Ghislaine Maxwell and Jeffrey Epstein's former friend is saying their romantic connection was merely a cover-up for the illegal sex trafficking they are accused of conducting. Christina Oxenberg, a cousin to the British royal family, told Australia's 60 Minutes that the brief romance Maxwell and Epstein reportedly had in the '90s was all an act.
"She wanted me to believe she was Jeffrey Epstein's girlfriend but I knew that she wasn't," Oxenberg said. "She wanted that to be the storyline." When the interviewer asked, "How did you know that she wasn't his girlfriend?" Oxenberg responded quickly, "Because she's not 12."
The daughter of Princess Elizabeth of Yugoslavia, Prince Charles and Prince Andrew's second cousin, Oxenberg said that Epstein, a convicted sex offender, and Maxwell used each other to boost their social profiles. "They were a perfect fit. They needed each other. They were both halves of a whole that they wanted to be," she said. "He had the money. She had the connections."
Oxenberg defended her own friendship with Maxwell, saying she was never aware of the allegations that Maxwell recruited and groomed girls to be sexually abused by Epstein. "I didn't even have the wherewithal to think of such tremendous evil," she said. "I just thought she had [a] rancid personality." As for Epstein, Oxenberg said, "He was a typical greedy person who wanted more than they already had."
Maxwell was arrested on July 2 and is facing six criminal counts, including four related to transporting minors for sexual assault and two for perjury. She faces up to 35 years in prison if convicted. Wednesday, Maxwell pleaded not guilty to the charges facing her, but was denied bail by the judge supervising her case. Maxwell's trial is scheduled to take place in July 2021 and is estimated to take three weeks.
Annie Farmer, one of the three women whose accusations are the basis for the case against Maxwell, told the judge "the danger Maxwell posed must be taken seriously" before bail was denied, as per CNBC. "She is a sexual predator who groomed and abused me and countless other children and young women. She has never shown any remorse for her heinous crimes or the devastating, lasting effects her actions caused."
Epstein was arrested in the summer of 2019 on federal sex trafficking charges in the case of dozens of underage girls in New York and Florida in the early 2000s. The disgraced financier attempted suicide in custody in July 2019 and died after another suicide attempt at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in New York City in August. Two guards responsible for watching Epstein in his cell are facing federal charges for not supervising him before his death.