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U.S. says Ghislaine Maxwell has received COVID-19 vaccine, is in good health - Metro US

U.S. says Ghislaine Maxwell has received COVID-19 vaccine, is in good health

FILE PHOTO: Ghislaine Maxwell appears via video link during her arraignment hearing in Manhattan Federal Court in New York

NEW YORK (Reuters) – U.S. prosecutors on Tuesday said Ghislaine Maxwell is “fully vaccinated” against COVID-19 and in good physical health, as Jeffrey Epstein’s former associate and girlfriend prepares for trial on charges she helped enable his sexual abuse of girls.

In a letter to U.S. District Judge Alison Nathan in Manhattan, prosecutors disputed claims that the 59-year-old British socialite has suffered from hair and weight loss while been subjected to restrictive conditions and invasive searches at the Brooklyn jail that has housed her since last July.

Prosecutors said staff at the Metropolitan Detention Center have not detected “noticeable hair loss,” that the 5-foot-7 (170 cm) Maxwell weighed 137.5 pounds (62 kg) last week, and that her lowest recorded weight of 133 pounds (60 kg) was normal.

“In short, MDC medical staff assess that the defendant is physically healthy,” the letter from U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss and other prosecutors said. It did not say when Maxwell was vaccinated.

Lawyers for Maxwell did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

One of the lawyers, Bobbi Sternheim, had written on March 31 that Maxwell’s detention was having a “deleterious effect on her health and well-being,” raising concern whether she would be “strong enough to withstand the stress of trial.”

Prosecutors said Maxwell is subjected to regular searches like other inmates at the Brooklyn jail, and has up to 91 hours a week to review materials for trial, more than any inmate.

Maxwell has pleaded not guilty to helping Epstein recruit, groom and sexually abuse three girls from 1994 to 1997.

She is awaiting arraignment on a March 29 indictment accusing her of sex trafficking of a fourth girl on Epstein’s behalf from 2001 to 2004.

A trial is scheduled for July 12. Maxwell’s lawyers have been considering whether to seek a delay.

Epstein, a financier, killed himself at age 66 in a Manhattan jail cell in August 2019 while awaiting trail on sex trafficking charges.

(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; Editing by Stephen Coates)

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