At Thanksgiving, Americans get together to celebrate what really matters — family, friends, food and fellowship.
Even if Covid-19 is this year putting a brake on many reunions, it must be the hardest time of the year to be behind bars.
And the holiday — which began on Thursday and continues all weekend — will certainly not be easy for one prisoner, Ghislaine Maxwell.
In the 'glory days' when she and Jeffrey Epstein glided through their pampered world of private jets, Caribbean islands and amenable royal friends, this U.S. 'holiday season' would see the tireless British socialite spend more than a month partying in the billionaire circles of Manhattan and Palm Beach, Florida, that she and her paedophile chum loved to move in.
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And the holiday — which began on Thursday and continues all weekend — will certainly not be easy for one prisoner, Ghislaine Maxwell (pictured)
Today, as she languishes in her tiny solitary cell at the forbidding Metropolitan Detention Centre (MDC) in Brooklyn, New York, her mind may be wandering back to Thanksgivings past — perhaps the ones she and Epstein spent at the Palm Beach mansion of their great friends Glenn and Eva Dubin, one of New York's best-connected couples.
Glenn, a billionaire hedge-fund manager, and Eva, a former Miss Sweden and prominent Manhattan doctor, were old friends of Epstein; Eva was Epstein's ex-girlfriend.
And they remained so loyal that even after he was jailed in 2008 for soliciting a minor, Eva told Epstein's probation officer they were happy to have him over and mix with their three children, including a beautiful young daughter.
(Virginia Roberts, accuser of both Epstein and Maxwell, said in a 2015 lawsuit that Glenn Dubin was the first powerful man Epstein sent her to have sex with, a claim Dubin denies.)
Today, as she languishes in her tiny solitary cell (pictured), her mind may be wandering back to Thanksgivings past
The Dubins, like so many of Maxwell's old friends, have since run for the hills, insisting they knew nothing about the sordid allegations against the toxic pair. Nowadays, Maxwell, 58, has more basic concerns.
According to her friends and lawyers, she can no longer take necessities such as soap, toothbrushes, bras and even sleep for granted as she awaits trial, in a jail that a former warden described as the most troubled facility in the U.S.
The authorities say they are simply trying to keep her alive and ensure she doesn't copy Epstein, who was able to hang himself in jail as he awaited trial.Insurance Loans Mortgage Attorney Credit Lawyer
Her supporters — fighting for her to be released on bail and who dismiss claims she is a flight risk — insist she is being singled out for especially harsh treatment as the principal surviving villain in one of the most notorious criminal scandals for decades.
There will certainly be no big holiday party for Maxwell, (who wouldn't have anything to wear, having swapped her designer wardrobe for a regulation T-shirt and leggings when she was moved to the MDC in July.)
Indeed, very little festive human contact at all is likely for the woman who always knew everyone at the party — except for the moment on Thursday when a guard pushed through her cell's food hatch a tray of traditional Thanksgiving dinner — turkey, stuffing, mashed potato, cranberry — and any other trimmings a cash-strapped prison system can afford.
Very little festive human contact at all is likely for the woman who always knew everyone at the party at the forbidding Metropolitan Detention Centre (MDC) in Brooklyn, New York (pictured)
As a vegan who has allegedly already lost 25lb thanks to the limited menu, she probably found it less enticing than it sounds.
Considering the horrific allegations against her — that she not only found and groomed underage girls for Epstein to sexually abuse but also sometimes took part in the assaults — it might strike some as ironic that her camp is now complaining her human rights are being ignored.
However, while Maxwell certainly faces damning prosecution evidence, she has yet to be tried for anything, let alone convicted.
When Epstein committed suicide in his cell last summer 12 days after being taken off suicide watch, Maxwell went to ground as the FBI made clear it was looking for her.
Since her discovery and dramatic arrest at a house deep in the woods of New Hampshire in July, prosecutors successfully argued that Maxwell — who possessed three passports and huge funds — was a serious flight risk and should be denied bail.
Ever since, she and her expensive lawyers have been trying desperately to overturn that decision.
This week, they rumbled into action again after the U.S. Justice Department wrote to tell a judge in her case that Maxwell was now in quarantine after a member of the jail staff tested positive for Covid-19.
In the 'glory days' when she and Jeffrey Epstein (pictured together) glided through their pampered world of private jets, Caribbean islands and amenable royal friends
Keen to assure the judge that Maxwell was not being singled out for harsh treatment, the government's letter laid bare the extent of her now immensely restricted existence — like other affected inmates, she was being allowed out of her cell three days per week for just 30 minutes.
In those periods, she was allowed to shower, make personal phone calls and use the detention centre's email system.
In addition, she was able to talk to lawyers on the phone for up to three hours day and use a laptop in her cell for 13 hours every day to prepare her defence.
She wouldn't, however, be able to see any visitors.
The letter also revealed that, when not in quarantine, Maxwell is allowed out of her 'isolation cell' from 7am to 8pm every day to use the computer, prepare her defence and receive visits from lawyers, for hours at a time.
It stressed that Maxwell continues to have more time than any other inmate to prepare her defence.
Such assurances drew a