Ghislaine Maxwell trial - live: Accuser sobs while recounting Epstein abuse and says she met Trump at 14

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Ghislaine Maxwell trial - live: Accuser sobs while recounting Epstein abuse and says she met Trump at 14
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Day three of the trial of British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell has concluded in New York City, as the 59-year-old answers to charges related to her alleged involvement in financier Jeffrey Epstein’s sex crimes.

Cross-examination of her first accuser, who is identified only as “Jane”, took up much of the day with defence lawyer Laura Menninger picking at inconsistencies between her testimony and notes from initial interviews given to the FBI.

On Tuesday, “Jane” had given graphic testimony about her abuse by Epstein from the age of 14, saying that Ms Maxwell not only groomed her for it but also participated. Concluding her testimony in tears on Wednesday she said the first instance of abuse was so clear in her memory as it was when her life changed forever.

Her ex-boyfriend, “Matt” gave a brief testimony saying that “Jane” had told him about Epstein’s financial support, that “the money was not free”, and that a woman had been present. He was not cross-examined.

At the close of proceedings on Wednesday a final witness from the Interlochen school, where “Jane” says she first met Epstein and Ms Maxwell, confirmed the late financier was a major donor.

The court had previously heard from Epstein’s longtime pilot Larry Visoski who said passengers on his boss’ private plane included Bill Clinton, Prince Andrew, Donald Trump, and Kevin Spacey. Mr Visoski also said he never saw either Ms Maxwell or Epstein being inappropriate with a minor in 30 years.

Ms Maxwell, who spent decades rubbing shoulders with British royals and US presidents, is accused of recruiting and grooming underage girls for the late disgraced financier to sexually abuse between 1994 and 2004.

The daughter of the late media mogul Robert Maxwell, Ms Maxwell faces the prospect of up to 35 years of jail if she is found guilty. The trial is expected to last six weeks.

Read More

Ghislaine Maxwell trial: Everything we know about Jeffrey Epstein’s ex-girlfriend and associate

Ghislaine Maxwell: Pilot says Prince Andrew, Bill Clinton and Trump flew on Epstein’s ‘Lolita Express’

Ghislaine Maxwell: How did she meet Jeffrey Epstein?

What was Jeffrey Epstein’s ‘Lolita Express’?

Key Points

  • What are the charges in the Ghislaine Maxwell sex abuse trial?

  • Money would never pay back ‘pain, abuse, and suffering'

  • Accuser says Maxwell was present during some of Jeffrey Epstein’s sexual assaults

  • Private pilot details disgraced financier’s opulent residences

  • How Ghislaine Maxwell got involved with Jeffrey Epstein?

  • What is the truth about Jeffrey Epstein’s island?

Epstein accuser says she met Trump at Mar-a-Lago when she was 14

00:30 , Nathan Place

A woman who has accused the late paedophile Jeffrey Epstein of abuse has testified during the trial of his former girlfriend Ghislaine Maxwell that the disgraced financier drove her to Mar-a-Lago to meet former President Donald Trump when she was 14 years old.

The accuser, going under the pseudonym “Jane”, was cross-examined by the defence team on the third day of Ms Maxwell’s sex trafficking trial. Ms Maxwell has denied all the charges against her.

Read more here:

Jeffrey Epstein accuser testifies that she met Trump at Mar-a-Lago when she was 14

‘Jane’ alleges years of abuse by Epstein and Maxwell

Wednesday 1 December 2021 23:34 , Nathan Place

A key witness testified that Jeffrey Epstein engaged in sadomasochistic sexual abuse with a 14-year-old girl who had been left grief-stricken and living in poverty after the death of her father, and Ghislaine Maxwell was often “in the room” when it took place.

The witness, a successful 41-year-old actor with more than 20 years experience in television, movies and Broadway shows, began her testimony on the second day of Ms Maxwell’s trial for sex trafficking and underage sex abuse in the Manhattan federal courthouse.

It marked the first time that either Epstein’s or Ms Maxwell’s alleged sexual abuse of underage girls has been aired in open criminal court.

Under the pseudonym ‘Jane,’ the actor described in detail how the sickening abuse continued for years in massage rooms and bedrooms in three of Epstein’s properties in Palm Beach, New York and Santa Fe.

Read more here:

Prosecution’s key witness describes sadomasochistic abuse from Epstein and socialite

Court sketch: Accuser ‘Jane’ was questioned for hours on Wednesday by Maxwell defence attorney

Wednesday 1 December 2021 22:24 , Oliver O'Connell

Defense lawyer Laura Menninger questions witness
Defense lawyer Laura Menninger questions witness

A very quick cross-examination rounds off day 3

Wednesday 1 December 2021 22:03 , Oliver O'Connell

Besselsen confirms Epstein as donor to Interlochen

Wednesday 1 December 2021 21:56 , Oliver O'Connell

Mr Besselsen confirms that Epstein was a major donor to the Interlochen school near Traverse City, Michigan. A building was even named after him.

The “Jeffrey Epstein Scholarship Lodge” has since been renamed.

New witness: Daniel Besselsen

Wednesday 1 December 2021 21:41 , Oliver O'Connell

The next witness is Daniel Besselsen, the assistant vice president of finance at Interlochen, the Michigan arts academy at which “Jane” says she met Epstein and Ms Maxwell aged 14.

‘Is that the woman you told me about?'

Wednesday 1 December 2021 21:39 , Oliver O'Connell

The final question from Ms Moe was about what happened when “Matt” found out Ghislaine Maxwell had been arrested.

“I asked Jane, is that the woman you told me about? And she said Yes.”

Testimony concludes

Wednesday 1 December 2021 21:38 , Oliver O'Connell

“Matt”’s testimony concludes very quickly with Ms Maxwell’s defence lawyer Bobbi Sternheim declining to cross-examine him.

An earlier quote from “Matt”: “She’d just say to me: ‘Matt’, the money wasn’t f***ing free.”

‘Jane’ told her mother ‘the money was not free'

Wednesday 1 December 2021 21:35 , Oliver O'Connell

“Matt” testifies that “Jane” told her mother that the money was not free and that it should not have been allowed.

‘Matt’ says she spoke of a woman at Epstein’s

Wednesday 1 December 2021 21:32 , Oliver O'Connell

When asked if there was a woman at Epstein’s house, “Matt” says “yes” but adds that “Jane” did not give her name.

Ms Moe asks what “Jane’s” demeanour was like when she spoke about Epstein, he replied “shame”.

‘She never went into detail. She just said that it wasn’t pretty’

Wednesday 1 December 2021 21:28 , Oliver O'Connell

Asked if “Jane” had told him why Epstein had given her money, “Matt” replied: “She never went into detail. She just said that it wasn’t pretty.”

Ms Moe asks if “Jane” ever used the word “massage” prompting an objection as leading from the defence.

Judge Nathan overruled the objection and “Matt” replied that she had.

‘Matt’ says ‘Jane’ described Epstein as ‘godfather’ who helped family

Wednesday 1 December 2021 21:21 , Oliver O'Connell

Ms Maxwell’s lawyer objects when “Matt” is asked what “Jane” told her about her home life.

After a short sidebar, Ms Moe rephrases the question into narrower terms, asking what she has told him about her family finances when she was growing up.

He replies that she said when her father was sick the family had gone broke, her mother was working a small job, and they were in the same bed.

“Matt” says that “Jane’ initially referred to a “godfather”, whom she later identified as Epstein, and that he had helped pay the bills and looked out for the family.

