Jeffrey Epstein’s old conversations are coming back to haunt him.
“Ghislaine is the best at what I need,” the alleged sex offender and pedophile says of socialite Ghislaine Maxwell in a never-before-heard recording.
“She’s my best friend — she has been for a very long time.”
Those eerie words are just a taste of journalist Vicky Ward’s “previously off-the-record conversations” with the disgraced billionaire, who died by apparent suicide in prison in August 2019. Ward’s revelations from years of reporting, as well as interviews with other key players in the Epstein and Maxwell saga, come to light in the new docuseries “Chasing Ghislaine.”
The three-part show debuts on discovery+ on Nov. 22 — a week before Maxwell’s NYC trial is slated to start on Nov. 29 — and is hyped as “an in-depth and revelatory look at the woman who is accused of sharing a twisted and chilling partnership with Epstein.” Prolific author James Patterson is an executive producer.
Maxwell, the former lover of Epstein and alleged sexual abuser who was accused of sex trafficking of minors, reportedly delivered on all of Epstein’s whims. She was arrested by the FBI in a remote New Hampshire hideout in July 2020 and is facing multiple criminal charges related to sex trafficking and the abuse of young women and girls. Maxwell, a fallen socialite, pleaded not guilty and has been denied bail several times.
Ward, a former New York Post writer, says she was one of the first reporters to investigate Epstein, and admitted to knowing Maxwell socially over the years.
“Ghislaine may be the key to unlocking Jeffrey Epstein’s secrets,” she says in the trailer.
Ward has hours of audio footage of conversations with Epstein. Audio from a 2002 interview reveals Epstein threatening Ward: “I don’t know what you’re writing, but if there’s any implication of wrongdoing, I will take legal action against you personally.”
A press release for the series details the depth of reporting: “Ward reveals how this story began, exposing the mystery behind Epstein’s wealth and influence and how Maxwell’s alleged role within this conspiracy threatens a shadowy cabal of international elite and world leaders who might do anything to keep their identities — and motives — hidden.”
As Ward says of Epstein and Maxwell in the trailer, “They were trying to blackmail powerful people … The network of guys who enabled these sex crimes that endures … Ghislaine really could be the key to this shadowy web.”
The trailer also shows a pained Jennifer Araoz, who says she was raped by Epstein when she was just 15. Her lawyer says, “This couldn’t have happened without Ghislaine Maxwell.” (Araoz has sued Epstein’s estate and Maxwell in a separate suit, saying that Maxwell “oversaw” the billionaire’s “process.”)
The trailer promises that the series will reveal more chilling details about Maxwell’s role in Epstein’s sick world.
“As early as 1992, I was hearing stories that Ghislaine was introducing Jeffrey to high school girls,” said one person interviewed for the doc. Another added, “Ghislaine was the power geisha orchestrating everything for Epstein’s maximum delight.”
Getting the scope of Maxwell’s involvement — both in the series and in her trial — will be key to unraveling Epstein’s web, says a source in the doc. “She may be the last person on earth who can be squeezed to say what actually happened here.”