Ghislaine Maxwell trial – live: Housekeeper recalls underage girls and Epstein receiving three massages a day

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·41-min read
Ghislaine Maxwell trial – live: Housekeeper recalls underage girls and Epstein receiving three massages a day
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  • Ghislaine Maxwell
    Ghislaine Maxwell
    Socialite
  • Jeffrey Epstein
    American financier
  • Robert Maxwell
    Czechoslovak-born British media proprietor and Member of Parliament (1923-1991)

Day four of the trial of British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell has adjourned in New York City, as the 59-year-old answers to charges related to her alleged involvement in financier Jeffrey Epstein’s sex crimes.

Epstein’s former housekeeper, Juan Alessi, testified in detail on Thursday afternoon about his duties at the Palm Beach mansion. He also spoke about “Jane”, who previously gave harrowing testimony about the abuse she suffered for years after being brought to the property when she was 14.

In the morning the court heard from the finance director of a Manhattan school and Dr Lisa Rocchio, an expert on the grooming of children by sexual predators.

The court had previously heard from Epstein’s longtime pilot Larry Visoski who flew passengers including Bill Clinton, Prince Andrew, and Donald Trump and said he never saw either Ms Maxwell or Epstein being inappropriate with a minor.

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?

Youngest Maxwell accuser tells court she flew with Andrew in private plane

Key Points

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

  • ‘Lady of house’ Ghislaine Maxwell told staff never to look at Jeffrey Epstein’s eyes

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

  • Maxwell’s ‘little black book’ could be key piece of evidence in trial

  • 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 house to be kept 'completely private'

07:07 , Arpan Rai

During the trial, Epstein’s housekeeper Juan Alessi said he quit working for the American financier after he was diagnosed with an illness that made him bleed. He said that he was also “very, very tired with the job”, Daily Wire’s reporter Mairead Elordi says.

Before leaving, he was made to sign an agreement which banned him from talking about his employer Epstein and his associate Ghislaine Maxwell’s lives and details about it were to be kept “completely private”.

But after he ran into marital and financial troubles, Mr Alessi broke into Epstein’s house to steal $100 bills amounting to $6,300 (£4,737) in cash.

Epstein then contacted Mr Alessi and told him they “need to talk” and upon meeting him, the convicted sex offender showed him a photo of Mr Alessi breaking into his house.

However, he refused to press charges against the manager and told him that the stolen money can be treated as a loan. Mr Alessi is reported to have paid that money back and never saw Epstein again.

98% of Epstein massagers were women: Alessi

05:16 , Arpan Rai

Juan Alessi, the manager of Jeffrey Epstein’s Palm Beach house, told the court on Thursday that all the massage appointments for Epstein were scheduled by Ms Maxwell, and that 98 per cent of those called to give the massages were women.

The deceased sex offender’s partner also asked Mr Alessi to call people and schedule them for massages. Mr Alessi said that he would tell his employer or Ms Maxwell when the person arrived and then send them up to Epstein’s bathroom.

Mr Alessi said that he also found a massage “arm” with a vibrating ball at the end in Epstein’s bathroom. He said that he spotted this “arm” three or four times by Epstein’s bathroom sink among several other locations like his couch in the bathroom, the massage table, and even by his bed.

Maxwell may know secrets Epstein took with him to grave, expert says

04:39 , Arpan Rai

The ongoing trial of Jeffrey Epstein’s aide and former partner Ghislaine Maxwell is crucial because it could help reveal the missing clues in what prosecutors have described as a massive abuse racket run by the late convicted sex offender.

A legal expert said that after Epstein died in jail awaiting trial, Ghislaine Maxwell — who is accused of aiding his criminal activities — could provide the next best level of insight into Epstein’s exploitation of minors.

Mark Osler, a law professor at the University of St Thomas, said: “[Epstein] died before going to trial and took a lot of his secrets with him, other than the ones Ms Maxwell may have,” reported Lex 18.

“And what makes this intriguing, is that the person at the centre of the drama isn’t there, but someone that’s right there much of the time, is,” Mr Osler, who is a former federal prosecutor, said.

The case of widespread exploitation among the rich and famous is also important because it shows a different narrative with a woman also allegedly in a key role.

