Ghislaine Maxwell‘s brother claims he is worried his sister will not receive a fair trial over allegations of sex trafficking due to begin next week.
The socialite stands accused of trafficking young girls for her former partner Jeffrey Epstein throughout the 90s and 00s.
Maxwell was arrested in July 2020 and has been incarcerated in a New York jail since then, while pleading not guilty to all the charges against her.
In an interview with BBC Radio 4’s World at One programme, Ian Maxwell said: ‘I think my sister’s probably relieved finally that it is starting because she’s been in prison now for over 500 days in isolation, so this has to come to an end.
‘The trial is starting, so I think there is relief on her part, and, I think, the family’s part,’ Mr Maxwell told the BBC.
Ghislaine Maxwell at jury selection in her trial on charges of sex trafficking, in a courtroom sketch in New York on Thursday
‘I think that there are several reasons for that; the enormous amount of negative media coverage of Ghislaine for at least the last 18 months – it’s only been going in one direction and that level of negative reporting which is not coming in any other direction than against her.
‘I think it has a potential to poison the jury pool at some level if they are only hearing one side of the story and not the other.
‘I am not here to go against the accusers or to talk about innocence and guilt, the reason I think this is a difficult process is because the way in which the authorities have chosen to proceed against my sister and to lock her up in isolation is wrong.
‘It is an abuse of human rights and an abuse of the due process that has taken place.
‘One thing you can say is there’s been an awful lot of talking by everybody for the last few years and the voice of Ghislaine has never been heard.
‘The family is not going to leave it there. We are taking steps to lodge a complaint with the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, because America needs to be held to account for the way it is choosing to discriminate against my sister. The treatment meted out to Ghislaine has been appalling.’
Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell were in a relationship throughout the 90s and 00s during which they are alleged to have groomed and coerced young girls for sex
Maxwell was in a relationship with Epstein throughout the 90s and allegedly brought him into contact with powerful figures.
Epstein was found dead in a New York prison on August 10, 2019, ahead of a trial for sex trafficking charges.
Maxwell now faces charges for sex trafficking of a minor, sex-trafficking conspiracy and also separate allegations of perjury.
Her trial is set for November 29, and is anticipated to last for six weeks.