Ghislaine Maxwell has spoken for the first time about her ‘living hell’ behind bars – claiming that she has been assaulted and abused by prison guards, purposely deprived of sleep and given rotting food to eat.

In a world exclusive, Ms Maxwell, who had her £21 million bail application denied for the fourth time last week, also claims negative media coverage while she has been in custody and the deliberate withholding of evidence have made it ‘impossible’ for her to receive a fair trial.

Speaking from her 10ft by 12ft prison cell inside New York’s notorious Metropolitan Detention Center, where she has spent the past 16 months in solitary confinement, Ms Maxwell said: ‘I have been assaulted and abused for almost a year and a half.