PIERS Morgan has dismissed as “laughable” a claim by a pal of Ghislaine Maxwell that she was a “victim” of sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.
Laura Goldman insisted the paedophile controlled Maxwell – who Morgan called a 'madame' -and would have “destroyed” her life if she had tried to break away from him.
Socialite Maxwell, 58, who was Epstein’s former lover, was arrested by the FBI on Thursday after evading the authorities for a year since the Epstein’s death.
She is now facing charges of conspiring with Epstein to sexually abuse minors.
Defending her friend on Good Morning Britain, Goldman said: "I believe in supporting my friend and I believe she was a victim of Jeffrey Epstein just like many people were.”
But Piers Morgan said when he met Maxwell he found her a “super confident” person and dismissed the idea she could have been under Epstein’s spell.
“I met Ghislaine at a book launched in 2013, very briefly, with Stephen Fry and other people and I don’t think I’ve ever met a more confident person in my life," he said.
“The idea that she was somehow the victim here, I’ve got to be honest with you here I find laughable.
“She was part of his world for decades and the idea that you’re trying to portray her as a victim, when actually the victim are these poor underage girls who were terrorised for decades , many people will find quite repulsive.
“Why would you think that Ghislaine Maxwell is in anyway a victim, given the depth of the allegations, the consistent pattern of her acting as a Madame for Jeffrey Epstein when she groomed very young often underage girls to be sexually abused.”
But Goldman insisted that Maxwell tried to break free from Epstein but was afraid the wealthy paedophile would destroy her.
"I know she tried many, many, many times to get away from Jeffrey and she kept keeping her there and luring her there.
"She's a victim of Jeffrey Epstein, he would not let her leave. She tried many, many times.
“There were things that he had on her that if she had left in an angry way would have destroyed her life earlier.”
Prosecutors have said Maxwell had around $20million cash in 15 bank accounts and Morgan said with that amount of money she could have broken free from Epstein
But Goldman insisted that Maxwell has told her bank account is "not hers” and "she said Jeffrey was in charge of most of that money".
The New Hampshire house where she had been hiding “wasn’t exactly hers either” said Goldman.
Morgan retorted: “Do you believe everything she tells you and maybe be pulling the wool over your eyes?”
Epstein, 66, hanged himself in August 2019 in a New York prison while trial on of trafficking minors.
In 2008 he pleaded guilty in Florida to charges of solicitation of prostitution from a minor but cut a widely criticised deal with prosecutors that saw him serve just 13 months jail.
Prince Andrew has come under intense scrutiny for his friendship with Epstein and Maxwell and has faced calls for co-operate with requests by FBI and US prosecutors for an interview.
He has vehemently denied any wrongdoing and has insisted he is willing to co-operate.
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer has now weighed in an said “of course” the Duke of York should co-operate.
“It doesn't matter who you are. You co-operate with the law-enforcement authorities when they ask you to do so,” he said.
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