House of Maxwell, with Kirby Sommers

My forward to her new book, "Ghislaine Maxwell: An Unauthorized Biography"

Kirby Sommers, today’s guest on the PREVAIL podcast, asked me to write the foreword to her new book, Ghislaine Maxwell: An Unauthorized Biography.

Here is what I wrote:


It was bound to happen sooner or later. The laws of karma demanded it. One of the victims of the unimaginably horrific global sex trafficking trade would survive the abuse, baptize herself in the fire of her torment, and rise up to take on her oppressors. That is who Kirby Sommers is, and that is what she has, against all odds, managed to do.

When Bruce Wayne was a boy, he watched helplessly as his parents were murdered by a common street thug. Most people would never have recovered from such devastating trauma. Not young Bruce. He dedicated himself to a life of crimefighting, and became the Batman.

Kirby’s origin story is more horrifying than Bruce Wayne’s. Impregnated by her rapist—who had forced his way into her apartment after their movie date— she was desperate for money to get an abortion. For help, she turned to her older sister, who was something of a mother figure to her. It was her sister, her own flesh and blood, who introduced her to the brothel, who fed her to the cruel machine of sex trafficking. That initial betrayal led Kirby Sommers to be claimed by a man who was fabulously wealthy, but also sick, perverted, and evil—a comic book bad guy, but all too real.

For years Kirby was his sex slave—not in a Story of O sort of way, but an actual slave, effectively owned by this man, forced to indulge his disgusting carnal desires. When she finally escaped from his clutches, she had her Bruce Wayne moment: she dedicated her life to exposing not only him, but all of the abominable predators like him. That meant, primarily, the ne plus ultra of sex trafficking villains, Jeffrey Epstein. It was through her relentless, painstaking work on the Epstein case that I got to know Kirby’s work.

The machine went on the attack, as it does. The men (it’s mostly but not exclusively men) in this perverted club are men of privilege and power and wealth, and they use every means at their disposal to silence their accusers. Victims are discredited, trolled, sued, harassed, threatened, mentally abused—whatever tactics their devious minds cook up. Petty males have been doing this for centuries, to Livia, to Catherine the Great, to any powerful woman they perceive as a threat. Kirby is no exception. To this day, her abuser wants us to think she’s nuts, that her work is garbage, that she has some ulterior motive in doing what she does.

What they don’t understand is that Kirby Sommers is Batman. Watching her work, marveling at what she has accomplished, it is impossible not to admire her.

Bruce Wayne had Alfred the Butler, a mansion, and million of dollars inherited from his father to ease his transition into Batmanhood. Being neither fictional nor rich, Kirby lacks these fantastical resources. But she doesn’t need them, because like the Caped Crusader, she is relentless, unwavering, and steadfast in her quest to root out the evildoers.

My privilege, being a white man, is to turn away, to stop looking, to think about other things. Kirby never looks away. She is always watching. She is forever vigilant. And she will never stop. That is her superpower.

And now, she has fixed her gaze on the vilest female villain since Elizabeth Báthory. In the larger story of the global sex trafficking trade, Ghislaine Maxwell is one of the most infamous, and most formidable, bad guys. Her father was a notorious spy, a foreigner who managed to ingratiate himself into the highest reaches of the British establishment. Her business partner Jeffrey Epstein was also a spy and an arms dealer, as well as a prolific sex trafficker and collector of kompromat. Already tight with Britain’s Prince Andrew, as a New York socialite, Ghislaine Maxwell befriended the rich and powerful. Her sisters work in Big Tech. Her boyfriend—or is he her husband?—works in shipping. How does this make any sense? Who is Ghislaine Maxwell, really? And how did she become such a monster?

In this remarkable volume, Kirby Sommers finds out. She always finds out.


E22: House of Maxwell (with Kirby Sommers)

Description: Greg Olear talks to Kirby Sommers about her new book, “Ghislaine Maxwell: An Unauthorized Biography,” Ghislaine’s early life, and her scoundrel of an old man, fraudster Robert Maxwell. Plus: Country music legend Addison Mitchell performs a new song at CPAC.

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