“...Here we have a woman who is the alleged perpetrator and a woman who is an alleged predator and an accomplice to the male predator,” Michal Buchhandler-Raphael, an assistant professor of law at the Widener University Commonwealth Law School said.

Who are the key figures in Maxwell’s trial?

03:30 , Nathan Place

Who are the witnesses, lawyers, and judge in Ghislaine Maxwell’s trial?

Ms Maxwell has assembled a formidable and costly team of defence lawyers, the most visible of whom is the so-called “super lawyer” Bobbi Sternheim.

On the other side, Assistant US Attorney Maurene Comey is one of the lead prosecutors in the case against Ms Maxwell, and had been due to try Epstein prior to his death in 2019.

Judge Alison Nathan, a former special assistant to Barack Obama, was appointed a judge in the US District Court for the Southern District of New York in 2011.

Read more here:

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

How Epstein spent final days in prison

02:30 , Nathan Place

Jeffrey Epstein spent his last days in prison telling jail officials that he was not suicidal, reveal prison documents.

More than 2,000 pages of Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) documents accessed by The New York Times showed that the former financier used his last days to complain about a running toilet, wearing an orange suit like a “bad guy” and denying that he was thinking of killing himself.

Epstein died by suicide on 10 August 2019.

Read more here:

Trove of documents reveal how Jeffrey Epstein spent final days in prison

Where was Epstein’s island, and what went on there?

01:30 , Nathan Place

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?

Read more here:

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

What was Jeffrey Epstein’s ‘Lolita Express’?

00:30 , Nathan Place

The first witness at Ghislaine Maxwell’s trial was Lawrence Paul Visoski Jr, Jeffrey Epstein’s chief pilot for more than 25 years.

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.

Epstein’s victims have since claimed that the Boeing had padded floors and a large bed installed so that his guests could have sex with the girls he had lured aboard mid-flight.

Read more here:

What was Jeffrey Epstein’s ‘Lolita Express’?

Maxwell told staff never to look Epstein in the eye, housekeeper says

Thursday 2 December 2021 23:30 , Nathan Place

A former housekeeper to Jeffrey Epstein has said that Ghislaine Maxwell told him never to look the disgraced financier in the eyes.

Juan Patricio Alessi, who worked at Epstein’s house in Palm Beach, Florida, testified before a New York jury on Thursday that Ms Maxwell was the “lady of the house” and gave him “many, many instructions”.

He said that Ms Maxwell, 59, told him to “only speak to Mr Epstein when he asked questions” and demanded “extensive preparations” whenever Epstein visited.

Read more here:

‘Lady of house’ Ghislaine Maxwell told staff not to meet Epstein’s eyes, court hears

Ghislaine Maxwell trial: Everything we know so far

Thursday 2 December 2021 22:37 , Nathan Place

The Ghislaine Maxwell trial began with a sentence that attempted to distill a complex case that spans decades and jurisdictions, and pierces the normally secretive world of America’s ultra wealthy elite.

“I want to tell you about a young girl named Jane,” prosecutor Lara Pomerantz told the jury of five men and seven women.

The US federal government’s case against Ms Maxwell, 59, centres around her decades-long relationship with Jeffrey Epstein. It alleges she operated as his enabler in luring vulnerable teenage girls with promises of scholarships, attention and financial assistance for their families, and coerced them into becoming objects for his sexual gratification.

Here’s everything we know so far:

What we’ve learned so far from the Ghislaine Maxwell trial

Court adjourns for the day

Thursday 2 December 2021 21:53 , Oliver O'Connell

Ms Comey says she has no further questions, and so with only 13 minutes left of the day, the court adjourns.

Cross-examination of Mr Alessi will begin on Friday morning.

Alessi talks about why he left Epstein’s employment

Thursday 2 December 2021 21:51 , Oliver O'Connell

Ms Comey asked why he left Epstein’s employment and responds “I was sick and I was also very, very tired of the job.”

He says he signed a non-disclosure agreement about both Epstein and Ms Maxwell.

Mr Alessi also admitted that he stole $6,300 from Epstein at a time that his marriage was experiencing difficulties and he was struggling financially.

Ms Comey asks if he was questioned by police, which he says he was, but was not arrested.

He did not pay the money back and did not see Epstein again.

