Ghislaine Maxwell’s brother has doubled down on his attempt to clear Prince Andrew’s name, claiming he will “not be cowed” by the backlash and ridicule of his staged bath photo.
Ian Maxwell insisted there were “two sides to the story” despite his sister’s conviction and a multi-million-pound settlement between Prince Andrew and his accuser Virginia Giuffre.
He released an image of two people in the bath where the Duke of York was alleged to have abused the teenager, claiming it discredits his accuser’s claims by proving the bath is too small to have sex in.
Speaking to The Independent, Mr Maxwell said the release of the image was not simply a stunt but said the backlash was “predictable”.
“I’m not cowed or embarrassed about the picture. I’m the brother of Ghislaine Maxwell, I’m looking forward to her getting her appeal off the ground and it’s important to understand Ghislaine’s appeal is not to her guilt or innocence – she’s been convicted and found guilty.
“It’s an appeal against the judicial error that occurred pre-trial, in-trial and post-trial.”
Maxwell's lawyers announced they would be appealing against the conviction after The Independent revealed one of the jurors in her trial had failed to disclose he had been sexually abused. However, it was ruled that this had no impact on the trial.
In the photograph, two acquaintances of Maxwell can be seen sitting facing one another, fully clothed and wearing masks depicting Andrew and Ms Giuffre. The image received widespread backlash in the media ridiculing Maxwell’s camp for the “bizarre stunt”.
🔴 Exclusive: A photograph that the family of Ghislaine Maxwell believes discredits the Duke of York’s accuser has been made public.
The image shows the bath in which the Duke is alleged to have engaged in sexual activity with a teenage girl.
Read more ⤵️
— The Telegraph (@Telegraph) January 28, 2023
Mr Maxwell said the photo, taken in 2021, was originally planned to be used in Ghislaine Maxwell’s trial that year in a bid to discredit claims that Prince Andrew and Ms Giuffre had been intimate in a bathtub in Maxwell’s home.
However, Ms Giuffre did not take the stand in the trial leaving the photo redundant until Mr Maxwell saw an opportunity to make it public after Ms Giuffre dropped a separate sexual abuse claim against US lawyer Alan Dershowitz. Ms Giuffre said she might have “made a mistake”.
“That’s a very significant development because it goes right to the heart of this whole business and case,” Mr Maxwell said.
“It seemed to me it was an appropriate moment to put it in the public domain. If Prince Andrew wants to make use of it: great that’s up to him. He has to decide what he’s going to do.”
The older brother of the convicted child sex trafficker said the staged image allows people to come to their own conclusions about allegations against Prince Andrew.
“The man in the bath is smaller shorter, less robustly build than Prince Andrew. The girl has her back full on the tap,” Mr Maxwell said.
“The thought of this is ludicrous, the image of this is absurd. How do you get around the concept of a small muse house where there are people downstairs and a prince of the realm thinks he’s okay to have his way with a child in a bathtub.”
Mr Maxwell said he does sympathise with the victims of Jeffrey Epstein but also sympathises with what his convicted sibling believes to be a miscarriage of justice.
He added that his sister’s legal appeal could be heard later this year in New York.
Prince Andrew reportedly believes the “extraordinary” development following Ms Giuffre’s case against Mr Dershowitz raises questions about her credibility.
But King Charles subsequently threw Prince Andrew out of his Buckingham Palace flat and told him there was no longer a place for him at the monarch’s main residence in central London, according to The Sun.
Prince Andrew and Maxwell have both previously suggested a photo showing them together with Ms Virginia at Maxwell’s house, where the alleged incident took place, is not real.
The Independent revealed that friends of Prince Andrew are concerned the duke is becoming a “recluse”, only speaking with his lawyers in addition to fears that he actually cannot afford the “high risk” strategy of challenging the settlement.