Ghislaine Maxwell Starz Doc EP: It's 'Offensive' for Her to Play the Victim

The third and final episode of Who Is Ghislaine Maxwell? airs tonight (Sunday, July 10) on Starz at 9 p.m., with the last installment delving deep into Maxwell's criminal trial and conviction.

In late 2021, Maxwell stood trial for several sex trafficking offenses she allegedly committed between 1994 and 2004 with Jeffrey Epstein at his homes in Florida, New York and New Mexico. She was accused of helping him procure girls, including a 14-year-old, who were subject to sexual abuse.

Epstein took his own life in his New York prison cell in August 2019 before justice could be served, but for his victims, there was still some hope, when Maxwell's trial began in November 2021.

In December 2021, she was found guilty of recruiting and grooming teenage girls to have sexual encounters with Epstein after 40 hours of jury deliberation.

She was denied her request for a retrial in April 2022 and was sentenced to 20 years in prison in June 2022.

Throughout her trial, Maxwell denied all of the charges against her. During her sentencing statement, Maxwell described herself as much as a 'victim' of Epstein as the underage girls who were abused by him. She also apologized for the 'pain' they had experienced.

Speaking to Newsweek, Dorothy Byrne, the executive producer of Who Is Ghislaine Maxwell? on Starz shared her thoughts on Maxwell's sentence.

Byrne, who had worked on the documentary for two years said Maxwell knew exactly what she was doing and it was "offensive" for Maxwell to now play the victim,

She said, "She has tried to make out she was the victim and I find that really offensive because in the story of Ghislaine Maxwell, there are hundreds of victims, but none of them is called Ghislaine Maxwell. She victimized other women. She is not a victim."

Byrne continued, "She had a tyrannical father. Lots of women have tyrannical fathers. Her family lost all their money. Lots of people have families who lost all their money. They did not turn to crime. She was absolutely aware of what she was doing. She reveled in it. She enjoyed it and she committed crimes on an industrial scale.

"I think it's excellent that she went to prison for so long because it's a warning to other people. You cannot abuse girls and young women like this, but now we need the men to be brought to justice because only when the men are brought to justice is the United States really putting out the message to sex offenders 'you will not get away with it."

Ghislaine Maxwell
Executive producer Dorothy Byrne, who worked on "Who Is Ghislaine Maxwell?" for two years said Maxwell, pictured above, knew exactly what she was doing and it was "offensive" for her to now play the victim,. Above, Maxwell photo issued by the Department of Justice. Department of Justice

On July 7, Maxwell officially appealed the conviction and her 20-year sentence.

The Guardian reported court documents to show Maxwell paid $505 to appeal against her conviction and sentence. Her appeal has now been sent to the U.S. court of appeals.

Ahead of her sentencing in June, in court filings, reported by Sky News, prosecutors wrote: "In new court filings, reported by Sky News, prosecutors wrote: "As part of a disturbing agreement with Jeffrey Epstein, Maxwell identified, groomed, and abused multiple victims, while she enjoyed a life of extraordinary luxury and privilege.

"In her wake, Maxwell left her victims permanently scarred with emotional and psychological injuries. That damage can never be undone, but it can be accounted for in crafting a just sentence for Maxwell's crimes."

They continued: "Instead of showing even a hint of acceptance of responsibility, the defendant makes a desperate attempt to cast blame wherever else she can.

"She made the choice to sexually exploit numerous underage girls. She made the choice to conspire with Epstein for years, working as partners in crime and causing devastating harm to vulnerable victims."

Jeffrey Epstein Ghislaine Maxwell
From left, American real estate developer Donald Trump and his girlfriend (and future wife), former model Melania Knauss, financier (and future convicted sex offender) Jeffrey Epstein, and British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell pose together at the Mar-a-Lago club, Palm Beach, Florida, February 12, 2000. Photo by Davidoff Studios/Getty Images

Maxwell's defense had previously argued she should serve no more than four to five years in prison, writing it would be a "travesty of justice for her to face a sentence that would have been appropriate for Epstein."

They continued: "Epstein was the mastermind, Epstein was the principal abuser, and Epstein orchestrated the crimes for his personal gratification. Indeed, had Ghislaine Maxwell never had the profound misfortune of meeting Jeffrey Epstein over 30 years ago, she would not be here."

Reflecting on Maxwell's sentence, Byrne said: "I definitely think she should serve 20 years, she should not be released early. She preyed on hundreds of girls and young women, hundreds and gave them handed them over to Jeffrey Epstein to be raped and abused herself, sexually abused, quite a number of them. Those girls and young women say they were passed around to other men. So many young women have said that their lives have been damaged, ruined and destroyed, that they will never be the same people again. That they were very vulnerable people and they were lured away into a terrifying life of abuse.

"She definitely deserved 20 years. If it had been 30 years, then she would almost certainly have died in prison. I think most people would say she should suffer for a long time, but dying in prison is a fate so awful, that you wouldn't wish that on anybody unless they were are continuing great risk to the public."

Maxwell also faces a second criminal trial for two charges of lying under oath about Epstein's abuse of underage girls in a civil lawsuit. Both counts carry a maximum sentence of five years each.

Who Is Ghislaine Maxwell? is streaming on Starzplay now.