- Ghislaine Maxwell, the British-born socialite and alleged madam of convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, was spotted at an In-N-Out in Los Angeles eating a burger and reading a book, the New York Post reported.
- This public appearance occurred less than a week after Epstein was found dead in his federal prison cell of an apparent suicide.
- We went to the In-N-Out where she was photographed — and we were not alone in visiting for more than just beloved burgers and fries.
- The fast-food restaurant appeared to be a niche attraction on Thursday, as some visitors to the In-N-Out took pictures at the table where she sat to eat her meal.
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The appearance of the British-born socialite at the burger joint in Los Angeles, first reported by the New York Post, comes less than a week after Epstein was found dead in his federal prison cell by an apparent suicide.
"She has to eat somewhere, so it makes sense that she would go to the most popular place in California," In-N-Out customer, Ashton Tate, said to Business Insider in an interview on Thursday.
On a Thursday evening, the fast-food restaurant appeared to be a niche attraction. Some visitors to the In-N-Out took pictures at the table where she sat to eat her meal. After observing a few people take advantage of the photo op, one In-N-Out customer, who had not previously been briefed on the Epstein case, even wanted a picture for himself.
"It’s kind of surprising that someone who seems so sophisticated would surface at a fast-food place," another customer Alex Salvato, who ended up not taking a photo at the table, told Business Insider. "Because it’s so close to the studios, I always think about seeing celebrities here, so it’s pretty crazy that she would be here."
Lauren Frias/Business Insider
Despite repeated requests, the general manager of the In-N-Out location and various employees declined to comment. A representative from the marketing department of In-N-Out Inc. did not have a statement during a phone call with Business Insider, saying that the family-owned company respects the privacy of customers.
Prior to her In-N-Out appearance, speculation floated around regarding Maxwell’s location, with a recent report saying she was staying with tech CEO Scott Borgerson in his secluded mansion in Manchester-by-the-Sea, Massachusetts. Borgerson told Business Insider earlier this week that he was out of the country and that Maxwell was not at his residence, calling her a "former friend."
"Ghislaine Maxwell is not at my home and I don’t know where she is," Borgerson told Business Insider. "I’m passionate about ocean policy and wish people were as interested in Jones Act reform, joining the law of the sea, and funding icebreakers."
Epstein died on Saturday of an apparent suicide at the Metropolitan Correctional Center, which is known for holding high-profile inmates.
Epstein was held at the high-security detention facility after being charged with conspiracy and sex trafficking, to which he pleaded not guilty. He was put on suicide watch after being found unconscious with bruises on his neck on July 23, and was taken off suicide watch on July 29, according to reports.
Maxwell was once romantically linked to Epstein and was a longtime associate. She was not named in the July indictment against Epstein, which alleged that he and associated and employees, "facilitated his conduct by, among other things, contacting victims and scheduling their sexual encounters with Epstein."
In the past she has been accused of recruiting victims for the convicted sex offender. One of Epstein’s accusers Virginia Roberts Giuffre sued Maxwell for defamation in 2016. The case was settled in 2017 and thousands of previously sealed documents related to that case were released this month. Giuffre accused Maxwell of recruiting her to perform massages for Epstein when she was a teenager. Maxwell called her a liar, which led to the defamation suit.
Another Epstein accuser, Jennifer Araoz, filed a suit against Epstein’s estate, Maxwell, and several Epstein staffers on Wednesday. She alleges in the suit that they "conspired with each other to make possible and otherwise facilitate the sexual abuse and rape of Plaintiff."
Maxwell has repeatedly denied the accusations. Attorneys for Maxwell could not immediately be reached for comment.
Maxwell may become the target in cases going forward, experts told Business Insider.
"His death makes her the top of the food chain in terms of who you’re going after," David Weinstein, a former Assistant US Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, told Business Insider’s Michelle Mark. "Because if she was the right-hand person who was the most involved in this, then everyone else was working under the two of them."
"She gets now put in the kingpin position," he said.
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