Ian Maxwell was interviewed by Radio 4 on Friday morning
The BBC has sparked fury after interviewing the brother of convicted sex trafficker Ghislaine Maxwell.
On Wednesday, a jury found Ghislaine Maxwell guilty of five sex trafficking charges. She has faced accusations of ‘recruiting underage girls’ for her then-boyfriend Jeffrey Epstein to sexually abuse.
Maxwell now faces up to 65 years behind bars.
But on Friday morning, the BBC interviewed her brother, Ian Maxwell, giving him the opportunity to plead his sister’s innocence and claim that the victims that had given testimonies during the trial were lying.
The decision to interview her brother on Friday’s edition of the Today programme was criticised by many on Twitter.
SNP MP John Nicolson described it as “odd”, saying it provided Ian Maxwell with a “lengthy opportunity” to claim the Ghislaine’s victims were lying.
— JOHN NICOLSON M.P. (@MrJohnNicolson) December 31, 2021
Several others wondered whether the BBC would choose to interview the family members of any other convicted sex offender and give them airtime to protest their relative’s innocence.
I see the Maxwell family, which comprises of at least two criminals, is being given airtime to protest Ghislaine Maxwell's innocence.
I doubt my or your family would be similarly indulged.
— Brian Moore (@brianmoore666) December 31, 2021
I cannot understand why #r4today is providing a platform for family and friends of Ghislaine Maxwell to proclaim her innocence and undermine the jury’s verdicts.
Is this service to be made available to all convicted sex offenders?
— The Secret Barrister (@BarristerSecret) December 31, 2021
- Ghislaine Maxwell’s family launch appeal after she’s found guilty in sex trafficking trial
- Ghislaine Maxwell’s accusers speak out after guilty verdict is given
- Pilot claims Prince Andrew was on Epstein plane ‘Lolita Express’ during Maxwell trial
Why is the BBC now running an interview with Ghislaine Maxwell’s brother, pleading her innocence, on its main bulletin on R4? Would they do that for any other child sex offender found guilty in a court of law?
— Sonia Sodha (@soniasodha) December 31, 2021
Another user said that interviewing Ian Maxwell was an example of “class bias” and a “prioritizing of ‘balance’ so that a jury verdict has no more weight than some guy’s opinion.”
#r4today giving a platform to Ian Maxwell to protest his sister's innocence shows two features of BBC news: a class bias (do working class nonces get the same privilege?); and a prioritizing of "balance" so that a jury verdict has no more weight than some guy's opinion.
— Chris Dillow (@CJFDillow) December 31, 2021
It comes after the broadcaster had to apologise for interviewing Jeffrey Epstein’s ex-lawyer in the aftermath of the Maxwell’s guilty verdict.
The BBC admitted that Alan Dershowitz, the man who used to be Jeffrey Epstein’s lawyer and has himself been accused of sexual abuse by Virginia Roberts Giuffre, was not a “suitable person to interview as an impartial analyst”.
They added that they will now be investigating how Dershowitz was chosen as a person to interview.