According to prosecutors and alleged victims, Maxwell acted as Epstein's madam, recruiting and abusing underage victims alongside the convicted sex offender. Maxwell has denied any wrongdoing.
Robert Maxwell was a Member of Parliament from 1966 to 1970 and the owner of British tabloid The Daily Mirror. In March 1991, months before his death, he bought The New York Daily News.
Maxwell attended one of England's top private boarding schools and later graduated from Oxford University. She went on to found a social club for women in London.
Robert Maxwell's body was found floating in the Atlantic Ocean after he disappeared from his private yacht. According to The Guardian, it was ruled that he died from a heart attack combined with accidental drowning, but his daughter reportedly believed that her father was murdered.
After Robert Maxwell's death, his yacht was sold to an American buyer and is now known as Lady Mona K. The 190-foot-yacht sleeps up to 12 guests in six cabins.
Her father's business was more than $4 billion in debt following his death, so Maxwell didn't move to the US as a lavishly wealthy heiress.
The British socialite, about 30 years old at the time, quickly became a staple of the city's high society, rubbing shoulders with celebrities, presidents, CEOs, and other members of the city's wealthy and powerful elite.
According to a 2000 article by The New York Post, she started out in New York working in real estate and living off about $100,000 a year from a trust fund set up by her father.
According to The Post, Maxwell started dating Epstein around 1992.
Maxwell reportedly socialized with high-profile people including John F. Kennedy Jr., Donald Trump, Prince Andrew, and the Clinton family.
According to Politico, Maxwell grew close with Chelsea Clinton after her father left office.
"Ghislaine was the contact between Epstein and Clinton," a person familiar with the relationship told Politico. "She ended up being close to the family because she and Chelsea ended up becoming close."
When reached for comment by Business Insider, Bari Lurie, Chelsea's chief of staff, said Chelsea and her husband, Marc Mezvinsky, were not aware of the allegations against Maxwell until 2015.
"Chelsea and Marc were friendly with her because of her relationship with a dear friend of theirs," Lurie told Business Insider. "When that relationship ended, Chelsea and Marc's friendship with her ended as well."
A person close to Chelsea told Business Insider that Chelsea and her husband knew Maxwell through a close family friend, Ted Waitt, and that Chelsea and Maxwell were never "close."
Maxwell was only at Chelsea's wedding because she was Waitt's girlfriend at the time, the person said.
Waitt cofounded personal computing company Gateway Inc. in 1985 and is now chairman of the Waitt Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to protecting the oceans.
She attended events like a dinner hosted by New York real-estate tycoon Aby Rosen, where guests included fashion designer Calvin Klein.
Maxwell is accused of approaching and recruiting girls to visit Epstein in his mansion in Palm Beach, Florida.
Tax records reviewed by Business Insider show the Manhattan townhouse was purchased for $4.95 million in October 2000 by an anonymous corporation with the same address as Epstein's finance office on Madison Avenue.
The seller was Lynn Forester.
Business Insider was unable to confirm that the seller of the home is the same Lynn Forester that has been linked to Epstein. Lynn Forester de Rothschild, chair of the E. L. Rothschild family investment office and wife of British billionaire financier Sir Evelyn Robert Adrian, was one of the names on Epstein's private jet log. In October 2000, she was not yet married to de Rothschild.
Forester sold the mansion for about $8.5 million less than its assessed market value, which was more than $13.4 million. Forester bought the home in 1997 for $4.475 million, according to tax documents.
The 7,000-square-foot home on Manhattan's Upper East Side has 12 rooms, eight fireplaces, and an elevator.
Mrs. de Rothschild did not respond to a request for comment from Business Insider.
The home was sold in the spring of 2016 for $15 million.
Maxwell founded the TerraMar Project in 2012 to promote conservancy of the world's oceans.
Days after Epstein was arrested on sex trafficking charges, the organization's website was shut down and now includes only a statement announcing its closure: "The TerraMar Project is sad to announce that it will cease all operations. The website will be closed. ... TerraMar wants to thank all its supporters, partners and fellow ocean lovers."
Business Insider's Áine Cain reviewed the non-profit's tax documents and found that the nonprofit was a relatively small enterprise. No employee was ever paid more than $100,000, and most of its funds went into website development, office expenses, travel, phone and utilities fees, merchant fees, contractor fees, professional fundraising services, and insurance policies.
Maxwell herself reported working 60-hour weeks and pouring thousands into the organization, but by 2017, TerraMar was $550,546 in the hole in terms of revenue.
INSIDER's Ellen Cranley recently reported that investigators were probing the non-profit for possible connections to Epstein.
According to tax filings published by ProPublica and reviewed by Business Insider, Maxwell is the trustee of a philanthropic organization called Max Foundation Tr.
Tax filings show that in 2008, Maxwell's foundation donated $350 to Girls Educational and Mentoring Services (GEMS), a charity with a stated mission of ending commercial sexual exploitation and trafficking of children and young women.
When reached by email, GEMS founder and CEO Rachel Lloyd told Business Insider they could not find a record of the donation, noting that it was for less than $500 and that they had changed donor databases since 2008.
"We would never knowingly accept monies from anyone who was working against [our] mission," Lloyd said. "We fully support all the victims who have been brave enough to come forward against Jeffrey Epstein and hope that they will still be able to find a measure of justice from those [who] perpetuated his crimes."
Maxwell's other donations through her foundation include $275 in 2011 to the Madison Square Boys & Girls Club, a chapter of Boys & Girls Clubs of America that provides after-school programs for under-resourced youth in New York City; and in 2007, $300 to Hale House, a New York charity that took in homeless infants and toddlers. In 2008, Hale House ended its residential program and became a daycare service known as the Mother Hale Learning Center.
The tax filings also show that Maxwell donated $2,500 to the Clinton Library and Foundation in 2003, as well as at least $1,625 between 2003 and 2008 to the Wayuu Taya Foundation, a nonprofit focused on improving the lives of Latin American indigenous communities.
According to tax filings, between 2002 and 2018, Maxwell's foundation held an average of about $20,000 in total assets each year and appeared to be used to make a few small donations per year, possibly to purchase tickets to some of the fundraisers and charity galas at which she was often photographed.
The foundation's total recorded assets peaked in the tax year ending in June 2003 at $42,947, according to available tax filings. By 2018, that number had dwindled to $1,245.
The Washington Post reported on August 11 that Maxwell is believed to be living abroad and authorities have not been able to locate her.
According to a Daily Mail report from August 14, Maxwell has been living in Manchester-by-the-Sea, Massachusetts, with tech CEO Scott Borgerson. However, when contacted by Business Insider, Borgerson denied that Maxwell is currently staying at his house. He said that he has been out of the country traveling for work for the past week and that the house has been empty.
Maxwell's legal team did not respond to a Business Insider request for comment on her current location.