Ghislaine Maxwell, a British socialite, is currently behind bars in New York as she waits for her trial in the summer. She was arrested last year on charges relating to her ex-boyfriend and longtime associate, Jeffrey Epstein, a convicted sex offender who killed himself in prison before his own trial in 2019. Epstein was arrested on charges of sex trafficking and conspiracy to engage in sex trafficking — and Ms Maxwell has been accused of playing a significant role in his crimes.
Ms Maxwell has pleaded not guilty and has vehemently denied any wrongdoing.
Ms Maxwell’s father, Robert, created a media empire and was the owner of the Daily Mirror, elevating his daughter to socialite status decades ago.
He died under mysterious circumstances in 1991, as his body was found floating in the Mediterranean near his luxury yacht.
Mr Maxwell’s demise also left behind a mountain of debt, which he had tried to solve by illegally taking money out of his employees’ pension pots.
The podcast, ‘Power: The Maxwells’, explored how there has been widespread speculation that Mr Maxwell was at the centre of other illegal activities in the years leading up to his death.
Podcast host and investigative journalist Tara Palmeri explained how this has triggered an array of conspiracy theories over how the media baron may have actually died.
She said that “when you’re willing to sell IQ pills to kids”, and “when you disregard legality and ethics”, the public begin to take other shocking theories seriously.
Ms Palmeri is referring to accusations from Mr Maxwell’s former associate, Roy Greenslade.
As the former editor of the Mirror, he told the podcast: “He [Maxwell] demanded that I carry an offer for pills which improve a child’s IQ and I refused.”
Ms Palmeri explained: “Maxwell demanded that Greenslade run a readers’ offer in the paper for vitamin pills that claimed to improve a child’s intelligence.”
Mr Greenslade continued: “He just couldn’t understand why I would turn down something like that and not do as he told me.
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Speaking on the podcast, commentator Ari Ben-Menashe explained that the book claims Mr Maxwell was going to get arrested.
He said: “He was grappling back and forth and threatening and begging and everything else. At that point he wasn’t thinking straight.”
Both Mr Ben-Menashe and the book allege that Israeli intelligence agreed to pay him and meet him on his yacht.
As the media baron was last seen on his yacht, the Lady Ghislaine, before his body was discovered overboard, there is an implication the secret service were the cause of his death, although these claims are unsubstantiated.
Mr Ben-Menashe added: “My understanding was that he became too much of a liability to the Israeli government.”
Ms Palmeri noted: “So this is the fateful night. We know how this ends. But in this telling, he didn’t jump or have a heart attack.”
Power: The Maxwells is available on all podcast providers.