Jeffrey Epstein’s confidant Ghislaine Maxwell was arrested in New Hampshire on Thursday morning, the FBI confirmed to Fox News.
Epstein’s former girlfriend and accused madam was taken into custody at 8:30 a.m. in Branford, N.H.
The charges against her are currently sealed.
Maxwell, the daughter of late British media magnate Robert Maxwell, has been accused in civil court filings of facilitating a sex-trafficking operation that brought girls — some as young as 14 — to Epstein’s Manhattan home, though until Thursday she had not been formally charged with any criminal wrongdoing.
While there have been reports that there were several others who “facilitated” Epstein’s alleged sexual abuse also being investigated, the main focus has been on Maxwell.
Maxwell, 58, dated Epstein more than a decade ago and became a member of his tight inner circle until his August 10 jail-cell suicide.
In a 2003 Vanity Fair article, Epstein referred to Maxwell as his “best friend.”
Epstein, 66, faced sex-trafficking charges at the time of his death and was awaiting trial in a case that, if convicted, could have put him behind bars for several years.
In May, Maxwell won a critical request to delay questioning in a civil suit filed against her on the grounds that her sworn testimony could incriminate her should there be a criminal case against her in the future.
“I’m permitting her not to respond to (written questions) and not to have her deposition,” Magistrate Judge Debra Freeman said during her ruling. “Not forever, but at least long enough to let us know whether the claims process is likely to go forward.”
Though Maxwell faces multiple lawsuits against her for her role in Epstein’s alleged nefarious activities, the May ruling specifically dealt with a lawsuit filed by Annie Farmer.
Maxwell’s lawyer, Laura Menninger, had asked the federal judge to stay Maxwell’s deposition.
“The U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Southern District of New York has publicly and repeatedly announced its ‘ongoing’ criminal investigation into alleged Epstein ‘co-conspirators’ on the same topic as (Farmer) alleges in this case,” Menninger wrote to the court.
She added: “Denial of a stay, particularly a stay of Ms. Maxwell’s deposition, pending outcome of the criminal investigation could impair her Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination, extend criminal discovery…, expose the defense’s theory to the prosecution in advance of trial, or otherwise prejudice the criminal case.”
Farmer claims that both Epstein and Maxwell sexually abused her at Epstein’s New Mexico ranch and is seeking damages from Maxwell and Epstein’s $634 million estate.
This is breaking news. Please check back for updates.
Fox News’ Byran Llenas contributed to this report.