Thursday 2 December 2021 21:47 , Oliver O'Connell

Mr Alessi was asked about photographs in the house and initially responded about pictures of Ms Maxwell and Epstein with famous people.

Asked if there were photos of naked women, he said that there were and they were kept in Ms Maxwell’s desk.

Alessi testifies about cleaning up after the massages

Thursday 2 December 2021 21:39 , Oliver O'Connell

Ms Comey asks Mr Allessi if Ms Maxwell provided supplies for Epstein’s massages. He replies that he was given “exotic oils” from other countries.

Asked if Epstein’s door was open during his massages, Mr Alessi responds that it never was, and says that afterward, he would go in wearing gloves to clean up.

Pressed further about what he saw when he cleaned up, he says that after one massage he found a “large dildo” that he washed up and put in a basket in Ms Maxwell’s bathroom alongside some pornographic tapes.

He adds that he saw it at least five times, and that there was another one that he put at the top of Epstein’s dresser.

Thursday 2 December 2021 21:30 , Oliver O'Connell

Adam Klasfeld of Law & Crime reports that before the trial the Maxwell defence team challenged the admission of the exhibit, claiming it had been altered.

Thursday 2 December 2021 21:24 , Oliver O'Connell

After an attempt by Ms Maxwell’s lawyer at challenging the admission into evidence of the telephone directory, questioning continues with Mr Alessi confirming to Ms Comey that he would sometimes take messages for Epstein if he did not want to talk to someone or was not at the house.

‘Lady of house’ Ghislaine Maxwell told staff never to look at Jeffrey Epstein’s eyes

Thursday 2 December 2021 21:01 , Oliver O'Connell

A former housekeeper to Jeffrey Epstein has said that Ghislaine Maxwell told him never to look the disgraced financier in the eyes.

Juan Patricio Alessi, who worked at Epstein’s house in Palm Beach, Florida, testified before a New York jury on Thursday that Ms Maxwell was the “lady of the house” and gave him “many, many instructions”.

He said that Ms Maxwell, 59, told him to “only speak to Mr Epstein when he asked questions” and demanded “extensive preparations” whenever Epstein visited.

Io Dodds reports.

‘Lady of house’ Ghislaine Maxwell told staff not to meet Epstein’s eyes, court hears

Alessi testimony continues

Thursday 2 December 2021 20:57 , Oliver O'Connell

Ms Comey has resumed her questioning of Mr Alessi following the afternoon recess.

Epstein’s former housekeeper confirms that the directory was updated twice a year and the names of new employees were added and those who had left were removed.

Thursday 2 December 2021 20:14 , Oliver O'Connell

Ms Comey has Mr Alessi look at the directory and asks if he reviewed it last night. He confirms he did and that he looked at every page.

Asked how many names there are, he says: “Many. Many.”

He says it is a later version from when he was employed at the house.

The court is now in recess.

Thursday 2 December 2021 20:09 , Oliver O'Connell

Mr Alessi says that Epstein received up to three massages a day — in the morning, in the afternoon, and after dinner, adding “after the movies”.

He also testifies that the previously mentioned phone directories had names for massages listed in them and “Jane” was listed.

He adds that the books were updated twice a year and the old ones were thrown away.

Thursday 2 December 2021 20:04 , Oliver O'Connell

The former housekeeper recalls the day he met Virginia Roberts, saying that Ms Maxwell asked him to stop the car and went to speak with her. Ms Maxwell instructed him to pick up Ms Roberts on other occasions.

He also says that he saw Ms Roberts at Epstein’s house with luggage and drove them to the plane.

Thursday 2 December 2021 19:57 , Oliver O'Connell

Mr Alessi recalls driving “Jane”, saying he would pick her up at the direction of Epstein. He also says that Ms Maxwell, Epstein, and “Jane” went to the movies together.

Asked when he met Virginia Roberts, he says it was at Mar-a-Lago, Donald Trump’s Palm Beach residence.

He describes her as looking young with blonde hair and a long white uniform like that of a nurse.

Alessi identifies ‘Jane’

Thursday 2 December 2021 19:52 , Oliver O'Connell

Mr Alessi says that two girls at the house appeared to be underage. He identifies Virginia Roberts and the witness known as “Jane” who testified on Tuesday and Wednesday.

