Lady Victoria Hervey was 'shocked' by Ghislaine Maxwell abuse claims

‘That was not the Ghislaine I knew’: Prince Andrew’s ex Lady Victoria Hervey says she was ‘shocked’ by abuse claims against socialite and Jeffrey Epstein but says Maxwell ‘exuded an air of mystery’ and was ‘secretive about her life’

  • Lady Victoria Hervey, 44, met the pair 20 years ago but did not know secrets
  • She said she had been shocked to find out the allegations made about Maxwell
  • Lady Victoria believes she may have been brainwashed by Jeffrey Epstein 

A friend of Ghislaine Maxwell said abuse claims leveled against her in connection with her paedophile financier ex Jeffrey Epstein were ‘Very shocking when I first heard everything’.

Lady Victoria Hervey, 44, first met the pair 20 years ago but says she has no clue what they had been secretly up to.

Former It Girl Lady Victoria – who is the daughter of the 6th Marquess of Bristol – said she believed Maxwell had been brainwashed by Epstein.

She said:  ‘She was always the centre of every fun party and she was a vibrant character that a lot of people wanted to be around. It was very shocking when I first heard everything about her because that was not the Ghislaine I knew.

‘I think there’s a lot of people in his position that like to be surrounded by young models – it didn’t look that different to what I’d seen before. I was very young and very naive and didn’t realise what was happening.

‘He gave her that stability of what she needed and she gave him what he needed to meet all these powerful people. Everybody knew Ghislaine Maxwell but no one knew him. It was a partnership they had. I think she got in way too deep and just couldn’t leave.’

Maxwell and Jeffrey Epstein in 2005. Maxwell is accused of procuring girls as young as 14 for convicted pedophile Epstein to sexually abuse between 1994 and 2004

On whether she thinks Ghislaine was one of Epstein’s victims, Lady Victoria said: ‘She was in a way but she came the assistant of what she wanted. I think she was so brainwashed by him and so in love with him that she lost the reality of what she was doing.’

Maxwell, 59, has been held behind bars at the Brooklyn jail since her arrest on July 2 2020 on federal sex trafficking charges.

She is expected to stand trial in November accused of procuring girls as young as 14 for convicted pedophile Epstein to sexually abuse between 1994 and 2004.

The British-born socialite denies the allegations and has tried – and failed – five times to convince a judge to release her on bail, citing the allegedly squalid jail conditions.   

On being invited to a party with Ghislaine, Bill Clinton, Prince Andrew and Epstein, Lady Victoria said to ITV’s Lorraine: ‘She loved being surrounded by power. That every event with Ghislaine. She loved fame and power. If you weren’t going to be of any use to her, she wasn’t going to pay you any attention. I think that’s quite apparent about her. Bill Clinton was the president at the time and I think she liked to flaunt that she was friends with someone so powerful.

‘It’s going to be really tough for her in jail. If you’re used to luxury, it will be hell on earth for her I’m sure. I think she’s very tough but it’s a front, I don’t think she is as tough on the inside as what she exudes on the outside.

Maxwell’s lawyers released a photo of Ghislaine Maxwell with a bruise under her left eye in April. It is not clear how she got the bruise, but Maxwell told lawyers it might have come from shielding her eyes during the nighttime checks

‘She always exuded this air of mystery about her, you just never really knew where she’d flown in from and was quite secretive about her life.’

In April, her lawyers released a photo of Maxwell sporting a black eye inside the jail. They said she did not know how she got it but that it could have been from shielding her eyes in an attempt to sleep.  

Her attorneys have branded her treatment ‘the Epstein effect’, as the Bureau of Prisons is under pressure to prevent her committing suicide after he died on their watch in his cell.  

Prosecutors dispute the allegations that she is being treated differently to other inmates. 

Maxwell was denied bail for a fifth time on June 2 – marking the second rejection by the appeals court, following three other rejections by her trial judge. 

In the latest bail quest, Maxwell’s lawyers asked the appeals court to at least order the lower-court judge to conduct a hearing where evidence related to bail could be shown. The 2nd Circuit rejected that, too.  

Maxwell’s trial was initially set to begin next month, however the trial date was pushed back after her lawyers requested more time to prepare.

Her trial is now expected to begin November 29.

She was arrested on July 2 when federal agents swooped on her home in Bradford, New Hampshire, aptly named Tuckedaway. 

She was charged with conspiracy to entice minors to travel to engage in illegal sex acts, enticement of a minor to travel to engage in illegal sex acts, conspiracy to transport minors with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity, transportation of a minor with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity and two counts of perjury.  

Lorraine airs weekdays at 9am on ITV and ITV Hub 

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