The trial of Ghislaine (Gih-lane) Maxwell is due to begin on Monday.
The 59-year-old is accused of sex trafficking charges in cases connected to the disgraced late financier, Jeffrey Epstein.
If found guilty, she could be sentenced to up to 35 years in prison. Below is an introduction to who Ghislaine is, her father's fascinating story, and the serious charges she faces.
Ghislaine was born in France in 1961, and is the youngest of nine children.
Born into a wealthy and highly-connected family - she went on to study at the University of Oxford. Her late father was the late disgraced media mogul, Robert Maxwell.
Robert Maxwell was a Czechosolvakian refugee who escaped Nazi occupation by as a teenager, while his parents, four siblings, and most of his extended family were killed in the Holocaust.
Maxwell eventually ended up in England and changed his name from Jan Ludvík Hyman Binyamin Hoch.
Later, he joined the army - fighting in Normandy and winning the Military Cross for heroism.
He went on to become a highly successful businessman - employing thousands and owning The Mirror Group, the New York Daily News and Oxford United and Derby football clubs.
Even his children have commented in the past about what a tough businessman he was. A former Editor of the Daily Mirror described Maxwell as "impossible to work for, a mercurial man with a monstrous ego".
He also became a Labour MP. Throughout his life, Maxwell invested in Israeli business - and it was rumoured he was a Mossad agent.
At the time of his death, Israel's then prime minister Yitzhak Shamir said Maxwell had "done more for Israel than can today be said".
ROBERT'S MYSTERIOUS DEATH
On November 5 1991, Maxwell fell from his yacht 'Lady Ghislaine' off the Canary Islands, and died aged 68.
It remains unclear if his death was murder, suicide or an accident - in 1997 Ghislaine Maxwell said she believed he was murdered. The official inquest found he had a heart attack - but three pathologists disagreed on the cause of death.
Rumours of Maxwell being an Israeli spy intensified after his death - when what was almost a state funeral was held for him in Israel.
As mentioned, it was attended by the Israeli Prime Minister and Maxwell was buried in Jerusalem on the Mount of Olives - described as "Judaism's most prestigious spot".
However, within weeks of his death a £460 million hole was found in his finances - and it turned out he had illegally used his workers’ pension funds to prop up his business.
This led to two of his sons, who worked within his business empire, being tried for fraud - but they successfully defended themselves.
GHISLAINE'S RELATIONSHIP WITH EPSTEIN
The same year of her father’s death in 1991, Ghislaine met Jeffrey Epstein - an American financier.
The two were initially romantically involved but later became friends. Maxwell moved to New York - and was known to frequent the city’s most fashionable events and spaces.
A high-ranking socialite, her friends included Prince Andrew and the Clintons, among many others.
Now prosecutors allege Maxwell “worked as a team” with Epstein in procuring underage girls.
Jeffrey Epstein was born in New York and was a maths and physics teacher during the 1970s.
He went on to work in investment banking, and in 1982 set up his own highly successful firm.
“I invest in people… it’s what I do." - Jeffrey Epstein
Epstein was known for his famous friends, who he described in 2002 as his “collection”. This ‘collection’ included Bill Clinton, Prince Andrew and Donald J Trump.
“I've known Jeff for 15 years. Terrific guy... he's a lot of fun to be with. It is even said that he likes beautiful women as much as I do, and many of them are on the younger side” - Donald J Trump, 2002
In 2005, the parents of a 14-year-old girl in Florida accused Epstein of molesting their daughter - and a subsequent police raid on his house found photos of girls throughout the property.
Prosecutors came to a deal with Epstein in 2008 - he pleaded guilty to soliciting prostitution, but avoided federal charges and the risk of life in prison.
Instead he received an 18 month prison sentence, but was still allowed to work in his office for 12 hours a day, six days a week. Epstein was released on probation after 13 months.
