Jeffrey Epstein’s ex-girlfriend sues his estate over legal fees, Latest World News - The New Paper

Jeffrey Epstein’s ex-girlfriend sues his estate over legal fees

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NEW YORK : Ms Ghislaine Maxwell, the former girlfriend and long-time associate of Jeffrey Epstein, has sued the late financier's estate, seeking to recoup legal fees to defend against women's claims that she helped recruit them for his alleged sex-trafficking scheme.

In a complaint dated March 12 and filed with the Superior Court in the US Virgin Islands, where Epstein's estate is being probated, Ms Maxwell said she "had no involvement in or knowledge of Epstein's alleged misconduct", but the financier repeatedly promised to support her financially.

Ms Maxwell is also seeking reimbursement for security costs, saying she "receives regular threats to her life and safety", requiring her to hire personal security services and "find safe accommodation".

The estate was valued at US$636 million (S$922 million) before the recent global markets' plunge. Epstein owned two private islands in the Virgin Islands.

Ms Maxwell has kept a low profile, with even lawyers for some Epstein accusers unable to find her since the financier's arrest last July on charges that he abused and trafficked in women and girls from 2002 to 2005 in Manhattan and Florida.

Epstein, who pleaded not guilty, died on Aug 10 last year at age 66, five weeks after his arrest and two days after signing his will, by hanging himself in his Manhattan jail cell.

Federal prosecutors in Manhattan are investigating others who may have had roles in his alleged misconduct.

The Oxford-educated Ms Maxwell, whose father was late British media publisher Robert Maxwell, said Epstein employed her from 1999 to 2006, when she managed homes in New York, Florida, New Mexico, Paris and the Virgin Islands.

She said their employment relationship "formed a legal and special relationship" that obligated the estate to indemnify her, and that one of its executors "made assurances" it would do so, but the estate has ignored her Nov 22 reimbursement claim.

The Guardian reported that the 58-year-old is said to have facilitated Epstein's social contacts, travelling with him on his private jet and organising dinners for powerful people at his homes. - REUTERS