Friday, January 29, 2021

These Dark Curly-Headed J'sesses Be Shysty As Fsuck.......,

thecut |  Christine is just one of Maxwell’s seven living siblings (her sister Karine and brother Michael died at ages 3 and 15). A brother, Philip, and the eldest daughter, Anne, have not been heard from publicly for at least a decade. But tracing the four others — Christine and her twin sister, Isabel; Kevin; and Ian — along with Ghislaine, who, at 57, is the youngest, is like watching a real-life season of Succession, as these heirs to their disgraced media-mogul father’s empire have strived toward their own ambitions. Twin sisters Christine and Isabel are the most fascinating of the bunch, and have their own ties to entrepreneurial, unorthodox (and, in some cases, shady) men.

Christine and Isabel had more freedom to strike out on their own after the demise of the Maxwell empire. In the 1980s, they decamped to Silicon Valley and in 1993 they helped co-found Magellan, an early search engine, with Isabel’s then-husband, David Hayden. According to the Daily Beast, the sisters appear in Michael Wolff’s book on dot-com startups, Burn Rate. Wolff describes Christine as “more commanding than her sister,” but both Maxwells are memorable characters — early Winklevoss prototypes. In a 1997 interview, Isabel credits her sister with coming up with “the idea of reviewing and rating.”

The twins made millions when Magellan was sold to another company, Excite, but — according to Isabel — it cooled the relationship between the two of them. “When McKinley [Magellan’s parent company] didn’t make it, our relationship changed,” Isabel said in 2002. “And I changed, in terms of my relationship with my family. Before then, I was completely in sync with the family. When something got to them, it got to me, too.”

Since then, both sisters seem to have remained in the software and technology spheres. Christine is a doctoral candidate in the humanities department at the University of Texas at Dallas, and continues to consult for internet companies. Her UTD website lists a personal website,, which is no longer active, but it does have the brief personal statement that she “came to the University in January 2012 and am enjoying academia and the associated activities of ‘big city’ life very much; it’s much different from the French countryside where I was working on my own Internet content projects!” After Magellan, Isabel was the president of an Israeli email venture called Commtouch, and has continued to work in the country. She has used the title “Technology Pioneer of the World Economic Forum.” In a 2000 interview, she displays a Zuckerbergian enthusiasm for the internet: “The wonderful thing about email is it’s not sexist,” she said. “It’s democratizing.”

The Maxwell twins’ husbands have truly bizarre histories, which has led observers to point out that they share Ghislaine’s association with powerful and unconventional men. Christine is married to Roger Malina, an astrophysicist at the University of Texas, whose father, Frank Malina, was also a scientist. Malina, the Daily Beast reveals, hung out in California with the likes of Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard and rocket engineer Jack Parsons, occultists and transhumanists (a strange echo of Jeffrey Epstein’s friends in similar academic and business circles).

And Isabel’s romantic history might be the strangest. First, she married the son of Carl Djerassi, a scientist who invented the birth-control pill. Her third husband, Al Seckel, was a con man and “optical illusionist” who befriended scientists and academics despite not having a degree in those fields himself (sound familiar?); he co-founded a group called the Southern California Skeptics that investigated science’s relationship to the paranormal. Seckel and Isabel moved to France at some point in 2010, according to reports, where they lived in a château and “acquired thousands of stone-age tools to sell in the U.S.” That same year, Seckel hosted a “scientific conference” on Jeffrey Epstein’s private island, where Epstein also allegedly held underage girls for sex (presumably, the connection was Isabel’s little sister, Ghislaine).