FACT CHECK: Viral Image Claims Ghislaine Maxwell Spoke Before The UN At Least 9 Times
A viral Instagram post claims Ghislaine Maxwell, the ex-girlfriend and confidant of the deceased convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, spoke before the United Nations (U.N.) at least nine times.
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While Maxwell has spoken at least two times on the topic of oceans at events held at the U.N., she does not appear to have ever addressed a U.N. legislative body.
Numerous claims about Maxwell have circulated on social media since she was arrested in July on charges that she allegedly helped Epstein recruit minors to sexually abuse. She has pleaded not guilty to the charges and is being detained until her trial next year, according to CNN.
“If you think it’s ridiculous to think that child traffickers are in the highest positions of responsibility, then explain why Ghislaine Maxwell hung out with royalty and spoke before the UN at least nine times,” reads the text at the bottom of the Instagram image. (RELATED: Does This Image Show Boris Johnson With Ghislaine Maxwell?)
Stephane Dujarric, a spokesperson for the U.N., told Check Your Fact in an email that, to his knowledge, Maxwell has never addressed an official meeting of a U.N. legislative body. Check Your Fact found two instances of her speaking at events held at the U.N. in her capacity as the founder of the oceanic conservation group TerraMar Project.
In 2013, she spoke with Stuart Beck, Palau’s then-ambassador to the U.N., about sustainable development in relation to oceans at a press conference. Maxwell also participated in a “conversation with the International Financial Institutions, the Private Sector and the Civil Society on healthy Oceans and Seas” during a 2014 event hosted by the Sustainable Oceans Alliance, the governments of Italy and Palau and the Global Partnerships Forum, according to a U.N. document.
Dujarric told Check Your Fact that he is “only aware of two instances of her speaking at the UN, one in 2013 and another 2014,” though he noted that “there may be more, but we do not keep records of who attends non-official meetings.” He also emphasized that there is a distinct difference between speaking “at the UN” and speaking “to the UN.”
U.S. District Court Judge Alison Nathan on Aug. 25 denied Maxwell’s requests to learn the identities of the three accusers in the indictment against her and to be moved to the general prison population, Fox News reported.