.

"Any co-conspirators should not rest easy," Attorney General William Barr said Monday. "The victims deserve justice and they will get it."

NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 20: Ghislaine Maxwell attends day 1 of the 4th Annual WIE Symposium at Center 548 on September 20, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Laura Cavanaugh/Getty Images)
Laura Cavanaugh | Getty Images

On Wednesday morning, one of Epstein's accusers, Jennifer Araoz, now 32, sued Maxwell and three other women employed by Epstein. Araoz's suit claims that Epstein "committed repeated sexual assault and battery upon Ms. Araoz while Ms. Araoz was a 14-15 year old high school student, including forcibly raping Ms. Araoz."

And Maxwell "participated with and assisted Epstein in maintaining and protecting his sex trafficking ring, ensuring that approximately three girls a day were made available to him for his sexual pleasure," the lawsuit filed in New York state court says.

Dan Kaiser, a lawyer for Araoz, said Wednesday that he needs to have the lawsuit served on Maxwell. But he noted that Maxwell's whereabouts are unknown to him at this time.

Kaiser said his team is "undergoing an effort to find out where she is."

Shortly after Araoz filed her suit, The Daily Mail reported that Maxwell "has been laying low" in the Manchester-by-the-Sea mansion owned by Borgerson, the 42-year-old CEO of CargoMetrics.

The newspaper said Borgerson had also been spotted walking Maxwell's dog in Boston.

Borgerson told NBC News he did know Maxwell. But he told CNBC, "Don't take your news from The Daily Mail." He said that when he got home his cat was there, but not Maxwell.

"I'm passionate about ocean policy and wish people were as interested in Jones Act reform, joining the law of the sea, and funding icebreakers," Borgerson told NBC.

— Additional reporting by CNBC's Kevin Breuninger.