British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell, who has longstanding ties to Oxford, is in the news as her trial on sex trafficking charges, which she denies, got under way.

Prosecutors called the 59-year-old heiress a 'dangerous predator' at the New York hearing on Monday.

Oxford Mail: In the courtroomIn the courtroom

Maxwell's defence lawyer responded by saying she was a 'scapegoat' for Jeffrey Epstein's crimes and claimed the four alleged victims were motivated by money.

Here, we take a look back at the disgraced socialite's connections to the city.

Oxford Mail:

Born in 1961, Ghislaine grew up in the idyllic Headington Hill Hall, a 53-room mansion in Oxford.

She is the daughter of Robert Maxwell -- a Czech-born newspaper tycoon who died under mysterious circumstances when he fell off his luxury yacht -- called 'Lady Ghislaine' -- around the Canary Islands in 1991.

He was posthumously discovered to have committed a massive pension fraud against Mirror Group employees.

She was born in France and spent her first years of schooling at Oxford High School for Girls in North Oxford.

At nine, she went to Edgarley Hall boarding school in Somerset, but she was back in Oxford at 13 to attend Headington Girls’ School, where she was 'very sporty at tennis, hockey and athletics'.

Oxford Mail:  Ghislaine Maxwell watching Oxford United with her father Robert Maxwell in December 1991. Ghislaine Maxwell watching Oxford United with her father Robert Maxwell in December 1991.

After her A-Levels at Marlborough College, a top public school, she joined her father’s Pergamon Press at Headington, 'doing anything from typing to managing congresses'.

But after nine months, her father sent her alone to Spain – to fend for herself and sell books.

“He said go and do a useful job and come back fluent. I wouldn’t say I did a brilliant job, but I did sell some books and came back fluent,” she said.

Her father made another important decision – sending her to Oxford University – and her life looked promising as she collected her degree in 1985.

Oxford Mail: File photo dated 02/09/00 Ghislaine Maxwell, who is facing a trial in July next year after being accused of facilitating Epstein's sexual exploitation of underage girls. A lawyer representing alleged victims of Jeffrey Epstein has branded it

But the Maxwell empire crumbled when it was revealed that he had plundered pension funds to stay afloat.

She was described by the national press as the youngest and the most glamorous director of any football club in the land when, aged 22, she became a director of Oxford United in 1984.

She had become a familiar figure at matches sitting alongside her father, club chairman Robert Maxwell, in the directors’ box, sporting a yellow and blue United scarf and cheering on the team.

In an interview with The Oxford Times, she revealed that she had started a United supporters’ club at Balliol College, where she was studying modern history with languages.

She told the interviewer that supporters held the key to a successful football club.

Oxford Mail:

“There are hundreds of families out there – a huge, untapped market for supporters. There are a lot of people for whom football is the core of their life. I’d like to make the club as successful as I can for their sake.

“There’s more to football than watching a match. When you have a good crowd atmosphere, there is nothing better – it’s electric,” she said.

“If you are enthusiastic and you can get that enthusiasm across, it acts by osmosis. You feel it. The players feel it."

The Times reported that Maxwell met Epstein in the early 1990s at a New York party.