'Matt’ takes the stand as the next witness

Wednesday 1 December 2021 21:10 , Oliver O'Connell

The jury has reentered the courtroom following the afternoon recess and the next witness is called to testify.

He will be known as “Matt” and the sketch artists have been told not to precisely draw his features — in the same manner in which they obscured “Jane’s” face.

“Matt” is “Jane’s” ex-boyfriend. Like her, his identity is being obscured as he has been employed as an actor on a TV show for the past 15 years. They remain friends and work on the same show.

They were together from 2006 to 2014 and moved in together after the first year of the relationship.

‘Jane’ testified for a full day

Wednesday 1 December 2021 21:08 , Oliver O'Connell

Ghislaine Maxwell’s first accuser testified for a full day in front of the defendant.

Witness
Witness

Accuser testifies that she met Trump at Mar-a-lago when she was 14

Wednesday 1 December 2021 21:05 , Oliver O'Connell

A woman who has accused the late billionaire paedophile Jeffrey Epstein of abuse has testified during the trial of his former girlfriend Ghislaine Maxwell that the disgraced financier drove her to Mar-a-Lago to meet former President Donald Trump when she was 14 years old.

Gustaf Kilander reports.

Jeffrey Epstein accuser testifies that she met Trump at Mar-a-lago when she was 14

Money would never pay back ‘pain, abuse, and suffering'

Wednesday 1 December 2021 20:49 , Oliver O'Connell

“Jane” said the $2.9m she received from the Epstein victims’ fund would never pay back what she lost through the “pain, abuse, and suffering” caused by him and Ms Maxwell.

“Jane” cries when asked about accepting compensation from fund

Wednesday 1 December 2021 20:33 , Oliver O'Connell

Ms Moe asks about the $5m settlement she got from the victims’ fund (of which she received approximately $2.9m).

“What did that money mean to you?”

“Jane” cries and wipes her eyes, answering: “I wish I never received that money in the first place because of what happened.”

“Do you have any financial interest in this trial?”

“No.”

“Nothing further.”

Her testimony concludes and Judge Nathan calls an afternoon recess.

Abuse was ‘beginning of when my life would change forever'

Wednesday 1 December 2021 20:29 , Oliver O'Connell

Ms Moe asks “Jane” why she remembers the first time she says Epstein sexually abused her more clearly than what followed.

“Because it’s the beginning of when my life would change forever,” she answers, before confirming that she was 14 when she first touched Epstein’s penis.

‘This is real. I am seeking closure'

Wednesday 1 December 2021 20:25 , Oliver O'Connell

In a throwback to defence’s questioning about her career as an actor, Ms Moe asks if “Jane” knows the difference between acting on television and testifying in court.

She responds: “Yes. This is real. I am seeking closure. I have been running from this my entire life. I want to help in whatever way I can. And maybe find some healing.”

“Jane” asked why she spoke to a tabloid reporter

Wednesday 1 December 2021 20:22 , Oliver O'Connell

Asked why she chose to speak to a tabloid reporter, “Jane” answers that he had threatened to “blackmail” her and publish unredacted court documents with her name and that Epstein’s “little black book” was out.

She said she was worried for her career being on a TV show at the time.

They agreed she would talk about meeting Epstein if her name was kept out of it.

Prosecution asks “Jane” about government interviews

Wednesday 1 December 2021 20:09 , Oliver O'Connell

Ms Moe asked “Jane” about her initial interviews with the government and whether she spoke about all of her experiences all at once.

She replies that she did not because it was too difficult.

An emotional “Jane” says: “Because I was standing in a roomful of strangers and telling them the most shameful, deepest secrets that I’ve been carrying around with me my whole life.”

Ms Moe says that then there were fewer people in the room and whether she knew why that was.

“Jane” replies that it was to make her more comfortable.

Cross-examination ends

Wednesday 1 December 2021 20:02 , Oliver O'Connell

The cross-examination of “Jane” has ended and the redirect by the prosecution is now underway.

Assistant US Attorney Alison Moe asks whether she or any other prosecutor told her what to stay on the witness stand.

“No.”

What were you told to say?

“Just tell the truth.”

Sketch: Maxwell family in court

Wednesday 1 December 2021 20:01 , Oliver O'Connell

Ghislaine Maxwell looks at her brother Kevin Maxwell and sister Isabel Maxwell during her trial in a courtroom sketch on 1 December 2021 (REUTERS)
Ghislaine Maxwell looks at her brother Kevin Maxwell and sister Isabel Maxwell during her trial in a courtroom sketch on 1 December 2021 (REUTERS)

“Jane” quizzed about acting career

Wednesday 1 December 2021 19:59 , Oliver O'Connell

“Jane” was questioned about her career as an actor and the roles she has played, including a cancer patient, and whether she had played a prostitute (”not my favourite role”).

Asked if she could cry on command she responded: “No, not always, That’s not really how it works.”

Menninger continues to pick at testimony about age

Wednesday 1 December 2021 19:52 , Oliver O'Connell

Ms Menninger continues to pick at “Jane’s” testimony, specifically the timeline and what age she said she was when certain events occurred.

She asks if “Jane” was 13 or 14 when she was first abused (”I might have said 13 going on 14. It’s a small technicality”); returns to The Lion King discrepancy on how old she was when the Broadway production came out; and then references her age when she attended veteran broadcaster Mike Wallace’s 80th birthday party, saying she had said 15, but would have been 17 or 18.

Cross-examination resumes

Wednesday 1 December 2021 19:31 , Oliver O'Connell

Ms Menninger has resumed her cross-examination of “Jane”.

Delving into her family life, she references yesterday’s testimony when asking the witness about growing up in a house in which she would get in trouble from telling someone something personal.

She asks if “Jane” remembers an incident in which she told her mother that a teacher pulled her hair to which she replies “yes”.

Ms Menninger asks if she recalled her mother filing a lawsuit against the teacher.

“Jane” does not and is shown papers and asked if they refresh her memory about the suit.

“No, I had no idea my mother did this,” responds “Jane.”

ICYMI: Accuser says Ghislaine Maxwell was present during some of Epstein’s sexual assaults

Wednesday 1 December 2021 19:11 , Oliver O'Connell

Ghislaine Maxwell was in the room when Jeffrey Epstein sexually assaulted one of his 14-year-old victims, a court has heard.

In testimony before a New York jury, a woman known publicly only as “Jane” identified Ms Maxwell in the dock and said she had been present during some of Epstein’s assaults.

The woman, who was 14 at the time, said Ms Maxwell and Epstein had targeted her after her family was driven into severe medical debt by the death of her father from leukemia, presenting themselves as rich philanthropists.

Asked who had most frequently been present when she was abused, “Jane” said: “Ghislaine Maxwell.” One time, she said, Ms Maxwell kissed and fondled Epstein in front of her.

Io Dodds reports.

Ghislaine Maxwell was present during some of Epstein’s sexual assaults, accuser says

Kevin Maxwell says he’ll be at court all week

Wednesday 1 December 2021 18:39 , Oliver O'Connell

Bizarre moment of the morning

Wednesday 1 December 2021 18:29 , Oliver O'Connell

In one bizarre exchange, Ms Menninger asked “Jane” if she had hired a lawyer to stop false media reports about her in 2015.“Allegations you were a Yugoslavian sex slave?”

“Jane” replied she didn’t know anything about that specific allegation, but that she had hired an experienced litigator to counter incorrect media reports about her and paid them $25,000.

Court breaks for lunch

Wednesday 1 December 2021 18:17 , Oliver O'Connell

A 45-minute lunch break has been called by Judge Nathan.

