I was in Ghislaine Maxwell’s little black book


We all know what happened next. As the Maxwell Empire crumbled beneath her, she teleported to New York and that’s where it gets very interesting. I remember going to dinners with her brothers Kevin and Ian in the mid-90s and thinking how downtrodden they looked (the hostesses were nice as most of the others threw them out). As they hid in shame and what looked like poverty, Ghislaine has reappeared, and now, with some of Manhattan’s most connected people. Not only did she mingle with the very rich, but she seemed to be right in the middle of the action. In fact, she seemed to be directing traffic. Socializing was his clearly well-paid job: As the newly unsealed court documents reveal, Jeffrey Epstein urged Ghislaine Maxwell to “go to parties, deal with him” even after being sued by Virginia Roberts in 2015.As a New Yorker who married a Brit (we met there), I observed how easy it was for someone with a British accent and a slight smell of chic to make their way in the most exclusive circles. Brideshead revisited (a little like Downton Abbey now) had captured the imagination of the nation. London was a parish at the time: Manhattan was where the action took place. The British succeeded in infiltrating all circles; appearing at all the good parties and nightclubs such as Nell’s and Au Bar and sharing summer homes in the Hamptons and Newport. What was quite clear to me was that few of the wealthy Americans whose homes and clubs they frequented were invited to return home. In fact, at least two marriages that I know of were based on a total misunderstanding. She assumed he had a fortune and vice versa. In the days leading up to pre-nups, social media, and Google, appearances could really mislead you.

The question is: how did someone whose father had robbed retirees and who died under mysterious circumstances manage to break into Manhattan’s wealthier circles? “It’s really not that difficult.” explains a friend of New York society. “It doesn’t take much to legitimize yourself. Ghislaine came with Prince Andrew’s seal of approval. The thought was that if she was hanging out with him, she had to be fine. There are so many people in New York City that you don’t know where they made their money. They all have “something in development with André Balazs”, etc. You really only need one person in the company to vouch for you and the others are following.

New York is dominated by hostesses who chair committees. “What newcomers do is they hire PRs,” she says. “They make sure their names appear on the 15 invitations that really matter. It is essential that your photo is Publish, the Time, Vanity Fair, Vogue and grab the attention of Patrick McMullan (the company’s snapper). Then you need a rich husband or a boss. Ghislaine found that in Epstein ”. To be clear, the old New York money world didn’t tell Epstein the time (there were rumors all along).


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