Ghislaine Maxwell believed her billionaire father, Robert, was murdered off the coast of Morocco back in 1991.
The extraordinary claim is made by Ghislaine’s older brother, Ian Maxwell, in a new 20/20 documentary about Jeffrey Epstein‘s confidante, 59, who is currently behind bars awaiting trial on federal sex trafficking charges.
Robert Maxwell was a prominent newspaper publisher whose body was found in the waters near his yacht, Lady Ghislaine, on November 5, 1991. Robert had once boasted a net worth of $1.4 billion, but after his death it was revealed he had plundered hundreds of millions of dollars from his own companies’ pension funds.
His official cause of death was listed as heart attack combined with drowning. However, Ghislaine allegedly had her doubts about that claim, due to her dad’s suspected links to spies in Israel and the British Intelligence Service (MI6).
Ghislaine was the youngest of Maxwell’s nine children, but the only one who believes he met with foul play.
Brother Ian told 20/20: ‘Ghislaine, uniquely in our family, has always thought he was murdered, and she’s alone in that – but it’s her profound conviction that that is what happened.’
Ghislaine first met Jeffrey Epstein the same year that her father died.
The New York-based businessman would become her on-off lover and confidante for more than two decades. During that time, Ghislaine allegedly procured underage girls for Epstein to have sex with.
Ghislaine Maxwell believed her billionaire father, Robert, was murdered off the coast of Morocco back in 1991. The extraordinary claim is made by Ghislaine’s older brother, Ian Maxwell, in a new 20/20 documentary about the Jeffrey Epstein confidante. Jeffrey and Ghislaine are pictured together in 2005
Ghislaine was close to her father, Robert Maxwell, prior to his untimely death in 1991. The pair are pictured together in 1990
Ian Maxwell is speaking out in defense of his sister, Ghislaine, in a new 20/20 documentary
Perhaps the fact that she believed her beloved father had been murdered brought Ghislaine closer to Epstein, as she leaned heavily on him in the months and years afterward.
Meanwhile, Ghislaine still has the support of her living family members, whom she last visited back in 2019 – just weeks before Epstein was arrested and her world came crashing down.
Ian Maxwell is adamant his sister is innocent, and was never involved in Epstein’s sordid crimes.
‘Epstein is dead… The crimes he was then indicted with in 2019, he never faced. But Ghislaine is not Epstein,’ he insisted to 20/20.
‘The real problem [is] that the media frenzy about her… It’s the same old rubbish. So that’s all that the public has ever heard. They’ve never heard the defense to all of this.’
‘These are very serious charges. But at the same time, I also thought this is not my sister. She could not possibly have been involved in this kind of activity.’
Ghislaine was arrested in New Hampshire last July after reports that she was on the run or in hiding. Ian insisted that was not the case.
‘She’s arrested with hoopla, with helicopters and the FBI running about. It’s pure prejudice,’ Ian told 20/20.
‘If she was gonna run away with her French passport, her English passport, she could have hoped on a plane any moment. Her lawyers knew exactly where she was at all times.’
Ghislaine met with six of her siblings – including Ian – in June 2019.
Robert Maxwell was a prominent newspaper publisher whose body was found in the waters near his yacht, Lady Ghislaine, on November 5, 1991. Crews are seen searching for the magnate after his disappearance
Ghislaine is seen on her father’s yacht – which was named after her – on November 7, 1991, two days after Robert died
Ghislaine (back center) is seen with members of her family in the 1980s. Her father Ian is pictured back row second from left
Ghislaine Maxwell last met with her six living siblings in June 2019, just weeks before her confidante Jeffrey Epstein was arrested on sex trafficking charges
Despite meeting with her family, Ghislaine did not mention a partner, and Ian admitted to 20/20 that he was surprised when it was revealed after her arrest that she was married to Scott Borgeson.
‘Ghislaine took the view that she’s entitled to a private life and she’s going to have it and it’s going to be private including from her own family. That’s okay. I’m alright with that. I don’t see that’s so wrong,’ Ian stated.
Ghislaine has been behind bars at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, since her arrest on July 2 2020 on federal sex trafficking charges.
She is expected to stand trial in November accused of procuring girls as young as 14 for convicted pedophile Epstein to sexually abuse between 1994 and 2004.
The British-born socialite denies the allegations and has tried – and failed – five times to convince a judge to release her on bail, citing the allegedly squalid jail conditions.
Ghislaine Maxwell in a court sketch during her arraignment hearing on a new indictment at Manhattan Federal Court in April
Ghislaine has been behind bars at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, since her arrest on July 2 2020 on federal sex trafficking charges
She was charged with conspiracy to entice minors to travel to engage in illegal sex acts, enticement of a minor to travel to engage in illegal sex acts, conspiracy to transport minors with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity, transportation of a minor with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity and two counts of perjury.
The charges relate to the alleged grooming of three girls between 1994 and 1997 for Epstein across London, Florida, New York and New Mexico.
Prosecutors say Ghislaine also took part in some of the abuse herself.
In March, another indictment added a fourth teenage girl to the allegations and extended the years of the alleged conspiracy to 2004.
Two of the four women who say they were abused by Ghislaine Maxwell and Jeffrey Epstein say they were just 14 when they were recruited for sex.
Ghislaine has pleaded not guilty to all charges and faces up to 80 years in prison if convicted.
Epstein was found hanging in his cell at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan August 2019 while awaiting trial.
He had pleaded not guilty to sexually abusing girls as young as 14 and young women in New York and Florida in the early 2000s.
His death was ruled a suicide but his attorneys and some family members claim he was murdered to stop him from sharing what he knows about other high profile, powerful people.
Epstein (with Maxwell in the early 2000s) died by suicide at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan August 2019 while awaiting trial