With much of the morning spent picking apparent inconsistencies in “Jane’s” story, the defence team covered a lot of ground surrounding Epstein’s world and her place in it.

While Donald Trump and Prince Andrew were mentioned in the context of having been introduced to “Jane” or having flown with her, neither was accused of any wrongdoing during her testimony.

“Jane” also made it clear in one answer that she was never asked to have sex with any of Epstein’s friends.

Reporting from the courthouse

Wednesday 1 December 2021 18:09 , Oliver O'Connell

The Independent’s Bevan Hurley is at the courthouse in Lower Manhattan.

Jane appeared composed in the witness box as defense counsel Ms Menninger repeatedly probed her numerous statements to the FBI.

For the government, Alison Moe repeatedly raised objections that Ms Menninger’s line of questioning was confusing as it was not clear whether Jane was being asked whether she could recall an event happening, or if she could recall telling it to the FBI.

There were several lengthy breaks during the morning session as both sets of attorneys went to privately confer with Judge Alison Nathan over the defense line of questioning.

During the breaks, Jane stretched her neck, back and arms, and appeared unflustered throughout.

Jane answered “I don’t recall,” more than two dozen times.

Jane said that the documents the defence produced from her FBI interviews were not transcripts, rather they had been jotted down in note form and contained numerous errors.

On Ms Maxwell’s complaints about her treatment:

Ms Maxwell repeatedly rubbed her arms during the morning session to indicate she was cold. She also complained about the courtroom temperature on Tuesday, and Judge Nathan said they would try to turn up heating in the room.

There were many breaks in the morning’s proceedings for objections and sidebars with the judge.

The stop-start morning session was again interrupted when a juror appeared to have a coughing fit, and Judge Nathan excused the jury. Judge Nathan updated the court to explain the juror had something stuck in her throat, and they returned a few minutes later.

Wednesday 1 December 2021 18:02 , Oliver O'Connell

Ms Menninger questioned “Jane” about being in a beauty pageant sponsored by Donald Trump and alleged being upset at only being given $2,000 by Epstein for a dress.

She responded yes to the first question and no to the second.

Referring to a reality show she went on with ex-boyfriend “Matt”, Ms Menninger asked if there was tension and if she cried. “Jane” responded that reality shows are not really reality .

Asked if she claimed she was putting a roof over her family’s head, “Jane” said she didn’t know if she used those words, but that her family was living in her house.

Wednesday 1 December 2021 17:52 , Oliver O'Connell

Ms Meninger asked “Jane” about when the government contacted her prior to Epstein’s arrest in 2019 and she confirmed that she had said she was not interested in getting involved in the case.

The defence attorney then said that she had then hired a personal injury lawyer, which “Jane” confirmed, saying that he was a friend of a friend.

‘Jane’ flew with Prince Andrew

Wednesday 1 December 2021 17:30 , Oliver O'Connell

Ms Menninger asked “Jane” about her recollections about flying on the private plane with Epstein and being asked about her weight as she boarded. She replied “Yes” to both questions.

She was then asked if she remembered Prince Andrew, Duke of York, being on a flight with her, to which she also responded affirmatively.

Meeting Trump

Wednesday 1 December 2021 17:18 , Oliver O'Connell

“Jane” says she was never asked to recruit other girls for Epstein, nor was she told to have sex with any of his friends or associates.

Ms Menninger, referencing the notes, says “Jane” said she met Donald Trump at Mar-a-Lago before the first incidence of abuse in the pool house and that Epstein took her there in a dark green car.

She replies that she met Mr Trump, but doesn’t recall the car — pressed by Ms Menninger she agrees that she said Epstein drove her there in a dark green car when she was 14.

New Mexico

Wednesday 1 December 2021 17:14 , Oliver O'Connell

Referencing travel to Epstein’s New Mexico ranch, “Jane” is asked if she didn’t recall any abuse happening there on her first trip — she says that is incorrect.

She describes the home as being as large as all the other properties.

A trip to see The Lion King

Wednesday 1 December 2021 17:11 , Oliver O'Connell

In the defence’s cross-examination, the subject of a trip to New York to see The Lion King with Ms Maxwell and Epstein came up.

There is a dispute as to what “Jane” told investigators about when this trip happened.

Government interview notes suggest she went to see the show on Broadway, but that she was also 14 when the trip occurred, and yet the New York run of the live-action production did not start until she was 17.

The notes cannot be entered as evidence as they are not verbatim transcripts, merely just notes. However, “Jane” can be shown the notes to refresh her memory and be asked questions about them.

Ms Menninger continues to try to draw a contrast between the notes and her testimony.

Defendant’s family complaining about treatment of Maxwell

Wednesday 1 December 2021 17:00 , Oliver O'Connell

Marta Dhanis, reporting on the trial for Fox News, says that the Maxwell family is complaining about the treatment of the defendant while in the courthouse.

They say she “is not allowed any coffee or food of any kind during the court proceedings. She is not allowed to see her attorneys during the lunch break or after the court ends for the day.”

Cross-examination continues with first abuse incident

Wednesday 1 December 2021 16:40 , Oliver O'Connell

“Jane” testified that Epstein first abused her at the Palm Beach property when he masturbated on her in the pool house.

Ms Menninger is challenging that account saying that she told authorities in 2019 that it occurred in New York.

“That is not correct,” says “Jane”.

When Ms Menninger shows her notes from an interview, she adds that those are not her notes, she did not write that down, and the interview was not recorded: “This is just someone jotting down notes.”

“Jane” has repeatedly responded to Ms Menninger’s challenges to her testimony that they are based on inaccurate notes taken during interviews.

ICYMI: Prosecution’s key witness ‘Jane’ describes years of abuse

Wednesday 1 December 2021 16:28 , Oliver O'Connell

The Independent’s Bevan Hurley was in court yesterday for “Jane’s” stunning testimony.

Prosecution’s key witness describes sadomasochistic abuse from Epstein and socialite

Wednesday 1 December 2021 15:59 , Oliver O'Connell

“Jane’s” testimony implicates Ms Maxwell in participating in her abuse as well as grooming her for Epstein.

Ms Menninger is hitting at the very core of those statements.

Judge Alison Nathan has called for a break.

Wednesday 1 December 2021 15:52 , Oliver O'Connell

Amid a string of objections from the prosecution, and underlining the possible defence strategy, at one point Ms Menninger said that “Jane” told the government she did not have a specific memory of her first meeting with Ms Maxwell.

She then asked “Jane” if she came up with the memory in the last two years.

“Jane” denied having done so.

Wednesday 1 December 2021 15:37 , Oliver O'Connell

Following an objection from the prosecution, a long sidebar conversation with the judge began.

Inner City Press surmises that the defence’s potential angle in their cross-examination is that “Jane’s” complaints were decades after the events and initially against Epstein, not Ms Maxwell.

First meeting with Epstein probed

Wednesday 1 December 2021 15:13 , Oliver O'Connell

The defence strategy is not just to undermine the credibility of the witnesses, but also their own memories of events that happened, in some cases, more than 25 years ago.

Ms Menninger says she has differing accounts of the first meeting between “Jane” and Epstein and Ms Maxwell. She specifically mentions a conversation between “Jane” and her younger brother in which Ms Maxwell was not mentioned, and says she also gave a news source with another account.

On “Jane’s” first visit to Epstein’s house Ms Menninger says that she testified she was alone but says she told the government that she was with her mother and brothers at the beginning.

“Jane” says she does not remember that.

