Lawyers for Ghislaine Maxwell, the longtime companion of Jeffrey Epstein, sought to distance her from the disgraced financier on Thursday, saying in a new court filing that the two had not had contact for more than a decade before his death in August 2019.
The lawyers said that her attempts over the last year to avoid detection were not to evade law enforcement, but to protect herself against “unrelenting and intrusive media coverage.” She has seen reporters hiding in her bushes and hired personal security guards in response to death threats, according to her lawyers.
“Ghislaine Maxwell is not Jeffrey Epstein,” they wrote.
Ms. Maxwell’s lawyers asked a federal judge in Manhattan on Thursday to release her from jail on $5 million bond, arguing that she posed no risk of fleeing the country and had not been hiding from the authorities.
Ms. Maxwell, 58, has been in federal custody since her arrest eight days ago in Bradford, N.H., where the authorities said she lived most recently on a 156-acre property acquired in an all-cash purchase in December.
Her bail request was the first time her lawyers have substantively responded to the charges.
Ms. Maxwell is scheduled to appear on Tuesday before a federal judge in Manhattan, who will decide whether she should be released pending trial.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.