Jeffrey Epstein friend, Ghislaine Maxwell, arrested by FBI

Ghislaine Maxwell, the British socialite who was a long-time friend of Jeffrey Epstein, has been arrested by the FBI.

She was reportedly arrested in New Hampshire on charges related to Epstein and is due in federal court later.

The search for Maxwell has been the subject of intense speculation, with reported sightings and rumours of her whereabouts popping up across the US and even abroad.

Financier Jeffrey Epstein was accused of raping and trafficking underage girls over nearly two decades.

She has denied any involvement in or knowledge of Epstein's alleged sexual misconduct.

Some of Epstein's alleged victims say Ms Maxwell brought them into his circle to be sexually abused by him and his friends.

One of Epstein's alleged victims, Virginia Giuffre, has accused Ms Maxwell of recruiting her as a masseuse to the financier at the age of 15.

Other women have also made allegations that Ms Maxwell was involved. One, Sarah Ransome, told the BBC's Panorama that Ms Maxwell "controlled the girls. She was like the Madam".

Epstein died in prison on 10 August as he awaited, without the chance of bail, his trial on sex trafficking charges.

Maxwell’s father was British media baron Robert Maxwell. She was was a one-time girlfriend of Epstein’s and key presence at his side in his glittering social life, which often included rich, influential and powerful people from around the world in politics, the arts and science.

A well-connected socialite, she is said to have introduced Epstein to many of her wealthy and powerful friends, including Bill Clinton and the Duke of York, Prince Andrew.