‘I can’t be hurt anymore:’ Epstein victims celebrate Ghislaine Maxwell’s arrest
“For years, I feared Epstein and his ring. Maxwell was the center of that sex trafficking ring. Now that the ring has been taken down, I know that I can’t be hurt anymore,” said Jennifer Araoz, one of the women abused by the late billionaire.
Araoz is suing Epstein’s estate and Maxwell, alleging the hedge fund manager raped her during a massage at his townhouse when she was 15.
“Day after day, I have waited for the news that Maxwell would be arrested and held accountable for her actions,” she Araoz, who never met Maxwell. “Her arrest is a step in that direction, and it truly means that the justice system didn’t forget about us.”
Maxwell, 58, was busted Thursday at her New Hampshire home on a six-count Manhattan federal indictment charging her with grooming young girls for sex.
The British socialite was a one-time girlfriend of Epstein, who hanged himself in his jail cell in August weeks after he was nabbed on federal sex-trafficking charges.
Attorney Brad Edwards, who represents several Epstein victims, said his clients were overjoyed at learning of Maxwell’s arrest.
“I cannot overstate the excitement of my clients that this day has come nor their confidence in and appreciation for the SDNY United States Attorney’s Office,” said Edwards. “But they know there is a big difference between an arrest and a conviction.”
One of Edward’s clients, Courtney Wild, has alleged that she was 14 when Epstein hired her as a masseuse and paid her to lure her underage friends to his Palm Beach, Fla., compound.
Attorney Lisa Bloom, whose firm represents six Epstein accusers, lauded the arrest but said it wasn’t enough.
“Maxwell’s brutal, ruthless behavior caused my client tremendous pain,” she said in a statement. “All others accused of enabling Jeffrey Epstein’s predations must immediately be brought to justice as well.”
Victim Virginia Giuffre’s attorney, Sigrid McCawley, celebrated Maxwell’s arrest and called her a “sexual predator who not only engaged in sexual abuse herself but also assisted Jeffrey Epstein for decades in running his sexual trafficking scheme.”
The attorney added, “Today is also a powerful message to all Epstein accomplices that justice will prevail.”
Giuffre has long called for Maxwell’s arrest and once said in a BBC interview that she “should be rotting in jail for her atrocities.”
The former Epstein sex slave said it was Maxwell who demanded she have sex with Prince Andrew in London in 2001 — one of three times she said she was forced to sleep with the Duke of York.
“Ghislaine tells me that I have to do for Andrew what I do for Jeffrey — and that just made me sick,” she told the network.