(AP) — Federal officials were so worried Jeffrey Epstein’s longtime confidante Ghislaine Maxwell might take her own life after her arrest that they took away her clothes and sheets and made her wear paper attire while in custody, an official familiar with the matter told The Associated Press.
The steps to ensure Maxwell’s safety while she’s locked up at a federal jail in New York City extend far beyond the measures federal officials took when they first arrested her in New Hampshire last week.
The Justice Department has implemented additional safety protocols and federal officials, outside of the Bureau of Prisons, have been specifically tasked with ensuring there’s adequate protection and the prisons protocols are being followed, the official said.
The protections are in case she harms herself, and in case other inmates wish to harm her.
The concern comes in part because Epstein, 66, killed himself in a federal jail in Manhattan last summer while in custody on sex trafficking charges. The Bureau of Prisons has been the subject of intense scrutiny and conspiracy theories since then, with staff shakeups and leadership changes. Attorney General William Barr said his death was the result of the “perfect storm of screw ups.”
Maxwell was sent to the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn, over the Brooklyn Bridge from where Epstein was held.
The other protocols put in place for Maxwell’s confinement include ensuring that she has a roommate in her cell, is monitored and making sure someone is always with her while she’s behind bars, the official said.
The official could not discuss the ongoing investigation publicly and spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity.
Maxwell was arrested last Thursday on charges she helped lure at least three girls — one as young as 14 — to be abused by Epstein, who was accused of victimizing dozens of girls and women over many years.