Defence questions Interlochen application

Wednesday 1 December 2021 14:56 , Oliver O'Connell

Ms Menninger intends to “impeach” the witness, which is to challenge their credibility with evidence that contradicts their testimony — evidence that the prosecution will not have seen.

She has brought up “Jane’s” application to the Interlochen music school in Michigan at which she says she first met Ms Maxwell and Epstein when she was 14.

In her testimony on Tuesday, “Jane” said that she had a difficult family life, but Ms Menniger is pointing to her application as stating that she comes from a “loving family”.

“Jane” says she does not recognise the specific document but does see her signature.

Ghislaine’s brother Kevin Maxwell is present

Wednesday 1 December 2021 14:39 , Oliver O'Connell

Ghislaine’s older brother, Kevin Maxwell, has joined the small group of supporters seated behind the defendant. He was absent from days one and two of the trial.

Her sister Isabel has been at the court throughout.

Defence lawyer Laura Menninger is cross-examining ‘Jane'

Wednesday 1 December 2021 14:34 , Oliver O'Connell

Day three underway

Wednesday 1 December 2021 14:29 , Oliver O'Connell

Day three of the Ghislaine Maxwell trial has begun in court in Lower Manhattan.

The witness and accuser of Ms Maxwell, who is only being identified as “Jane”, is back on the stand as her cross-examination by the defence team continues.

On Tuesday she gave emotional testimony detailing her experiences with Ms Maxwell and the late disgraced billionaire Jeffrey Epstein that included graphic descriptions of sexual assault beginning when she was just 14 years old in the mid-1990s.

The jury sits at 9.30am, but prior to that both prosecution and defence are debating with the judge about the validity of a line of questioning regarding where “Jane” lived when she met Epstein — believed to be an attempt to undercut her testimony that the family was in financial difficulty following her father’s death.

What was Jeffrey Epstein’s ‘Lolita Express’?

Wednesday 1 December 2021 13:50 , Eleanor Sly

The trial of Ghislaine Maxwell, the British socialite accused of recruiting and grooming underage girls for the sexual gratification of billionnaire paedophile Jeffrey Epstein between 1994 and 2004, is underway in federal court in Manhattan.

The first witness to take the stand was Lawrence Paul Visoski Jr, Epstein’s chief pilot for more than 25 years, who said he had flown the disgraced financier “every four days” or so since his hiring in 1991.

One of the pilot’s duties was to fly the Boeing 727 that became known among the press as the “Lolita Express” for its role in ferrying young women between New York and Epstein’s primary residence in Palm Beach, Florida, where many of his alleged acts of sexual abuse are said to have taken place.

Joe Sommerlad reports:

What was Jeffrey Epstein’s ‘Lolita Express’?

Ghislaine Maxwell: How did she meet Jeffrey Epstein?

Wednesday 1 December 2021 13:30 , Eleanor Sly

She spent decades rubbing shoulders with British royals and US presidents.

Now British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell is set to stand trial in a New York courtroom on sex trafficking charges, and faces decades behind bars if convicted.

Ms Maxwell, the daughter of the late media mogul Robert Maxwell, told a 2016 deposition that she met Jeffrey Epstein, then a wealthy financier, in 1991 through a mutual friend.

Read more from Graeme Massie here:

How did Ghislaine Maxwell meet Jeffrey Epstein?

Maxwell’s lawyers expected to resume questioning of first accuser

Wednesday 1 December 2021 12:50 , Eleanor Sly

Ghislaine Maxwell’s lawyers are expected to resume questioning on Wednesday of a woman who said the British socialite facilitated her sexual abuse by Jeffrey Epstein, when she was 14.

She also suggested that Maxwell took part in some encounters.

The woman, known by the pseudonym “Jane”, gave an account of the abuse she suffered in the 1990s during the second day of the trial, Tuesday.

“Jane” explained that Epstein had offered to help her advance her career as a performing artist, but went on to regularly sexually abuse her for a number of years.

Ghislaine Maxwell trial: Who are the key courtroom figures?

Wednesday 1 December 2021 12:20 , Eleanor Sly

After nearly 17 months in jail, Ghislaine Maxwell will finally have her day in court as her trial for underage sex trafficking gets underway in Manhattan’s federal court on Monday.

After months of pre-trial hearings, prosecutors will deliver opening arguments on how Ms Maxwell allegedly recruited and groomed girls on behalf of her one-time boyfriend Jeffrey Epstein.

The spectre of Epstein, who killed himself in August 2019 while awaiting trial, is likely to hang heavily over the trial.

Bevan Hurley explains here:

Who are the key courtroom figures in the Ghislaine Maxwell trial?

Attorney comments on trial’s opening statements

Wednesday 1 December 2021 11:45 , Eleanor Sly

An attorney representing several of Jeffrey Epstein’s alleged victims shared her thoughts with Bloomberg on the trial’s opening statements.

She explained: “I thought that yesterday was a very strong day for the prosecution. As an attorney for sexual abuse survivors myself, I think that the prosecution very clearly and concisely layed out their case, that there are four victims here.

“That Ghislaine Maxwell knew everything that Jeffery Epstein was doing, that she trafficked these women, that she was part of it all.”

Commenting on the defence side’s opening statement, she said: “I thought it was a weak opening statement, I give them about a C. It was a good start saying that since the time of Eve, women have been blamed for men’s bad acts, I liked that.

She went on to say that the case was the first one that she had seen “with a female judge, two female lead attorneys, female defendant and four female victims.”

Before adding: “That was a good start for the defence but it was all downhill after that, and to call Jeffery Epstein “the 21st century James Bond,” to go on about how he was so intelligent and charming, really to write this love letter to Jeffery Epstein I thought was a very bad move for the defence.”

What are the charges in the Ghislaine Maxwell sex abuse trial?

Wednesday 1 December 2021 11:15 , Eleanor Sly

The trial of Ghislaine Maxwell, the British socialite accused of recruiting and grooming girls for deceased financier Jeffrey Epstein to abuse, got underway on Monday in New York federal court.

Here is an explanation of the charges Maxwell faces and her expected defence:

What are the charges in the Ghislaine Maxwell sex abuse trial?

Who is Ghislaine Maxwell?

Wednesday 1 December 2021 10:45 , Eleanor Sly

Ghislaine Maxwell was born in 1961 in Maisons-Laffitte, a suburb to the west of Paris. The youngest of nine children, she grew up in a 53-room mansion, Headington Hill Hall, in Oxford.

Maxwell is the daughter of late newspaper tycoon, Robert Maxwell, who was discovered to have committed fraud against Mirror Group employees. Her mother, Elisabeth, was a French-born scholar and researcher.

She attended a number of different schools in Oxford and the surrounding area before undertaking her A Levels at Marlborough College in Wiltshire, a British public school attended by Kate Middleton and Princess Eugenie, amongst others.

Following a stint in Spain, learning Spanish and selling books, she went to Oxford University to study Modern History with Languages at Balliol College, graduating in 1985.

It wasn’t until the early 1990s that Maxwell met Jeffrey Epstein at a party in New York, later beginning a romantic relationship with the now deceased financier.

Where was Jeffrey Epstein’s island and what exactly was it?

Wednesday 1 December 2021 10:20 , Eleanor Sly

The guests came from across the world, and from the highest ranks of society: celebrities and scientists and members of royal families, touching down in a private jet and then boarding a helicopter to the island. Its owner liked to call it “Little St Jeff”; locals called it “paedophile island”.

But what is the truth about Little St James, the 75-acre private paradise in the US Virgin Islands that billionaire sex abuser Jeffrey Epstein once called home?

