The FBI is investigating Ghislaine Maxwell, a British socialite tied to disgraced US financier Jeffrey Epstein, according to a Friday report.
The investigation focuses on Maxwell, but also targets other “people who facilitated” Epstein’s allegedly criminal behavior, Reuters reported, citing two law enforcement sources with knowledge of the investigation.
Epstein committed suicide in a New York jailhouse in August while awaiting trial for sex trafficking charges.
Maxwell, 58, was a longtime associate of Epstein and was once his girlfriend. She has not been accused of any crimes, but has been implicated in several civil lawsuits, which claim that she played a part in Epstein’s sex trafficking.
According to lawsuits filed by Epstein accusers, she was a recruiter of young girls for the financier, as well as his household manager and social circuit organizer. She has kept a low profile for the past several years.
The FBI is also looking into leads it received through a hotline it set up following Epstein’s July arrest, the report said.
The investigation is reportedly still in its early stages, and the sources did not identify who else the FBI is investigating.
Maxwell’s lawyers declined to comment on the report.
Maxwell is an elusive character whose father, Czech-born Jewish publisher Robert Maxwell, died in 1991 after falling off his yacht near the Canary Islands. It turned out that he had illegally looted pension funds from his businesses, according to news accounts at the time.
The sources said the FBI is not planning on investigating Britain’s Prince Andrew. One of Epstein’s alleged victims, Virginia Roberts Giuffre, said she was forced to have sex with the royal, a charge he denied in a controversial BBC interview in November.
Giuffre has filed a lawsuit against Maxwell, accusing her of recruiting young women for Epstein’s sexual pleasure and taking part in the abuse— allegations Maxwell has vehemently denied.
Epstein pleaded guilty in 2008 to procuring a girl under the age of 18 for prostitution and served 13 months in US prison before being released on probation.
Epstein, 66, who was arrested in New York in July on charges of trafficking dozens of underage girls for sex, was found dead in his New York jail cell on August 10 while awaiting trial over abuses involving girls at his Palm Beach home and on his private island in the Caribbean. The alleged offenses occurred from at least 2002 until 2005.
He had pleaded not guilty to the charges.
A coroner ruled that he committed suicide by hanging.
Over the years, the financier hobnobbed with politicians, socialites and celebrities, including Donald Trump before he was president, and Bill Clinton.