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Epstein death shifts focus to British alleged co-conspirator Ghislaine Maxwell

Epstein death shifts focus to British friend
Jeffrey Epstein's death shifts focus to Ghislaine Maxwell 03:17

London -- The death of Jeffrey Epstein is putting new attention on his alleged co-conspirators, who could still face charges. The number one person on that list is Ghislaine Maxwell, who's accused of finding teenage girls for Epstein and his friends -- including a member of Britain's royal family.

As CBS News correspondent Holly Williams reports, documents unsealed on Friday contain allegations that Maxwell, a close acquaintance of Epstein's, played an "important role" in the late billionaire financier's "sexual abuse ring," directing an underage girl to have sex with Epstein and others. Maxwell strenuously denies the allegations. Her current whereabouts are unknown.

"There are multiple victims who claim that Ghislaine Maxwell was a personal participant in recruiting them for Jeffrey Epstein, that she assisted in the scheduling of appointments, multiple victims being delivered to Epstein on a daily basis over an extended period of time," attorney Jack Scarola, who has represented several of Epstein's alleged victims, told CBS News. "There are allegations that Miss Maxwell was an active participant in the sexual abuse."

Maxwell has been described as Epstein's ex-girlfriend and assistant -- his "best friend," according to Epstein, and a socialite who helped connect him with the wealthy and famous.

The British-born socialite even founded a charitable environmental group. But Maxwell has also been described as a madam. Epstein was reportedly able to shield his alleged co-conspirators from prosecution with a 2007 plea deal. Jack Scarola says that included Ghislaine Maxwell.

"When a non-prosecution agreement is entered into that grants immunity to Ghislaine Maxwell and other named and unnamed co-conspirators for unspecified crimes, that just doesn't make any sense at all," Scarola said. "Why would prosecutors ever agree to that kind of provision?"

Another famous Brit caught up in this scandal is Prince Andrew, one of Queen Elizabeth II's sons. A 2001 photo shows him with Epstein's alleged victim Virginia Giuffre, and Maxwell.

The unsealed documents repeat allegations that Maxwell trafficked Giuffre to Prince Andrew -- though that claim was previously dismissed by a judge in the U.S. and struck from the record.

Britain's Prince Andrew is seen in a file photo with Virginia Giuffre (center) and Ghislaine Maxwell. Rex Features

The Prince was pictured with Epstein even after his 2008 conviction, and his ex-wife Sarah, the Duchess of York has admitted to borrowing money from Epstein.

Neither Prince Andrew nor Ghislaine Maxwell have been charged with any crimes.

Regarding the allegations against the prince, Buckingham Palace said in a statement that "any suggestion of impropriety with underage minors is categorically untrue," but Prince Andrew and his friendship with Epstein were once again on the front pages in Britain Monday morning.

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