The island is now at the centre of a web of lawsuits and criminal investigations seeking to untangle the life of Jeffrey Epstein, who died in prison in 2019 at the age of 66 in what authorities claimed was a suicide.

Io Dodds explains:

Where was Jeffrey Epstein’s island and what exactly was it?

QAnon followers gathered outside Maxwell’s trial

Wednesday 1 December 2021 09:53 , Eleanor Sly

QAnon followers gathered outside the courtroom as Ghislaine Maxwell’s trial took place.

This is not the first time that the group has gathered outside an event related to Maxwell.

In January, Maxwell’s court hearing was disrupted by apparent QAnon followers when the judge became aware that an unlawful live stream of the hearing was being viewed by a number of apparent followers of the QAnon conspiracy theory.

On Monday, the group were present at the steps outside the court with one follower rapping conspiratorial beliefs, The Guardian reported.

Prosecution’s key witness ‘Jane’ describes years of abuse at hands of Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell

Wednesday 1 December 2021 09:25 , Eleanor Sly

Jeffrey Epstein engaged in sadomasochistic sexual abuse with a 14-year-old girl who had been left grief-stricken and living in poverty after the death of her father, and Ghislaine Maxwell was often “in the room” when it took place, a jury heard on Tuesday.

The prosecution’s key witness, a successful 41-year-old actor with more than 20 years experience in television, movies and Broadway shows, began her testimony on the second day of Ms Maxwell’s trial for sex trafficking and underage sex abuse in the Manhattan federal courthouse.

It marked the first time that either Epstein’s or Ms Maxwell’s alleged sexual abuse of underage girls has been aired in open criminal court.

Bevan Hurley has more:

Prosecution’s key witness describes sadomasochistic abuse from Epstein and socialite

Victim suffered long-term effects of abuse

Wednesday 1 December 2021 08:51 , Eleanor Sly

Witness "Jane" who says she was abused by Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell told the court of the long-term effects that the abuse had on her.

She said that she felt “ashamed” and “disgusted” and lost her self-esteem as well as her ability to trust others.

“How do you navigate a healthy relationship with a broken compass?” she asked.

Epstein’s pilot unaware that he was carrying underage girls on plane

Wednesday 1 December 2021 08:26 , Eleanor Sly

Epstein’s former pilot Larry Visoski said that he did not know how old the passengers he flew were, but never thought that he was carrying underage girls aboard his plane.

Testifying to the court, Mr Visoski said: "I never saw any sexual activity, no.”

He was then asked if he’d seen sex acts with underaged girls to which he responded "Absolutely not."

Mr Visoski also testified that he never saw sex toys, used condoms or clothes strewn about in Epstein’s plane. He went on to add that he did not see any indication that sexual activity took place on the planes.

Prince Andrew named in trial as passenger on Epstein’s planes

Wednesday 1 December 2021 07:55 , Eleanor Sly

Prince Andrew has been mentioned in the trial of Ghislaine Maxwell as a passenger on one of Jeffrey Epstein’s private planes.

Jurors heard that the Duke of York was one of a number of high-profile figures who had flown on the aircraft. These included actor Kevin Spacey as well as former US presidents Donald Trump and Bill Clinton.

Epstein’s former pilot Larry Visoski responded to the court’s questions.

These included defence counsel Christian Everdell asking: "Are you familiar with Prince Andrew, the Duke of York? He is the second son of the Queen. Did he ever fly on Epstein’s planes?"

"Yes, he did," Mr Visoski replied.

On the subject of former president Mr Trump, Mr Visoski said: "He flew on them a number of times."

Mr Everdell went on: "The actors Kevin Spacey and Chris Tucker?"

"Yes, I remember them as well," Mr Visoski replied.

The pilot also recalled how he would have to make the plane "look nice" for ex-president Bill Clinton when he flew on Epstein’s planes.

Ghislaine Maxwell summoned girl, 14, to orgy leaving her ‘frozen in fear’, court told

Wednesday 1 December 2021 07:32 , Eleanor Sly

Ghislaine Maxwell and disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein summoned a 14-year-old girl to an orgy and left her “frozen in fear”, a court has heard.

The alleged victim, who testified under the pseudonym “Jane” on Tuesday, said she did not tell anybody about the abuse because she was “terrified” and “felt gross and ashamed”.

According to Jane Epstein would use sex toys on her “even though it hurt” and the pair would “fondle” each other while “casually giggling” in front of the teenager.

Josh Payne reports:

Ghislaine Maxwell summoned girl, 14, to orgy leaving her ‘frozen in fear’, court told

Lawyer says Maxweell’s defence was a ‘love letter’ to Epstein

Wednesday 1 December 2021 06:42 , Stuti Mishra

American attorney Lisa Bloom who is known for advising the disgraced Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein hit out at the defence presented in court by the lawyers of Ghislaine Maxwell, labelling it a “love letter” to Epstein after he was compared to a “21st century James Bond” and a Biblical figure.

Ms Bloom said the remarks were the “lowest point for the defence” and ignored “dozens and dozens” of alleged victims who have claimed they were sexually abused by the late fiancer between 1994 and 2004 and alleged Ms Maxwell’s role in “recruiting” and “grooming” them which the former socialite denies.

Ghislaine Maxwell defence blasted for ‘love letter’ to Epstein

Ms Maxwell’s lawyer told the court that Epstein was akin to a “James Bond” who “stirred interest”. The lawyer, Bobbi Sternheim, also compared Ms Maxwell’s former associate and boyfriend to an “Adam” figure, referring to the bible, and the 59-year-old to “Eve”.

How Ghislaine Maxwell met Jeffrey Epstein

Wednesday 1 December 2021 05:50 , Stuti Mishra

British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell became the prime focus of investigations into Jeffrey Epstein’s sex crimes after he died in 2019 in what is believed to be suicide inside the jail.

Ms Maxwell, who knew the late financier for decades, has been accused of trafficking and grooming girls as young as 14 to be sexually abused by him.

A number of women who said they were sent to Epstein when they were in their teens alleged Ms Maxwell played a role in either convincing them to have sex with him or being present when they were abused. Many of the complainants have said Ms Maxwell shared a good relationship with them and normalised the behaviour of her former partner.

The first victim who gave her testimony on Tuesday said Ms Maxwell was present when she was sexually abused by Epstein over a decade ago. While the high profile socialite denies all the allegations, she is facing a jail term of 35 years if the charges against her are proven in the ongoing six-week long trial.

Her attorney alleged Ms Maxwell was being blamed and vilified for the actions of Epstein, calling the trial sexist. But prosecution alleges the couple acted like a team in the crimes against young women.

Here’s how their story began two decades ago:

How did Ghislaine Maxwell meet Jeffrey Epstein?

ICYMI: Jeffrey Epstein was a ‘21st-century James Bond’ targeted for his mystery and money

Wednesday 1 December 2021 05:00 , Justin Vallejo

Ghislaine Maxwell’s defence team compared Jeffrey Epstein to a “21st-century James Bond” whose wealth and mystery stirred the public’s interest while his accusers shook the “money train” for millions of dollars.

Ms Maxwell, meanwhile, was compared to humanity’s first victim of sexism dating back to the Biblical creation of the universe.

In her opening statement during Ms Maxwell’s trial on sex trafficking charges, defence attorney Bobbi Sternheim said women have been blamed, villainized and punished more for the bad behaviour of men ever since “Eve was accused of tempting Adam for the apple”.

