Sleep-deprived Ghislaine Maxwell is sleeping with a prison-issue sock over her head as guards shine a flashlight in her face every 15 minutes, a report claims.
The British socialite is heading to trial to face accusations she supplied billionaire paedophile Jeffery Epstein with teenage girls to sexually abuse.
Her lawyer described her bail conditions in a New York City cell as “horrific” in a hearing this week – claiming she is subjected to constant monitoring by guards as a result of Epstein’s suicide behind bars.
Lawyer David Markus told a US appeals court on Monday has taken to trying to sleep with the sock over her head as a makeshift eye mask in a desperate bid to stop being woken up. according to the Mail Online.
Epstein’s alleged ‘madam’ is also reportedly using a towel to cover her face when a sock isn’t available.
Prosecutors confirmed she had been seen wearing sleep-masks, but denied the claim the light was being shone into her face, reportedly telling the court it was being pointed at the ceiling to check on her as she is deemed a security risk.
Mr Markus then told the court the so-called sleep masks were socks and towels, as he complained about the waking watch treatment to the appeals court, claiming it went far beyond the routine monitoring of other inmates at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn.
Maxwell is finding it difficult to prepare for trial on charges she procured teenage girls for Epstein to abuse due to her cell conditions, her lawyer said.
Mr Markus also told the hearing it was unfair to force Maxwell to review millions of pages of materials from behind bars, and labelled the concern she might follow Epstein’s example and commit suicide as misplaced.
“We just want a fair opportunity, a fair chance, so she can get ready for the trial of her life,” Mr Markus told a panel of the 2nd US Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan.
He added: “It’s impossible to prepare for trial when you’re getting no sleep.”
Maxwell, 59, has pleaded not guilty to helping Epstein recruit and groom three girls for sex from 1994 to 1997, and sex trafficking for grooming and paying a fourth girl for nude massages and sex acts with the financier from 2001 to 2004.
She is appealing a judge’s March 22 rejection of a $28.5million bail (£20.5m) package that included renouncing her British and French
The judge has denied bail three times, and deemed Maxwell a “significant” flight risk, even with the high bail figure set.
Maxwell has been jailed in Brooklyn since her arrest in July last year at a million-dollar New Hampshire home that prosecutors
called a hideout.
Epstein killed himself in a New York jail in August 2019 while awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges.
A federal prosecutor told the three-judge appeals court panel that the judge did not commit “clear error,” a high legal standard, in denying bail.
One judge asked whether prison officials not wanting to “risk another embarrassment” of another inmate’s suicide should let an independent psychiatrist evaluate Maxwell.
Prosecutor Lara Pomerantz said Maxwell’s lawyers haven’t asked for one, and said Nathan has “actively” monitored her jail conditions to ensure she’ll be ready for trial.
The appeals court did not say when it will rule.
Maxwell faces up to 80 years in prison if convicted.
A trial is scheduled for July 12, but Maxwell wants it delayed until November or next January because of its complexity.
Judge Alison Nathan is expected to rule imminently on whether the trial will be delayed.