But there were also signs of trouble. In 2015, a lawsuit accusing Ms. Maxwell of complicity in Mr. Epstein’s abuses drew news media attention. In 2016, the Upper East Side townhouse where she had resided was sold and she disappeared from New York’s party circuit. The next year, her lawyers claimed she was in London but said they did not know her address, angering a judge overseeing another lawsuit against her. Last weekend — just a week after the new charges brought by New York federal prosecutors against Mr. Epstein became public — Ms. Maxwell’s nonprofit, the TerraMar Project, shut down. The website posted a message saying it was “sad to announce that it will cease all operations.”
An old friend, Christopher Mason, drew a connection between the scandals that Ms. Maxwell has been caught up in — the first involving her father, whose life ended in disgrace, and the second that of Mr. Epstein, the most defining male figure in her adult life.
“Her father was a swashbuckling rogue,” Mr. Mason said in an interview. “Jeffrey had a less social persona, but he was in his way swashbuckling, too.”
A Financial Resurrection
She grew up in a 53-room mansion in Buckinghamshire, where childhood activities included sailing on a family yacht named the Lady Ghislaine and rubbing shoulders with aristocrats and royals. Her father, Robert Maxwell, was a Czech-born World War II hero who founded Pergamon Press, an extremely successful publishing house for science and medical books. After that, he bought British tabloids, including The Mirror, as well as a stake in MTV Europe and the American publishing giant Macmillan.
Ms. Maxwell was the youngest of his nine children and, if the name of his yacht is any indication, a favorite. She attended Oxford and moved to New York in 1991, around the time her father bought The Daily News.
But later that year, her father tumbled off his boat and died in the midst of mounting debt, and it was shortly revealed that he had pillaged his employees’ pensions. With much of her family’s publishing empire gone, Ms. Maxwell moved into a modest Upper East Side apartment.