The reported letter filed Wednesday, April 7, in Manhattan Federal Court is the latest in an increasingly hostile dispute over Maxwell’s treatment at the Metropolitan Detention Center in New York — with Sternheim now accusing prosecutors of attempting to “publicly embarrass and humiliate” his client.
“Blaming Ms. Maxwell for the filth of her severely restricted environment is utterly misplaced. To suggest she willingly lives in squalor is absurd,” Sternheim wrote in a letter to Judge Alison Nathan. “In an effort to wield power, the guards use cleaning as a punishment,” he continued.
Sternheim claims Maxwell avoids using the toilet in her cell “due to the lack of privacy,” but flushes it frequently to help alleviate a stench from “overflowing toilets in the cellblock above” hers. Sternheim goes on to allege that the building where Maxwell is being held is riddled with “mold and vermin,” and even a salad Maxwell was given earlier this week apparently had mold in it.
As OK! previously reported, in a letter filed Tuesday, April 6, prosecutors shot down Maxwell’s initial allegations. The Metropolitan Detention Center staff allegedly ordered Maxwell to clean her cell in response to the smell and “not as retaliation for complaining about a particular search,” referring to claims Maxwell’s lawyers made in February that she was “physically abused” by a jail guard and forced to clean her cell as a punishment.
“Among other things, MDC staff noted that the defendant frequently did not flush her toilet after using it, which caused the cell to smell,” the letter read. “In addition, the defendant had not cleaned her cell in some time, causing the cell to become increasingly dirty.”
Jeffrey Epstein’s alleged accomplice — who faces trial for charges related to grooming and trafficking girls (several underage) for disgraced financier Epstein — claimed in February she was forced to drink dirty tap water and eat unheated meals, and the “overall conditions” of her treatment at the prison have had a “detrimental impact” on her health, reported Front Page Detectives.
Sternheim wrote in a complaint to U.S. District Judge Alison Nathan that her cruel treatment was causing her to lose weight, lose her hair and that she was “losing her ability to concentrate.”
Prosecutors noted in the letter on Wednesday, April 7, that Maxwell has not lost a significant amount of pounds since she’s been locked up, as her weight is constantly monitored — even informing the judge that she has “received the COVID-19 vaccine and is now fully vaccinated.” The letter also states that Maxwell “continues to receive more time to review discovery than any other inmate,” as she has computer access 13 hours a day, seven days a week.
Sternheim refuted those claims in the newest rebuttal letter, saying, “she is weighed while clothed on scales that are erratic and not set to zero.” Sternheim added, “Her eyesight is failing, and her hair is thinning. The guards are far from qualified to assess Ms. Maxwell’s physical condition.”
The attorney continued: “No amount of gloss put on Ms. Maxwell’s conditions of confinement can erase the fact that she remains in de facto solitary confinement, overmanaged by multiple guards, and surveilled by multiple cameras 24 hours per day.” The attorney asked that any updates on Maxwell’s conditions be kept private.
Maxwell has pleaded not guilty to her charges. Her attorneys will argue to the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals later this month that she should be granted bail.
Daily News was first to report on Sternheim's rebuttal letter.