Ghislaine Maxwell denies she lives in voluntary squalor.
Maxwell’s attorney refutes the government’s suggestion that the defendant is causing the filthiness and smelly conditions of her prison cell.
“Blaming Ms. Maxwell for the filth of her severely restricted environment is utterly misplaced. To suggest she willingly lives in squalor is absurd. In an effort to wield power, the guards use cleaning as a punishment,” her attorney Bobbi Sternheim said in a letter to judge Alison Nathan filed Wednesday night.
Sternheim accused prosecutors of attempting to “publicly embarrass and humiliate” the defendant and to taint a future jury.
Maxwell, 59, is charged with recruiting and grooming girls to be sexually abused by Jeffrey Epstein in the 1990s and for lying under oath.
After Epstein’s death by suicide under the surveillance of the Bureau of Prisons, and following Maxwell’s complaints about her conditions of confinement, prosecutors have been required to periodically update the court on her situation at the Metropolitan Detention Center (MDC) in Brooklyn, New York.
In their latest update, filed on Tuesday, the government went as far as saying that Maxwell doesn’t flush her toilet after using it and that she has been ordered to clean her cell due to the filthiness.
GHISLAINE MAXWELL ORDERED TO CLEAN DIRTY AND SMELLY PRISON CELL
Her attorneys responded saying their client’s jail cell’s “persistent unsanitary conditions” are caused by a broken sewage system at the MDC that “long predate” her detention.
Sternheim also argued that the building where she is being held is especially “permeated with mold and vermin. Cockroaches and rodents are plentiful and glue tracks have been placed in Ms. Maxwell’s day area to help remediate the problem.”
And added: “At times the stench in Ms. Maxwell’s isolation cell has been overwhelming due to overflowing of toilets in the cellblock above.”
The former British socialite has said she refrains from using the toilet due to lack of privacy, but flushes it frequently to avoid plumbing problems.
Her defense insists, contrary to the government’s statements, that her health is deteriorating, her eyesight is failing, her hair is thinning and that the prison and guards do not have the conditions or qualifications to assess any of it.
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Prosecutors have also refuted the idea that Maxwell is having trouble sleeping as she has been seen wearing an eye mask at nighttime, but Sternheim said she is instead covering her eyes with a towel to shield them from glaring overhead lighting that she cannot turn off and from flashlights pointed into her cell every 15 minutes.
“No amount of gloss put on Ms. Maxwell’s conditions of confinement can erase the fact that she remains in de facto solitary confinement, overmanaged by multiple guards, and surveilled by multiple cameras 24 hours per day,” her attorney said, before asking that any further updates on Maxwell’s conditions be made under seal.
Epstein’s accused madam has been denied bail a few times. Her trial is scheduled for July 12.