Ghislaine Maxwell ‘paid £150,000 to hire a team of ex-SAS guards’ as her friends say they fear for the socialite’s safety in jail
- Ghislaine Maxwell ‘paid £154,345 to company The Next Step which advised her’
- The Next Step gave information ‘on the preservation of life and how to relocate’
- There is no suggestion that The Next Step helped her escape authorities
- One friend earlier warned: ‘There is too much power involved if she really talks’
Ghislaine Maxwell is understood to have hired ex-SAS guards after she was left with ‘real fear’ for her life due to her relationship with paedophile Jeffrey Epstein.
She payed £154,345 to company The Next Step which gave her advice ‘on the preservation of life and how to relocate’, court documents reveal.
The Next Step helps veterans as they move back into civilian life.
There is no suggestion that the firm – run by army veteran Matt Hellyer – helped her escape authorities and it did not give her any personal protection, The Sun on Sunday reports.
It comes amid fears for her safety in jail, with one friend warning: ‘There is too much power involved if she really talks.’
Ghislaine Maxwell (pictured in 2013) is understood to have hired ex-SAS guards after she was left with ‘real fear’ for her life due to her relationship with paedophile Jeffrey Epstein
Maxwell, 58, was arrested on Thursday in New Hampshire and faces six counts relating to charges of enticing and trafficking minors for sex.
The connections stem from her relationship with Epstein, who killed himself in prison awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges
A source told the paper: ‘Ghislaine lived in real fear something might happen to her, and with good reason.
They added: ‘She sought help from former SAS professionals. The company did not provide personal protection people.’
Those who know the French-born British socialite, who also holds U.S. citizenship, say they are concerned for her well-being.
‘I’m absolutely worried for her safety,’ said Christopher Mason, a TV host and journalist who has known Maxwell since the 1980s.
‘Do I think she’s in danger? Yes.’
Maxwell payed £154,345 to company The Next Step – run by army veteran Matt Hellyer (pictured) – which gave her advice ‘on the preservation of life and how to relocate’, court documents reveal
Mason, who is appearing in the new docu-series ‘Surviving Jeffrey Epstein’ in August on Lifetime, added that the threat to Maxwell could be greater because of reports she might cooperate with authorities.
He said he feared she could take her own life, like Epstein did, or be killed.
It was today revealed that during Maxwell’s arrest, armed officers smashed down the front door of her secret hideaway before hauling her off in handcuffs.
As dramatic new details about the raid which led to the capture of Prince Andrew’s close friend emerge, it was also revealed:
- FBI spy planes flew above the £800,000 home, Tuckedaway, where Maxwell was staying from 4.20am – four hours before the bust – to ensure she didn’t flee;
- The stunned socialite ‘barely registered’ having handcuffs slapped on her wrists;
- Maxwell’s capture followed a £4 million, year-long ‘cat-and-mouse’ hunt for her by the FBI which saw her slip through their net at least once;
- Lawyers for victims admitted a conviction is ‘no slam-dunk’ and fear she will potentially seek to escape justice by using a controversial 2008 plea deal that allowed paedophile Jeffrey Epstein to serve just 13 months, mostly on day release;
- Her legal team vowed ‘This is war’ as she prepared for the possibility of life behind bars in one of New York’s toughest jails.
Armed officers smashed down the front door of Maxwell’s secret New Hampshire hideaway before hauling her off in handcuffs
The raid on the 156-acre property where Maxwell was staying in Bradford, New Hampshire, swung into action at 8.20am on Thursday with 24 armed FBI agents and police officers
Christopher Mason, a friend of Maxwell’s since the 1980s, said he feared for her safety
The raid on the 156-acre property where Maxwell was staying in Bradford, New Hampshire, swung into action at 8.20am on Thursday when 24 armed FBI agents, officers from the local police force, New York police and New Hampshire’s gang task force used bolt-cutters to break the lock on a metal gate leading to the secluded property that she bought for cash last December.
An officer told The Mail on Sunday: ‘We drove at speed up the half-mile driveway in a convoy of 15 vehicles. And let’s just say, we didn’t knock politely on the door. It was smashed down.
‘Maxwell was up and dressed, in the living room, wearing sweat pants and a top. Strangely she didn’t seem to have much reaction. It was like it wasn’t registering with her.
‘She was turned around quickly and cuffed. She was in custody in a matter of seconds.’