Geraldo Rivera's Defense of Ghislaine Maxwell Prompts Shouting Match on Fox News

An argument erupted on Fox News' The Five on Monday when hosts Jesse Watters and Dagen McDowell discussed Ghislaine Maxwell being denied bail with Fox News personality Geraldo Rivera.

Maxwell was the former lover of convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein and is accused of being his chief enabler, recruiting and grooming young girls. Allegations come from four women who say Epstein abused them as teenagers between 1994 and 2004.

On the show, Rivera made reference to Darrell Brooks, who was charged with six counts of first-degree intentional homicide on Monday following the Waukesha Christmas parade tragedy. He compared the fact that Brooks has been allowed bail with Maxwell being denied.

An argument broke out on the show when McDowell and Watters both argued Maxwell was a flight risk.

Rivera said: "I am outraged by the Maxwell case. You talk about Darrell Brooks, the creep that ran over his girlfriend and then killed six people. He was out on a $1,000 bail, Ghislaine Maxwell has been in jail for 17 months for no bail. She is sitting in prison prior to trial, accused of events that happened between 1994 and 2004."

McDowell interrupted to say that Maxwell was a flight risk. Rivera argued back that the accused offered to put up a $28.5 million bond. Watters added Maxwell could flee to a country that does not extradite to the U.S., as the trio began shouting over one another.

Rivera said: "You take her, you throw her in solitary confinement for 17 months." Watters then said Rivera was defending a sex trafficker, to which he replied that he was defending justice. McDowell replied that Maxwell "deserves to sit in jail" because she is a flight risk.

McDowell continued: "She is a flight risk because she was hiding during COVID in the northeast. Here is federal bail law, you are allowed... in 1984 Congress passed federal bail law, you are allowed to deny bail on two grounds. A flight risk and a danger to the community."

Rivera then questioned where Maxwell would hide if she was a flight risk, to which McDowell said, "She can hide overseas because nobody knows where the money is." She closed with: "Way to stand up for a sex trafficker."

Newsweek has contacted Fox for comment.

Maxwell has not yet been convicted of sex trafficking and the opening statements from the defense and prosecution were read out in court on Monday as the trial began. Bobbi Sternheim, Maxwell's defense attorney, said the accused is a "scapegoat for a man who behaved badly."

He said: "The charges against Ghislaine Maxwell are for things that Jeffrey Epstein did, but she is not Jeffrey Epstein. He's the proverbial elephant in the room. He is not visible, but he is consuming this entire courtroom and overflow courtrooms where other members of the public are viewing."

Assistant District Attorney Lara Pomerantz said Maxwell had manipulated young girls. She said: "She preyed on vulnerable young girls, manipulated them, and served them up to be sexually abused."

Geraldo Rivera
Geraldo Rivera is seen on December 11, 2019 in New York City. Geraldo Rivera defended Ghislaine Maxwell in a heated argument. Patricia Schlein/Star Max/Getty Images