Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell. Photo by Patrick McMullan/Getty Images


Will Ghislaine Maxwell be allowed to live? It’s a pity that Jeffrey Epstein was not. And not because of sympathy for Epstein — my sympathy is for his victims, who never had the satisfaction of testifying against him in court.

Hannah Berman – That’s The Way It Is

As of this writing, Ghislaine Maxwell is being held in solitary confinement in the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn. Epstein, her partner in crime, died in the Metropolitan Correctional Center in lower Manhattan. Whether he was murdered or allowed to take his own life remains an ongoing debate. It appears that we will never know the truth. Either way, maybe the thinking is that Ghislaine will be safer in the Brooklyn facility. According to reports, she fears for her life. Too bad she didn’t have any concern for the lives of the young victims who accuse her of crimes too horrendous to list.

Ghislaine will be tried and very likely will be convicted. But in the opinion of the many legal eagles who have opined on the topic of her ultimate punishment, her sentence could be mitigated if she cooperates with authorities. For Maxwell this is a double-edged sword because her possible cooperation will entail implicating others who participated in criminal sexual activity. This could mean that she will be in danger of being “taken out,” as they say in criminal circles. Unfortunately, in this case, the criminal circle and the celebrity circle are one and the same. There are untold numbers of well-known people, now quaking in their boots, who will do anything to prevent her from giving their names to the authorities. She will be in trouble with those people if she cooperates and in deep trouble with the authorities if she does not. This scenario is a perfect illustration of the phrase “Damned if you do and damned if you don’t.”

If she chooses to cooperate, she will have to be watched like a hawk. Nevertheless, her chances of staying alive are not good. Those wanting to dispose of her will have to get creative. This time, it can’t be made to look like a suicide by hanging, so, in order to keep their names out of the news, they will have to come up with a different method of murder that will be made to look like a suicide. Maybe she will fall on a knife that was somehow left lying around, or possibly she could slip and fall in the shower. Those who were close to Jeffrey Epstein insist that he had no intention of killing himself, which can only mean that somebody did it for him. And, as Ghislaine knows, those somebodies are still out there.

Maxwell, the youngest of nine children, came from a family of privilege. She was a socialite whose Jewish father rose from rags to riches and eventually ranked as one of the richest men in the world. He served as a member of parliament, was labeled a fraudster, and was a spy with close ties to the Mossad. Buried in Jerusalem, he was eulogized by Yitzhak Shamir who said that Robert Maxwell had done more for Israel than can be told. The man was a study in contrasts, and, based on the accusations Ghislaine is facing, it appears to be hereditary. Considering her background, her alleged behavior is astonishing, but that’s just the way it is.

Hannah Berman lives in Woodmere and gives private small-group lessons in mah-jongg and canasta. She can be reached at or 516-295-4435.


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