Reports that Ghislaine Maxwell tested positive for coronavirus after her arrest last week on sex trafficking charges stemmed from a satirical website and are not a true recount of real life. On July 3, the Brown Valley Observer website published an article saying that the longtime associate of deceased sex offender Jeffrey Epstein had tested positive for COVID-19 in the New Hampshire jail in which she is being held.
However, as noted by Snopes, the Brown Valley Observer is not a legitimate news source, and notes on its page, "This is an entertainment website written to satirize news events, politics, and popular faces and ideas, and to provide commentary on social attitudes and trends. While familiar names of celebrities and other media figures as well as familiar agencies and organizations are used, all news stories contained within are fictional in nature." The claim was repeated in a fabricated screenshot from the BBC website, but the July 11 date of the screenshot made it clear that the image was edited.
Maxwell, a socialite and the daughter of late British publishing tycoon Robert Maxwell, is facing charges of procuring girls as young as 14 for Epstein to sexually abuse. She could face a maximum of 35 years behind bars if convicted on all charges. After her arrest last week, Epstein's former employer, Steven Hoffenberg, told The Sun that Maxwell "knows everything" and will "totally cooperate" with the FBI in their investigation.
Hoffenberg added that Maxwell will be "naming names" and "fully co-operating" with the investigation into Epstein's alleged circle of elites who have been accused of sexually abusing minor girls, including Prince Andrew, Duke of York. He continued that this is making "a lot of people very worried" about what Maxwell will say. "She's going to cooperate and be very important. [Prince Andrew] is definitely, definitely concerned," he added.
In the past, Maxwell has denied allegations that she procured and groomed girls for Epstein. Her representatives told The Sun in November, "The allegations made against Ghislaine Maxwell are untrue." They continued that Maxwell "strongly denies allegations of an unsavoury nature, which have appeared in the British press and elsewhere, and reserves her right to seek redress at the repetition of such old defamatory claims."
Prince Andrew's legal team told the Daily Mail last week that they were "bewildered," having communicated twice with the Department of Justice and receiving no response. On the other hand, U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss said she would "welcome" Prince Andrew coming in to provide a statement. "We would welcome Prince Andrew coming in to talk to us," she told The Daily Mail. "We would like to have the benefit of his statement. Our doors remain open. We would welcome him coming in and giving us an opportunity to hear his statement."