Ghislaine Maxwell used her friendship with socialite and columnist Barbara Amiel to try and get close to a string of rich and powerful men, Amiel recounts in a new score-settling memoir, “Friends & Enemies: A Life in Vogue, Prison, & Park Avenue.”
Amiel, the wife of former publishing giant Conrad Black, writes that after the death of Maxwell’s father, Robert Maxwell, “Ghislaine was renovating a house on 65th Street in Manhattan — we were on 66th, so it was easy to bump into her. ‘I’m really lost in Manhattan,’ she said to me one day. ‘It would be so helpful if you could introduce me to someone that might advise me.’ ” When Amiel suggested a successful, well-connected woman, Maxwell bristled. “I was thinking of Henry Kravis and Leonard Lauder,” she replied.
Amiel later arranged a meeting with the beauty billionaire, and they “trotted off to the famed Lauder triplex on Fifth Avenue,” where they met with Leonard and his wife. “Ghislaine turned up the charm,” Amiel writes. “[Her] agenda wasn’t straightforward business advice … What a chump I was, wriggling in my chair, overcome with embarrassment. What the blazes were we doing there?”
During their friendship, Maxwell — now facing charges of trafficking minors for Jeffrey Epstein — boasted she had more bathrooms at her homes and planes than Amiel.
Maxwell dumped her when Amiel’s husband was being investigated for fraud. It came to a head at the Four Seasons. Maxwell “had been importuning my friendship before our crash with repeat invites for us to go to Jeffrey’s island and relax, but I thought it might be rough sledding, marooned on an island counting kitchens or plunging my cellulite next to her toned thighs in the swimming pool with no way out but a rowboat,” Amiel writes. “Still, we were friends — so putting on my ‘So good to see you’ face, I headed for her. She bolted. Turned that sharp tight little turn when you really want to get away. And that was it.”
The book’s out Oct. 13.