More from the previous day of the hearing:

Jeffrey Epstein was a ‘21st-century James Bond’, Ghislaine Maxwell defence says

Fox News commenter says Maxwell not getting bail is ‘police lawyering'

Wednesday 1 December 2021 04:21 , Stuti Mishra

Fox News commenter Geraldo Rivera sparked an argument on The Five on Monday after he complained that Ghislaine Maxwell – who is facing sex trafficking and perjury charges connected to her relationship with Jeffrey Epstein – was not granted bail.

During the show on Monday, Mr Rivera compared Ms Maxwell’s case to that of Darrell Brooks, who was charged with six counts of first-degree homicide after he plowed his car through a group of people attending a Christmas parade in Waukesha, Wisconsin. He noted that Mr Brooks was granted bail, but Ms Maxwell was not. He called the rulings “political lawyering”.

“I am outraged by the Maxwell case. You talk about Darrell Brooks, the creep that ran over his girlfriend and then killed six people,” he said. “He was out on a $1,000 bail, Ghislaine Maxwell has been in jail for 17 months for no bail. She is sitting in prison prior to trial, accused of events that happened between 1994 and 2004.”

Full story here:

Fox host Geraldo complains Ghislaine Maxwell not given bail: ‘Political lawyering’

Presidents, a prince, and the ‘piercing, powder-blue eyes’ of women on the Lolita Express

Wednesday 1 December 2021 03:45 , Stuti Mishra

This is your captain speaking: Epstein’s pilot reveals jet-setting life flying global elites like Prince Andrew, Bill Clinton and Kevin Spacey on a private jet, write The Independent’s Bevan Hurley and Justin Vallejo.

“Larry Visoski saw many things from the cockpit of the ‘Lolita Express’. For nearly 30 years, the personal pilot of Jeffrey Epstein flew the global elite to the convicted paedophile’s palatial mansions and estates from New York to Paris to a tiny island in the Caribbean.

Apart from those “pretty important people”, Mr Visoski told the Federal District Court in Manhattan he would sometimes be introduced to other types of guests as they boarded the plane. One was an aspiring singer Epstein took to the cockpit, who Mr Visoski recalled as “a mature woman, with piercing, powder blue eyes”.

But one very specific thing Mr Visoski maintains he never saw, however, is sexual activity of any kind. He added that he “certainly did not” see any sex acts with underage girls.

Epstein’s pilot details disgraced financier’s opulent residences

What are the charges in the Ghislaine Maxwell sex abuse trial?

Wednesday 1 December 2021 03:00 , Justin Vallejo

The trial of Ghislaine Maxwell, the British socialite accused of recruiting and grooming girls for deceased financier Jeffrey Epstein to abuse, got underway on Monday in New York federal court.

Here is an explanation of the charges Maxwell faces and her expected defence:

The Mann Act charges

Prosecutors say Ms Maxwell between 1994 and 1997 persuaded an underaged girl to travel from Florida to New York with the intention of having her engage in sexual activity with Epstein. In 1996, prosecutors say Ms Maxwell gave an unsolicited massage to another minor girl who flew to Epstein’s New Mexico ranch from out-of-state while the girl was topless.

Ms Maxwell is charged with two counts of violating the Mann Act, which bars transporting individuals across state lines for illegal sexual activity.

She also two faces charges of conspiring to violate those two sections of the Mann Act.

The sex trafficking charges

Prosecutors also say that Ms Maxwell, beginning in 2001, recruited one of the four alleged victims to engage in sex acts with Epstein and provided her with hundreds of dollars in cash after massaging Epstein, knowing she was a minor. Ms Maxwell sent gifts including lingerie from a New York address to the girl’s home in Florida, according to a 2021 indictment.

Those allegations form the basis of charges of one charge of sex trafficking of a minor and one charge of sex trafficking conspiracy. Federal law bars recruiting or transporting anyone under 18 to participate in a “commercial sex act.” The trafficking charge does not require the child to be transported across state lines.

Maxwell’s defence

Ms Maxwell, 59, has pleaded not guilty to all of the charges. Her lawyers have argued that prosecutors are treating her as a scapegoat for Epstein, who died by suicide in 2019 in a Manhattan jail while awaiting trial on sex abuse charges.

Her attorneys say that the alleged sex trafficking victim did not mention Ms Maxwell while cooperating with a 2007 investigation by Florida federal prosecutors into Epstein. They have argued that all four women named in the indictment have financial incentives to lie or exaggerate about Ms Maxwell’s involvement in the alleged abuse.

The perjury charges

Ms Maxwell faces two charges of perjury that will be tried at a later date.

Prosecutors have accused Ms Maxwell of lying under oath in 2016 during a deposition for a civil lawsuit brought against her by Virginia Giuffre, who says she was abused by Epstein while a minor. Ms Giuffre alleged Ms Maxwell had defamed her by saying Ms Giuffre lied about the abuse.

In the 2016 deposition, Ms Maxwell said she did not recall the presence of sex toys in Epstein’s Palm Beach house and replied “I don’t know what you’re talking about” when asked if Epstein had a scheme to recruit underage girls for sexual massages.

Prosecutors characterised these statements as “false material declarations” in violation of a federal statute making it a crime to lie under oath. Her lawyers said in a February 2021 court filing that the questions posed were ambiguous and that Ms Maxwell gave truthful responses.

- Reuters

What was Jeffrey Epstein’s ‘Lolita Express’?

Wednesday 1 December 2021 02:00 , Justin Vallejo

The first witness to take the stand was Lawrence Paul Visoski Jr, Epstein’s chief pilot for more than 25 years, who said he had flown the disgraced financier “every four days” or so since his hiring in 1991, writes The Independent’s Joe Sommerlad.

“One of the pilot’s duties was to fly the Boeing 727 that became known among the press as the “Lolita Express” for its role in ferrying young women between New York and Epstein’s primary residence in Palm Beach, Florida, where many of his alleged acts of sexual abuse are said to have taken place. The nickname for the plane is an allusion to Russian novelist Vladimir Nabokov’s notorious book Lolita (1955), about a literary professor who becomes sexually obsessed with his 12-year-old stepdaughter.”

What was Jeffrey Epstein’s ‘Lolita Express’?

Prosecution’s key witness ‘Jane’ describes years of abuse

Wednesday 1 December 2021 00:55 , Justin Vallejo

Jeffrey Epstein engaged in sadomasochistic sexual abuse with a 14-year-old girl who had been left grief-stricken and living in poverty after the death of her father, and Ghislaine Maxwell was often “in the room” when it took place, a jury heard on Tuesday, writes The Independent’s Bevan Hurley.

“Throughout the harrowing testimony, Ms Maxwell was seemingly unmoved, occasionally scribbling notes and passing them to her attorneys. On several occasions both sets of lawyers were called into Judge Nathan’s chambers after repeated objections to a line of questioning by the prosecutor Alison Moe. Jane and Ms Maxwell would be left in the courtroom, and seemed to avoid eye contact.”

Prosecution’s key witness describes sadomasochistic abuse from Epstein and socialite

Prosecution’s key witness ‘Jane’ describes years of abuse

Wednesday 1 December 2021 00:55 , Justin Vallejo

Jeffrey Epstein engaged in sadomasochistic sexual abuse with a 14-year-old girl who had been left grief-stricken and living in poverty after the death of her father, and Ghislaine Maxwell was often “in the room” when it took place, a jury heard on Tuesday, writes The Independent’s Bevan Hurley.

