Ghislaine Maxwell appears with what looks like a black eye in her first photo from jail

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Ghislaine Maxwell appears with what looks like a black eye in her first photo from jail
A composite image of Ghislaine Maxwell in October 2016, and in a photo released by her lawyer on April 29, 2021.Sylvain Gaboury/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images; United States Courthouse court filing/Handout via Reuters
  • Ghislaine Maxwell's lawyer shared a photo of the British socialite, who is in a Brooklyn jail.
  • Maxwell appeared to have a black eye.
  • Her lawyer said it could be from her trying to shield her eyes as guards shone lights into her cell.

A first photo of the British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell from jail has been released by her lawyer, who said she has a bruised eye.

Maxwell, who faces charges of sex trafficking connected to Jeffrey Epstein, can be seen with what looks like a bruise under her eye in the undated photo. Maxwell has pleaded not guilty to the charges against her.

The photo was shared by her attorney Bobbi Sternheim in a Thursday letter to a US District judge in New York.

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Sternheim said that Maxwell was not sure of the cause of the bruise, but suggested it could have been caused by Maxwell having to cover her eyes as guards shone light into her cell every 15 minutes, Reuters reported.

"While Ms. Maxwell is unaware of the cause of the bruise, as reported to medical and psych staff, she has grown increasingly reluctant to report information to the guards for fear of retaliation, discipline, and punitive chores," Sternheim said, according to The Guardian.

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The lawyer said that no jail staff "addressed the bruise" until Maxwell saw the refection of her "aching eye" in her nail clippers and saw the mark.

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She said that prison staff then "confronted Ms. Maxwell regarding the source of the bruise, threatening to place her in the SHU [special housing unit] if she did not reveal how she got it."

On Thursday, US District Judge Alison Nathan ordered prosecutors to explain by May 5 whether - and if so, why - jail officials might be subjecting Maxwell to "flashlight surveillance" at night, and if Maxwell could receive an eye covering, Reuters reported.

Maxwell has been housed at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn, New York, since last July.

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Her lawyers and family have repeatedly criticized the conditions she's being held in, claiming she's being treated worse than other inmates.

Earlier this year Maxwell's lawyers complained about "horrific conditions" in the jail in an attempt to get her released on bail as she awaits trial, which is scheduled to start in July. They said she was "being kept awake all night to make sure she does not commit suicide."

Prosecutors responded by countering her claims and accusing her of not keeping her cell clean.

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