Ms Maxwell was arrested last month on charges related to the sexual abuse of young women and girls by her ex-boyfriend Jeffrey Epstein between 1994 and 1997 — he killed himself while waiting for his own trial last year. Ms Maxwell has pleaded not guilty to the charges, but is waiting for her trial next summer behind bars after being denied bail. Her arrest has intensified the scrutiny on Prince Andrew, as he was friends with both the British socialite and Epstein.
Andrew said last November that he continues to “unequivocally regret my ill-judged association with Jeffrey Epstein”, and that he “deeply sympathise[s] with everyone who has been affected”, while acknowledging that the furore their friendship caused meant he should step back from public life.
He also claims he has offered to help with the US investigation into Epstein’s alleged sex trafficking ring on three separate occasions, despite this being disputed by US authorities.
Furthermore, in an interview with BBC Newsnight, Andrew said “there was no indication” from his end that Epstein was procuring young girls for sex trafficking.
Still, Andrew is believed to have been introduced to Epstein in around 1999 by Ghislaine Maxwell.
Back in 2000, writer Peter Fearon claimed Ms Maxwell wanted to be friends with Andrew because “the public gesture of friendship by Britain’s most eligible royal was a signal to the world that the once reviled Maxwells were back”.
Ghislaine Maxwell with her father, and Robert Maxwell with Princess Diana
Diana with Maxwell in 1988 launching the National AIDS Trust
Ms Maxwell was the youngest daughter of the late media mogul and former Labour MP Robert Maxwell.
A publishing giant who was also a decorated war hero, Mr Maxwell’s web of contacts stretched across many different powerful social circles.
Staff claim they would hear him trying to impress visitors by picking up the phone and saying, “Get me the White House. Get me No.10”, and then pretend to have a conversation.
Mr Maxwell’s empire meant he had many powerful connections, and met figures such Ronald Reagan, George HW Bush and John Major — as well as the Queen.
He mysteriously disappeared from his yacht in 1991 and his body was found in the Atlantic a few hours later.
His death revealed that his media empire was in tatters, due to debt — even though he was believed to be one of the wealthiest men in the world for a time.
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Queen greeting Ghislaine Maxwell and her father in 1983
The New York Post alleged that Ms Maxwell had to walk around in London in a wig to avoid recognition after her father’s fall from grace — it was only through Andrew that she managed to revive her family’s reputation.
However, a glance back at Mr Maxwell’s past exposes how he, too, used his royal connections to his advantage.
In 1983, Mr Maxwell was pictured shaking the Queen’s hand with his daughter Ghislaine in the background, with all three smiling.
This meeting showed a real turnaround for the media mogul, as in 1971, the Department of Trade and Industry reported that he was “not in our opinion a person who can be relied on to exercise proper stewardship of a publicly quoted company”.
Another archived photograph from the Eighties — with no specific date — shows the media mogul presenting something to the Queen, who looks delighted and is beaming from ear to ear.
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The Queen smiles while greeting Maxwell in the Eighties
Maxwell with Prince William and Prince Charles watching an airshow in 1985
Then in 1985, Mr Maxwell was pictured with Princess Diana and Prince Charles.
The caption read: “Media Mogul Robert Maxwell with Princess Diana and Prince Charles, discussing the upcoming Commonwealth Games (1986), to be held in Scotland, Princess Diana is presented with a presentation book to commemorate the upcoming Royal Wedding of Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson, also taking place next year, Pictured July 1985.”
Diana is seen looking at the presentation book while Mr Maxwell and Charles are deep in conversation.
Again, this showed Mr Maxwell resisting negative publicity. One of his new employees Joe Haines had dubbed him a “liar and a crook” around this time, but Mr Maxwell’s crusade through the publishing industry did not stop.
That same year, photographer Kent Gavin caught Mr Maxwell with Charles and Prince William together at an airshow.
Mr Maxwell can be seen pointing enthusiastically in the distance, in a series of photographs with the Prince of Wales, while both Charles and William look engaged.
Diana and Charles with Maxwell in 1986
In 1987, Mr Maxwell expanded his empire even further and purchased part of IPC Media and made Fleetway Publications.
He also launched the unsuccessful London Daily News but it closed six months later.
In 1988, Diana was pictured again with Mr Maxwell, as they both attended the National AIDS Trust at Guildhall.
They are seen standing next to one another, sharing a joke.
By this time, Maxwell owned Mirror titles, Pergamon Press, Nimbus Records, Maxwell Directories and half a share in MTV in Europe — as well as a collection of other companies.
In the year of his death, he bought the New York Daily News.
When news of his death became public, the then Prime Minister John Major rushed to acknowledge he was a “great character”, while the Labour Party leader Neil Kinnock said he had a “zest for life”.
Ghislaine Maxwell was thought to be her father’s favourite child
However, the reality of Mr Maxwell’s finances soon emerged and his sons Kevin and Ian Maxwell were left to deal with his debts after their father’s sudden death.
At his 1995 trial, Kevin described his father by saying: “He did not consider himself above the law… but would stretch it as far as it would go.”
Mr Maxwell had raided his employees’ pension pots in an attempt to prop up failing businesses in his empire, meaning more than £400million were missing.
Historian Ben Macintyre even wrote in The Times last month of Mr Maxwell’s influence on his youngest and favourite child.
As she awaits her trial, Mr Macintyre claims she was reportedly “entirely dependent” on her father and grew up in his shadow.