He describes her as strikingly beautiful with blue eyes, long brunette hair, tall, and “very pleasant”, and says she appeared to be 14 or 15.

Mr Alessi says she was at the house three times with her mother, then without her mother many times.

Personal telephone directories

Thursday 2 December 2021 19:47 , Oliver O'Connell

Ms Comey asks about a reference to JE and GM telephone directories, which Mr Alessi says are two-inch-thick books with hundreds of names, directions, and addresses.

Mr Alessi was instructed to place Ms MAxwell’s book to the right of the phone on her desk and keep stocked two sizes of notepads — one Ghislaine Maxwell and one Lady Ghislaine (the name of Robert Maxwell’s yacht).

Comey takes Alessi through checklist

Thursday 2 December 2021 19:42 , Oliver O'Connell

Ms Comey points to some of the instructions in the booklet, asking Mr Alessi to read them out.

They include: “See nothing. Say Nothing”, “Do not discuss your personal problems with guests”, and “Respect their privacy.”

Asked what he understood that meant, Mr Alessi replied: “I was supposed to be blind, deaf ... to say nothing.”

Another bullet point stated that he should never disclose the whereabouts or activities of Ms Maxwell or Epstein.

He was also instructed to check the perimeter fence for holes in which Max, Ms Maxwell’s Yorkie could get out.

Adam Klasfeld of Law & Crime notes that “Jane” referred to Ms Maxwell as walking a Yorkie in her testimony.

Maxwell lawyer questions Alessi about booklet

Thursday 2 December 2021 19:36 , Oliver O'Connell

Ms Maxwell’s lawyer Jeffrey Pagliuca begins questioning Mr Alessi about the booklet, first confirming that he left Epstein’s employment in 2002.

He notes that the book of instructions submitted as evidence dates from after Mr Alessi left, but the prosecution counters that he identified pages in the book.

Judge Nathan allows it to be admitted as evidence.

Alessi: ‘Degrading’ list of tasks to perform

Thursday 2 December 2021 19:19 , Oliver O'Connell

Mr Alessi says he was given a lengthy checklist of tasks to perform to maintain the house in a 58-page booklet.

He told Ms Maxwell that he could not complete all of the tasks along with his other work, describing to the court how it was enough work for 10 men.

He described it as “very degrading”.

Thursday 2 December 2021 19:12 , Oliver O'Connell

Mr Alessi says he once flew on Epstein’s first plane, but not the Boeing or Gulfstream.

He also visited the private island, Little St James, while on a cruise to St Thomas with his wife, and once went to Ms Maxwell’s London townhouse on her invitation.

Alessi saw women by pool ‘hundreds of times’, the majority topless

Thursday 2 December 2021 19:03 , Oliver O'Connell

Assistant US Attorney Comey asked if Mr Alessi saw females by the pool at the house, to which he replied “hundreds of times” adding that they were topless 75 to 80 per cent of the time.

He said that most were in their 20s.

Thursday 2 December 2021 18:59 , Oliver O'Connell

In the morning session, Mr Alessi said that the house had to be run “like a five-star hotel” and “the cars had to be immaculate”.

When asked to identify Ms Maxwell in the court he appeared to struggle for a moment given that she is wearing a face mask, but their eyes met, she nodded at him and he picked her out correctly as wearing a black sweater.

He earlier described her as a “pretty girl”, “tall” and “brunette” and said she was with Epstein 95 per cent of the time.

Housekeeper: Maxwell and Epstein shared a bedroom

Thursday 2 December 2021 18:55 , Oliver O'Connell

The former housekeeper Juan Alessi continues his testimony following the lunch break.

He is describing Epstein’s Palm Beach mansion in great detail and a blueprint of the house is visible on screens in the courtroom. Mr Alessi said he painted it pink for Epstein.

Referring to the second floor of the house he says that Ms Maxwell and Epstein shared a bedroom but had separate bathrooms.

What we’ve learned so far from inside the courtroom

Thursday 2 December 2021 18:45 , Oliver O'Connell

The Independent’s Bevan Hurley reports from the courthouse in Lower Manhattan.

