Ghislaine Maxwell, the alleged former madam of the late billionaire pedophile Jeffrey Epstein, has been pictured for the first time publicly since her arrest last July, and her appearance is nothing short of shocking.

The BBC reported that lawyers representing Maxwell, 59, released a photo of her face in which she appears to have bruising around her left eye. The former British socialite reportedly told her lawyers that the bruising could be from shielding her eyes from the light, as she has said that the guards come to check on her very 15 minutes to make sure she is alive.

Maxwell was arrested last summer on various charges related to her allegedly grooming young girls for sex with Epstein, and sometimes participating in the abuse herself. She has since been denied bail four times and remanded to federal custody until her trial, which is scheduled to begin in July, after a judge deemed her to pose a significant flight risk given her immense wealth and international connections.

Bobbi Sternheim, Maxwell’s lawyer, sent the photo of her face to Judge Alison Nathan on Thursday. Sterheim claimed that guards had confronted Maxwell about the bruise, telling her that they would put her in a special housing unit if she did not say how she had received it.

“While Ms. Maxwell is unaware of the cause of the bruise, as reported to medical and psych staff, she has grown increasingly reluctant to report information to the guards for fear of retaliation, discipline, and punitive chores,” Sterheim said.

Judge Nathan responded by ordering an explanation of the bruise and why guards were conducting “night time surveillance” on Maxwell, and if she could be given an eye covering if needed.

Epstein killed himself in prison back in August of 2019 while awaiting trial on sex charges of his own. It is likely that this is why Maxwell is under such strict surveillance, as authorities are determined to ensure that she does not kill herself as well.

“She’s kept up at night every 15 minutes with lights shined in her eyes so that they can check her breathing,” said David Markus, Maxwell’s appellate lawyer, according to ABC News. “She’s not suicidal. There’s no evidence she’s suicidal. Why is the Bureau of Prisons doing this? They’re doing it because Jeffrey Epstein died on their watch.”

Lara Pomerantz, a federal prosecutor, said that the flashlight checks are “routine.”

“My understanding is that the accommodations that have been made for Ms. Maxwell are based on [the Bureau of Prisons’] assessment of the defendant and her security, and the security of the institution,” Pomerantz said.

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