Ian Maxwell: relationship to Ghislaine Maxwell explained, what he said about her imprisonment - and Prince Andrew

Ian Maxwell has said ‘I don’t know anything about the photograph’, but did say ‘I do recognise that setting’

Ian Maxwell with then-wife Laura in 1995 (Photo: GERRY PENNY/AFP via Getty Images)
Ian Maxwell with then-wife Laura in 1995 (Photo: GERRY PENNY/AFP via Getty Images)

The brother of British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell has said he recognises the setting of a well-known photo showing the Duke of York next to Virginia Giuffre.

Maxwell, the former girlfriend of the late convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, has previously cast doubt on the authenticity of the photo, said to be taken inside her Mayfair home, showing Prince Andrew with his arm around Giuffre.

Her brother Ian has said he does not know anything about the photograph, but said that he recognises the setting of where it was taken.

Ian Maxwell leaves Chichester Rents in October 1995, after the Maxwell brothers opened their defence case (Photo: GERRY PENNY/AFP via Getty Images)

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Here is everything you need to know about him.

Who is Ian Maxwell?

Ian Maxwell is a British businessman born in 1956 in Maisons-Laffitte, France, the son of media mogul Robert Maxwell, and the older brother of socialite Ghislaine Maxwell.

Ian and his brother Kevin (left) leave the Old Bailey court in January 1996 after they were acquitted of charges of fraudulent misuse of pension fund assets (Photo: GERRY PENNY/AFP via Getty Images)

Maxwell began his career in 1978 at Pergamon Press, the Oxford-based publishing house founded by his father that published scientific and medical books and journals.

After a stint at the Prince's Charitable Trust, he rejoined his father’s Maxwell Communications Corporation, and was appointed the chairman of Mirror Group Newspapers (MGN) plc following Robert’s death in 1991.

Just a month after his appointment, Maxwell and his brother Kevin resigned from the corporation’s board, and nine hours later resigned from MGN, after reports that "many million" of pounds had been transferred from the group’s pension fund to Robert Maxwell's private companies without due authority.

In 1992, Maxwell, his brother Kevin and their financial adviser Larry Trachtenberg were arrested on suspicion of financial crimes related to the Maxwells’ father, and were charged with conspiracy to defraud millions of dollars – they were aquitted four years later in 1996.

Since then, Maxwell has been involved with various publishing companies and public relations firms, and in 2018 announced he and his brother had founded a think tank called Combating Jihadist Terrorism, with the aim of better understanding terrorism and its causes.

What has he said about that photograph?

According to court documents released last October, Ms Maxwell cast doubt on the authenticity of that now infamous image, which shows Andrew with his arm around Ms Giuffre with Maxwell in the background – purportedly taken at her London home.

During an interview on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme on 10 March, Mr Maxwell was asked about what he knows about the photograph.

He replied: “I don’t know anything about the photograph other than that I’ve seen it’s been published. This is outside the case that my sister is facing. And I know its interest to your listeners, but nonetheless I’m not here to talk about that photograph.”

He was then asked: “But do you recognise the setting of that? Was it taken in Ghislaine’s house in London?” Mr Maxwell replied: “I do recognise that setting.”

The Duke of York has said he has “no recollection” of meeting Giuffre and has cast doubt on the picture, claiming he is “not one to hug” or “display affection” in public.

In an interview with Newsnight in 2019, Andrew said that while he recognises himself in the picture, it is not possible to prove whether the image had been faked, and that the picture could not have been taken in London as he was in his “travelling clothes”.

Ms Giuffre insisted to BBC Panorama the photo was “authentic” and said she gave the original to the FBI in 2011.

What did he say about his sister's imprisonment?

Ghislaine Maxwell is in a US prison, awaiting trial on charges that she recruited three teenage girls for Epstein to sexually abuse between 1994 and 1997.

Mr Maxwell told the programme his sister is in effective “isolation” and is under 24-hour surveillance with 10 cameras, adding that she is being subjected to “brutal” and “degrading” conditions.

He said she is not a suicide risk and described how she is being dealt with in prison as “a grotesque overreaction”.

Last week, Mr Maxwell told the Daily Telegraph that the American justice system – which he described as “bizarre” and “cruel” – must grant bail to his “much loved” sister, adding that her family is “solidly behind her”, and are “convinced” she will be acquitted.

Ms Maxwell is being held without bail on the grounds that she remains a flight risk and has not been fully forthcoming about her finances.

Mr Maxwell said he “can’t go into discussing the relationship of Ghislaine with Jeffrey Epstein”, adding: “I didn’t see them together … I think only once in my entire life in a social situation.”