“Throughout the harrowing testimony, Ms Maxwell was seemingly unmoved, occasionally scribbling notes and passing them to her attorneys. On several occasions both sets of lawyers were called into Judge Nathan’s chambers after repeated objections to a line of questioning by the prosecutor Alison Moe. Jane and Ms Maxwell would be left in the courtroom, and seemed to avoid eye contact.”

Bill Clinton had ‘special catering’ on Lolita Express, says Epstein pilot

Wednesday 1 December 2021 00:10 , Justin Vallejo

Former president Bill Clinton received the VIP treatment aboard the so-called “Lolita Express”, according to Jeffrey Epstein’s private pilot.

Lawrence Paul Visoski Jr testified at the trial of Ghislaine Maxwell that he would be notified in advance if special guests like Clinton would be flying on Epstein’s jet.

Defence attorney Christian Everdell asked Mr Visoski if “special catering” was arranged in the case of Clinton, who was photographed aboard the aircraft.

“Sure,” Mr Visoski replied, according to The Washington Examiner.

Who are the alleged victims of Ghislaine Maxwell?

Tuesday 30 November 2021 23:30 , Justin Vallejo

The prosecution put its first alleged victim on the stand, a girl they identify only as “Jane” and who was described as 14 at the time of meeting Ghislaine Maxwell and Jeffrey Epstein.

At least four alleged victims are set to testify at the trial, identified only as Minor Victim 1, Minor Victim 2, Minor Victim 3 and Minor Victim 4.

Here’s what we know from court documents about the alleged victims:

Minor Victim 1 was about 14 when she was abused by Epstein at his homes in New York and Florida. Maxwell is alleged to have involved the girl in “sexualized massages” on Epstein.

Minor Victim 2was allegedly abused at Epstein’s New Mexico ranch in 1996. Maxwell is alleged to have given an unsolicited topless massage to the girl, and encouraged her to massage Epstein.

Minor Victim 3 was 17, and over the age of consent, when she was allegedly introduced to Epstein in London. Maxwell is alleged to have encouraged her to perform sexualized massages on Epstein in 1994 and 1995.

Minor Victim 4 was 14 when she was allegedly recruited to give Epstein sexualized massages at his Palm Beach mansion between 2001 and 2004. She is also alleged to have recruited younger women for Epstein at Maxwell’s request.

Courtroom sketches from the day

Tuesday 30 November 2021 23:00 , Justin Vallejo

“Jane”, an unidentified victim, is questioned about her experiences with Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell (AP)
“Jane”, an unidentified victim, is questioned about her experiences with Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell (AP)
US attorney Maurene Comey conducts a direct examination of former Jeffrey Epstein pilot Lawrence Visoski. Photos of former Epstein assistant Sarah Kellen are displayed on monitors, one also showing Epstein. (AP)
US attorney Maurene Comey conducts a direct examination of former Jeffrey Epstein pilot Lawrence Visoski. Photos of former Epstein assistant Sarah Kellen are displayed on monitors, one also showing Epstein. (AP)

Accuser says Maxwell was present during some of Jeffrey Epstein’s sexual assaults

Tuesday 30 November 2021 22:25 , Oliver O'Connell

Ghislaine Maxwell was in the room when Jeffrey Epstein sexually assaulted one of his 14-year-old victims, a court has heard.

In testimony before a New York jury, a woman known publicly only as “Jane” identified Ms Maxwell in the dock and said she had been present during some of Epstein’s assaults.

Io Dodds reports.

Ghislaine Maxwell was present during some of Epstein’s sexual assaults, accuser says

Court adjourns for the evening

Tuesday 30 November 2021 22:05 , Oliver O'Connell

Cross-examination of “Jane” will continue on Wednesday.

Just prior to Judge Nathan calling for the 5pm close of the day’s proceedings, Ms Menninger has shown a document showing that “Jane” did not apply for financial aid or a scholarship prior to meeting Epstein — despite her testimony about her family’s financial problems.

Defence will pursue this line of questioning tomorrow.

Defence attempts to undercut testimony starting at very beginning

Tuesday 30 November 2021 21:59 , Oliver O'Connell

The defence is asking about where “Jane” lived when she went to school in an apparent attempt to undercut her testimony at its starting point — her family’s financial circumstances when she met Epstein and Ms Maxwell.

Ms Menninger has also produced the application for the Interlochen music camp in Michigan, which “Jane” recognises.

Tuesday 30 November 2021 21:54 , Oliver O'Connell

Ms Menninger is pursuing a line of questioning that appears to be about when “Jane” told one of her older siblings about Epstein in the 20 years since she stopped seeing him. Asked if she mentioned Ghislaine Maxwell at the time, “Jane” responds that she does not know.

There have been four objections from the prosecution team so far and one sidebar with Judge Nathan.

Epstein’s pilot reveals life on the ‘Lolita Express'

Tuesday 30 November 2021 21:50 , Oliver O'Connell

Larry Visoski saw many things from the cockpit of the Lolita Express.

For nearly 30 years, the personal pilot of Jeffrey Epstein flew the global elite to the convicted paedophile’s palatial mansions and estates from New York to Paris to a tiny island in the Caribbean.

Bevan Hurley and Justin Vallejo report for The Independent on the first witness in the Ghislaine Maxwell trial.

Epstein’s pilot details disgraced financier’s opulent residences

Defence cross-examination begins

Tuesday 30 November 2021 21:28 , Oliver O'Connell

Ms Maxwell’s attorney Laura Menninger begins her cross-examination of “Jane” by noting that she waited 20 years to file a complaint. Then adding that Epstein was dead by then.

The witness replies “correct” to both points.

‘Victim shaming is still very present'

Tuesday 30 November 2021 21:25 , Oliver O'Connell

Asked why she chose to testify anonymously, “Jane” replied that she works in Hollywood and that “victim shaming is still very present until this day.”

Ms Comey completed her questioning.

‘Jane’ received money from victims’ fund

Tuesday 30 November 2021 21:23 , Oliver O'Connell

“Jane” says that she was interviewed by the FBI in 2019, the year that Epstein died. She sued Ghislaine Maxwell in 2020.

She was awarded $5m by the Epstein Victims’ Fund and received approximately $2.9m of that.

Ms Comey asked if the verdict in this trial would affect her settlement, a question that triggered an objection from the defence and a sidebar with Judge Nathan.

“Jane” was allowed to answer that the trial verdict would not impact the money she received.

‘It ruined my self-esteem, my self-worth'

Tuesday 30 November 2021 21:13 , Oliver O'Connell

Asked about the long-term impacts of her time with Ms Maxwell and Epstein, “Jane” said that it “ruined my self-esteem, my self-worth”.

Earlier she admitted that the attention she initially received from the couple made her feel special as she had little support or attention at home.

Now an actress in LA she said she struggled to navigate healthy relationships before falling in love with someone and cutting ties with Epstein in 2002.

‘Jane’ testifies she felt ‘hopeless’ and considered self-harm

Tuesday 30 November 2021 20:52 , Oliver O'Connell

“Jane” tells the court that her mother was “enamoured” by the idea that these affluent people were taking an interest in her and that she should be grateful for the attention she was received.

She says that she said nothing about the sexual abuse because she was ashamed and thought it was her fault.

“I was afraid that I would be in trouble if I said something,” she says, adding that she didn’t tell her siblings either.

Describing feeling “hopeless” she answered yes when asked by Ms Comey if she considered self-harm.

Having spoken of her sadness with a school guidance counsellor, “Jane” says her mother slapped her, telling her that she shouldn’t tell anyone about her feelings or what was happening at home.

