As lawyers for Ghislaine Maxwell filed a trove of court documents requesting leniency at her sentencing in Manhattan federal court later this month for trafficking girls on behalf of Jeffrey Epstein, the late multimillionaire sex predator who was her former boyfriend and employer, the name of one other wealthy former flame kept coming up: Billionaire Gateway computers co-founder Ted Waitt.
As part of her bid for a lighter sentence, Maxwell claims she developed a “loving bond” with Waitt’s young children and hoped to become their stepmom before her relationship with the tech magnate disintegrated because of the Epstein scandal.
Waitt hasn’t commented on his onetime love affair with the British heiress and now convicted sex-trafficker, but news reports have mentioned him repeatedly in connection to her, including as her former beau and a fellow friend of the Clinton family. Indeed, Maxwell was reportedly Waitt’s date to Chelsea Clinton’s 2010 nuptials. The billionaire philanthropist’s name also surfaced at Maxwell’s criminal trial in late December.
According to Maxwell’s latest filings, her years-long romance with Waitt only ended because of a former Miami lawyer who “attempted to blackmail” him. (That legal eagle, Scott Rothstein, helmed a law firm that once employed Brad Edwards, a well-known lawyer for Epstein victims. Unrelated to the Epstein case and Edwards himself, Rothstein was disbarred and convicted of running a $1.2 million Ponzi scheme.)
“In 2003, Ms. Maxwell began a seven-year romantic relationship with Theodore ‘Ted’ Waitt and developed a strong and loving bond with his four children, ranging in age from six to twelve,” the sentencing memorandum states. “Her relationship with Waitt was on track for marriage and gave her what she had always hoped for and wanted most—the opportunity for a loving, stable family life and the chance to become stepmother to Waitt’s children.
“But her hopes were destroyed, as was so much of her life, by her previous association with Epstein. A Miami lawyer named Scott W. Rothstein, Esq. attempted to blackmail Waitt to keep Ms. Maxwell’s name out of civil lawsuits related to Epstein that his law firm was planning to file,” the filing continues. “Ms. Maxwell’s relationship with Waitt could not survive the blackmail threats and it ended soon afterwards.”
A footnote adds: “Rothstein had targeted Waitt, the deeppocket co-founder of Gateway, Inc., because of his ongoing relationship with Ms. Maxwell, who had previously been involved with Epstein. Rothstein demanded $10 million to keep Ms. Maxwell’s name out of civil lawsuits. Waitt successfully resisted Rothstein’s blackmail attempt, but Ms. Maxwell was named in lawsuits filed by [Rothstein’s firm]. Ultimately, Ms. Maxwell’s relationship with Waitt did not survive the ordeal.”
Maxwell would be jilted once again as a result of her prosecution, her lawyers argue. This time, her marriage to secret husband and former Coast Guard officer Scott Borgerson succumbed to the “negative impact” of the criminal case, court papers allege.
The memorandum argued that Maxwell “is not an heiress, villain, or vapid socialite.” Listing her accomplishments and “desire to do good in the world,” the document adds that she became an EMT, created the oceans charity TerraMar, and helped “launch the Clinton Global Initiative.”
“She has also tried to protect the people around her (Ted Waitt’s children, her stepchildren, the people at TerraMar) from the onslaught of press and public vilification that come with having been associated with her,” the filing adds.
In a separate filing, Maxwell’s lawyers noted that “she has been involved in two committed, long-term, loving relationships with men who had young children,” with one of those presumably being Waitt.
Waitt may have been friendly with Maxwell up until her 2020 arrest.
Last year, one acquaintance of Maxwell and Borgerson told The Daily Beast that the couple schmoozed with Waitt at an event.
Maxwell was known to rub elbows with Silicon Valley power players, including Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and former Google CEO Eric Schmidt, and some of these VIPS claimed that they were introduced to her by Waitt, whose name lended her cachet.
In 2020, a source close to Schmidt told the Beast that the Google billionaire met Maxwell through wait at an event linked to the Clintons.
At Maxwell’s trial late last year, her lawyers introduced names of other women in Epstein’s orbit and referred to Waitt in certain lines of questioning.
During the cross examination of Epstein’s longtime pilot Larry Visoski, an attorney for Maxwell asked about Waitt while suggesting the socialite was mostly out of Epstein’s life by the mid-2000s. “Isn’t it true that by 2004, Ghislaine was in a committed relationship with another man?” the lawyer asked Visoski, who replied in the affirmative.
The attorney asked if Visoski was familiar with Waitt and whether they were dating by 2004.
“I don’t know if it was a relationship, but I know she was spending a lot of time with Mr. Waitt, and I think he was completing a boat that she was involved in decorating and building a helipad on it,” Visoski answered.
Visoski added that Maxwell introduced him to Waitt’s pilots, and the aviators became friends.
Four victims testified against Maxwell, saying she facilitated Epstein’s sexual abuse at locations around the world, including at her London townhouse.
One accuser, identified by the pseudonym Jane Doe, was 14 when Epstein and Maxwell recruited her at a prestigious arts summer camp in the 1990s. She testified that the socialite trained her to sexually service Epstein and “seemed very casual,” and “like it was very normal, like it was not a big deal.”
“It made me feel confused because that did not feel normal to me,” Jane said, adding that she was embarrassed by the abuse. “When you’re 14, you have no idea what’s going on.”
Meanwhile, Wednesday’s court filings included letters of support for Maxwell from friends and relatives, including New York Times archivist Jeffrey Roth, who attended much of her trial seated alongside her siblings. His missive solved a mystery plaguing multiple members of the press: Who was this lanky observer in the Maxwell entourage?
“I am on the staff of The New York Times and I am a cousin of Ms. Ghislaine Maxwell,” his letter states. It adds, “Forthright, kind, respectful. Qualities that all parents hope for in their children. I saw those in Ms. Maxwell many times.”