In 2019, Epstein was accused of paying girls under the age of 18 to perform sex acts at his mansions between 2002 and 2005. Subsequently in July 2019, he was arrested and charged with sex trafficking - and could have faced 45 years in prison.
Below is a fascinating look at the perseverance of one journalist, determined to expose the allegations against Epstein.
Epstein pleaded not guilty - arguing the sex was consensual and that he believed the girls were over 18.
On August 10 2019, Epstein died in a New York Prison cell - in what was later ruled suicide by hanging.
THE ARREST OF GHISLAINE MAXWELL
Following Epstein’s arrest, Maxwell largely disappeared from public life.
The next time that she was spotted was in mid-August 2019 - days after Epstein's death - when she was photographed in Los Angeles eating and reading a book at a fast food restaurant.
There was speculation that the photo may have been staged.
“approached the front door and announced themselves, telling her to open the door… Through a window, the agents saw her ignore their order and flee to another room in the house, quickly shutting the door behind her”.
Subsequently the FBI broke down the front door and arrested her.
That same month US President Donald Trump was asked about the arrest and whether Maxwell could turn in some of the “powerful men” in Epstein’s circle.
Trump responded, “I don’t know – I haven’t really been following it too much. I just wish her well, frankly”.
CHARGES AGAINST GHISLAINE
Maxwell faces sex trafficking charges in cases connected to Jeffrey Epstein.
If found guilty, she could be sentenced to up to 35 years in prison - and her trial may implicate additional high-profile figures.
The charges range from "transporting a minor for the purposes of criminal sexual activity" to "conspiring to entice minors to travel to engage in illegal sex acts”.
Here is a link to the official indictment from the United States District Court, Southern District of New York
Virginia Giuffre, one of Maxwell’s accusers and also the woman who has filed a civil lawsuit against Prince Andrew, alleges Maxwell groomed and manipulated her.
"She's the one that procured me, told me what to do, trained me as a sex slave, abused me physically, abused me mentally. She's the one who I believe, in my heart of hearts, deserves to come forward and have justice happen to her more than anybody." - Virginia Giuffre
Since her arrest, Maxwell has had to await trial in a prison cell - she is considered a flight risk due to her personal fortune.
In total she has been denied bail four times - most recently in November 2021, when a bail package totalling $28.5 was rejected by the judge.
Maxwell claims her health has significantly deteriorated in prison - claiming she has not “had a nutritious meal… slept without lights on… or been allowed to speak without constant interruption”.
She added “I used to take a shower every day but I've stopped because of the creepy guards who stand close and stare at me”.
He believes “she's a patsy for Epstein… whom they lost, on their watch, and they're taking it out on my sister”.
Just this week, he stated his family are filing a complaint with the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention for the way she has been treated in prison.
Meanwhile, prosecutors argue Maxwell played a “critical role” in the abuse - helping Epstein to “identify, befriend and groom minor victims for abuse… and in some cases allege “Maxwell participated in the abuse herself”.
MAXWELL'S SECRET MARRIAGE
In December 2020, it emerged that Maxwell had a ‘secret husband’ - tech millionaire Scott Borgerson.
The fact she was married surprised close friends - and reportedly the couple married back in 2016.
Borgerson offered a $25 million bail to free Maxwell, which was unsuccessful. This week, Borgerson was spotted in public for the first time - but it is rumoured he has a new partner - and it is unclear whether he will attend Maxwell’s trial.
The trial will take place at a federal court in Manhattan, New York - with opening statements scheduled for Monday.
It will not be broadcast and photography will not be allowed - as is often the case in federal courtrooms.
The judge, Alison Nathan, has reportedly questioned 231 potential jurors - and twelve will be selected from the pool, as well as six alternates.
Prosecutors have said four women will be testifying against Maxwell - but they will be identified only by their initials.
According to a CNN report, Maxwell has not requested a plea deal, arguing she "has not committed any crimes".
The trial is expected to last around six weeks, and of course we will update you on any significant moments throughout.