Tuesday 30 November 2021 20:12 , Oliver O'Connell

Ten-minute recess called by Judge Nathan

‘Jane’ says abuse also occurred at New York house and New Mexico ranch

Tuesday 30 November 2021 20:04 , Oliver O'Connell

Between the ages of 14 and 16, “Jane” travelled with Epstein and Ms Maxwell approximately 10 times to New York and New Mexico.

Abuse would also happen at the New York house, where she says she felt watched.

If she was in Epstein’s bedroom they were typically alone, but if it was in the massage room there were other people present including Ms Maxwell, she says.

In New Mexico, they stayed at the ranch house and she was escorted from her room by someone to go and see Epstein.

Getting audibly emotional, “Jane” says: “I felt my heart sinking into my stomach.”

Asked why, her voice cracked as she replies: “Because I didn’t want to see him.”

‘Jane’ says sexual assault would occur every time she visited Epstein

Tuesday 30 November 2021 19:51 , Oliver O'Connell

Describing Ms Maxwell’s demeanour as casual about the incidents, “Jane” said she was confused and had no idea what was going on. being only 14.

Asked by Ms Comey if Epstein had touched her, she replied affirmatively and said he would touch her breasts and vagina.

Asked if she touched his body, she said “yes, everywhere”, also detailing that he liked to be massaged “hard”.

Apologising for the question, Ms Comey asked “Jane” if Epstein used sex toys.

“He liked to use vibrators, which were of different sizes. He liked to use the back massagers, which were really painful,” she said.

“He would put it on my vagina, even if I said that it hurt.”

Questioned as to how often this would happen, she said it occurred every time she visited his house and at other properties.

He would tell her to follow him and he would lead her either to his bedroom or his massage room.

Asked how many times Ms Maxwell was there, she says she could not give a precise number.

‘Jane’ describes first sexual contact with Epstein

Tuesday 30 November 2021 19:38 , Oliver O'Connell

“Jane” says she was 14 years old when she was first sexually assaulted by Epstein.

Asked what happened, she recalls that he took her into the pool house and pulled down his sweatpants. She says that he pulled her on top of him and “proceeded to masturbate on me” before leaving.

She adds that she was “frozen in fear” and had never seen a penis before.

Describing another incident she says that Ms Maxwell was also present and the couple kissed and fondled each other in front of her.

Couple boasted about social circle

Tuesday 30 November 2021 19:33 , Oliver O'Connell

Giving examples of whom Epstein and Ms Maxwell said was in their social circle, “Jane” names Donald Trump, Bill Clinton, and Mike Wallace.

She also described the house as full of art and sculptures and pictures of famous people. Some of the art she found odd — creepy animals and naked women.

‘Jane’ was invited to Epstein’s pool where Maxwell and others were naked

Tuesday 30 November 2021 19:29 , Oliver O'Connell

“Jane” was invited to Epstein’s house and recalls at least four women and Ms Maxwell being topless or naked by the pool.

She later adds that Epstein paid for voice lessons for her, as well as clothes, and things for school.

Jane said Ms Maxwell gave her some advice: “Once you’ve f****d them, you can always f*** them again because they’ve been grandfathered in.”

She laughed at the time because she didn’t know what it meant.

‘Jane’ describes meeting Maxwell and Epstein

Tuesday 30 November 2021 19:19 , Oliver O'Connell

“Jane” tells the court about her father’s death from leukemia and the family’s subsequent financial difficulties, before talking about studying at the Interlochen music academy in Michigan.

It was there she met Epstein and Ms Maxwell describing them as “friendly”, “inquisitive”, and seeming like a married couple.

She said they asked for her mother’s phone number and told her they were big benefactors.

Comey asks ‘Jane' about her sexual encounter with Epstein

Tuesday 30 November 2021 19:06 , Oliver O'Connell

AUSA Comey asked “Jane” to first identify her birth certificate, and then how old she was when she first had sexual contact with Jeffrey Epstein.

She replies that she was 14 and when questioned further adds that Ghislaine Maxwell was in the room.

“Jane” then identifies the defendant Ms Maxwell in the courtroom.

‘Jane’ takes the stand

Tuesday 30 November 2021 19:03 , Oliver O'Connell

“Minor victim 1” in the indictment against Ms Maxwell is now taking the stand. She is known by the pseudonym “Jane”.

The court sketch artist is ordered not to depict her.

Visoski says he never saw accused or Epstein being inappropriate with minors

Tuesday 30 November 2021 19:01 , Oliver O'Connell

Mr Visoski is still on the stand being cross-examined by defence lawyer Mr Everdell.

The questioning now focuses on Mr Visoski’s impression of Ms Maxwell.

He said that she seemed like a nice person and he let his two daughters go riding with her.

According to reporting from in the court, Mr Everdell asked if Mr Visoski had seen anything in 30 years that indicated that Epstein or Maxwell were abusers. He replied that he did not.

I a redirect by the prosecution, Assistant US Attorney Maurene Comey asked if he had ever his 14-year-old daughter massage Mr Epstein. He responded that he did not.

Epstein’s private pilot details disgraced financier’s opulent residences

Tuesday 30 November 2021 18:40 , Oliver O'Connell

Larry Visoski took us inside Jeffrey Epstein’s private world on day two of Ghislaine Maxwell’s trial. Bevan Hurley report for The Independent from the courthouse in Lower Manhattan.

Mr Visoski’s cross-examination by the defence team begins again shortly.

Epstein’s pilot details disgraced financier’s opulent residences

Maxwell-Epstein personal relationship fizzled out in 2000s

Tuesday 30 November 2021 17:48 , Oliver O'Connell

Mr Visoski is asked to recall the relationship between Ms Maxwell and Epstein, saying that whatever personal relationship fizzled out in the 2000s, with Ms Maxwell later dating Ted Waitt the CEO of Gateway Computers.

Judge Nathan then confirmed a break in proceedings.

Visoski questioned about Epstein’s apparent generosity

Tuesday 30 November 2021 17:42 , Oliver O'Connell

Mr Everdell asked Mr Visoski about how Epstein had helped him with accommodation and other expenses.

Among the ways in which the billionaire had helped or rewarded the pilot. were putting him up in an apartment on East 66th St, at which personal assistant Sarah Kellen also stayed in addition to one of the unnamed accusers.

He also reportedly gave him 40 acres of land in New Mexico on which to build a house and paid for his two daughters to go to college.

Defence asks if Maxwell accusers were among passengers

Tuesday 30 November 2021 17:30 , Oliver O'Connell

Amongst the string of celebrity passengers on Epstein’s plane named by Mr Visoski, Mr Everdell also asked about Ms Maxwell’s accusers, identified either by name or by pseudonyms.

Annie Farmer, “Jane”, and “Kate” were all mentioned.

Mr Visoski recalled Jane, but did not appear to recall the others.

Visoski lists roster of notable passengers, including Donald Trump

Tuesday 30 November 2021 17:20 , Oliver O'Connell

Mr Visoski testified that passengers on Epstein’s plane included Bill Clinton, Prince Andrew, Donald Trump, Itzhak Perlman, Chris Tucker, John Glenn, Kevin Spacey, and George Mitchell.

Visoski confirms Prince Andrew as passenger

Tuesday 30 November 2021 17:09 , Oliver O'Connell

Ms Maxwell’s lawyer asks Mr Visoski whether Prince Andrew flew on Epstein’s plane — he says that he did.

The Duke of York is confirmed as one of the many prominent people to have been flown by Epstein during today’s testimony, joining Bill Clinton and Itzhak Perlman.

Click here to read the full blog on The Independent's website

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