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House of Maxwell — everything we know about the documentary series

The Fall of the House of Maxwell
Ghislaine Maxwell and her late father, media mogul Robert Maxwell (Image credit: Getty)

House of Maxwell is a new BBC documentary series that retraces one of the world's most infamous family sagas. 

Ghislaine Maxwell is now in jail after being convicted of grooming and trafficking underage girls for late disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein. Yet her fall from grace was just the latest chapter in a family history already mired in controversy following the death of her father, media tycoon Robert Maxwell. 

Spanning more than half a century, this three-part series is a staggering tale of fortunes built and lost, mysterious deaths and a spectacular descent into scandal and criminality. Here's everything we know so far... 

House of Maxwell release date

The first episode of this three-part series airs at 9pm on Monday, April 4 on BBC Two, after which all episodes will be available on the BBC iPlayer. 

There's no news on a US release date, but we'll be sure to let you know as soon as there's news. 

What is House of Maxwell about? 

House of Maxwell is a tale covering the rise and fall of the first great modern media mogul and of the unraveling of his deeply troubled family.

The three-part series begins with Ghislaine's father, Robert Maxwell, a media tycoon and newspaper publisher whose fraudulent business practices were laid bare after his mysterious death in 1991. 

It follows Maxwell from impoverished survivor of the Holocaust, to decorated war hero and elected British MP, through to the extraordinary creation and collapse of his multimillion-pound media business.  

The Fall of the House of Maxwell

Robert Maxwell died after falling over the side of his yacht in November 1991 (Image credit: Getty)

His apparently accidental death came after he fell from his luxury yacht in November 1991, whereupon revelations of fraud on a grand scale, including stealing hundreds of millions of pounds from the company's pension fund, finally came to light.

The documentary series will feature previously unseen footage of Robert Maxwell filmed by staff on his boat just before his mysterious death, recordings of phones he bugged and a survivor of Jeffery Epstein’s crimes who has never spoken publicly before. 

The BBC also teases about the first episode: "Never-heard-before secret recordings of executives within his businesses show the rising panic as they start to realise there are huge holes in Robert’s company finances. We see the beginnings of a scandal which will change the lives of all of the Maxwells forever."

Film-makers will also examine Robert's relationship with his daughter, Ghislaine, with subsequent episodes covering her prosecution thirty years later for her involvement in grooming underage victims for sexual abuse.

A BBC statement says: "Told through intimate testimony and exclusive never-before-seen sources of the archive, House Of Maxwell is a story woven through British and American society and culture and will offer a unique window into a world of money, sex, privacy and power across half a century."

Colin Barr of Expectation, who will produce the series, adds: “It’s hard to imagine a story with a more dramatic rise or disastrous fall than the story of the Maxwell family. It’s a story that is both intimate and epic and one which speaks to half a century of business, politics and celebrity. This is a true-life family drama on an extraordinary scale, and we’re incredibly privileged to be producing it for BBC Two.”

House of Maxwell

Ghislaine Maxwell was convicted in December 2021. (Image credit: Getty)

House of Maxwell trailer

Yes one has now landed. It says: "Secret recordings. Criminal trials. Mystery deaths. Like father. Like daughter. One family. 50 years of scandal...".

Sean Marland
Sean Marland

Sean has been writing about all things telly for over 10 years and in that time he's been lucky enough to interview stars like Ian McKellen, Tom Hardy and Kate Winslet. His favourite shows are The Great British Bake-Off, People Just Do Nothing and Succession and in his spare time he enjoys drinking tea, doing crosswords and watching football.