What we’ve learned so far from the Ghislaine Maxwell trial

Alessi describes how things changed with arrival of Maxwell

Thursday 2 December 2021 17:45 , Oliver O'Connell

Mr Alessi testified that after Ms Maxwell became involved with Epstein, things changed and were less cordial at the Palm Beach mansion. She told him that she was “the lady of the house”.

He says there was less conversation and he was instructed by Ms Maxwell not to look Epstein in the eyes

The former housekeeper worked 14-hour days and was called John by the pair.

One of his tasks was to put $100 bills in each of Epstein’s cars.

The court has now adjourned for lunch.

New witness: Juan Patricio Alessi

Thursday 2 December 2021 17:19 , Oliver O'Connell

The prosecution has called a new witness, Juan Patricio Alessi, originally of Quito, Ecuador, but a Florida resident since early 1984.

He worked for a wealthy family in Palm Beach as a maintenance contractor.

Mr Alessi then went to work for Epstein as a housekeeper, having met him while working on billionaire Les Wexner’s mother’s house, he says.

He had a room in the house at Palm Beach and brought in his wife to help out with the work, as well as other women.

Thursday 2 December 2021 17:14 , Oliver O'Connell

Ms Maxwell’s lawyer questioned Dr Rocchio about what constitutes grooming of a child, asking: “My grandfather liked to take me to the Bronx Zoo. Was that grooming?”

Dr Rocchio is clear that grooming occurs in five stages: obtaining access to the victim; isolating them for abuse; engaging in deception to build trust/attachment; desensitising the victim to sexual talk/touch; process of control, to allow continuation of abuse and prevent disclosure.

Maxwell’s lawyers question Dr Rocchio

Thursday 2 December 2021 17:01 , Oliver O'Connell

In an objection studded round of questioning, Ms Maxwell’s lawyer quizzed Dr Rocchio regarding what might impair someone’s memory of an incident.

Neither witness this morning mentioned Maxwell

Thursday 2 December 2021 16:49 , Oliver O'Connell

Neither of today’s prosecution witnesses has mentioned Ghislaine Maxwell.

Dr Rocchio is speaking in general terms about the definition of child sexual grooming — which victims have accused Ms Maxwell of, in addition to participating in the abuse — but has not talked specifically about this case.

Mr Kane’s testimony established that Epstein was financially responsible for the tuition of an unnamed student transferring to a New York private school. The jury is able to see the relevant documents and names, but they are not publicly available.

This builds a picture around the evidence of the other witnesses and victims, and it must be remembered that there are still at least three more accusers still to testify, and this trial is scheduled to run for six weeks.

Thursday 2 December 2021 16:04 , Oliver O'Connell

Dr Rocchio adds that victims are not likely to report abuse to the police and that the longer-term impact of the abuse is that they are at higher risk of “adverse outcomes”.

There are no further questions from the prosecution.

Judge Nathan calls for the morning break.

Dr Rocchio defines grooming

Thursday 2 December 2021 15:40 , Oliver O'Connell

After straightforward questioning that established that Dr Rocchio had not interviewed anyone connected with the case and that her pay does not depend on the outcome of the trial, she was simply asked to define “grooming”.

“Strategies to get children into sex.”

She says she has seen examples in the Boy Scouts through camping trips, and in other cases through gifts such as jewellery to make a child feel special.

Asked how common it is for a child to be repeatedly abused by the person, she replies that it is very common and that it is usually someone close to the child.

In terms of the environment in which grooming takes place, she says that the perpetrator develops trust with people around the child such as the parents.

New witness: Dr Lisa Rocchio

Thursday 2 December 2021 15:06 , Oliver O'Connell

Dr Lisa Rocchio is a psychotherapist who acts as an expert witness in the fields of traumatic stress and dissociation, intimate partner violence, rape and sexual assault, victimisation, discrimination, and harassment.

She has been brought in by the prosecution to discuss grooming.

Thursday 2 December 2021 14:58 , Oliver O'Connell

The defence question Mr Kane and ask if he has any idea whether Epstein paid the fees. Mr Kane says he does not.

Asked whether the mother is listed as unemployed, Mr Kane replies that the form says she is self-employed as an interior decorator.

As the exhibit is sealed, only the jury, judge and legal teams have access to the names on the forms. It is also evident that the names of the listed agent and prior principal are also on the form in addition to the mother, student, and Epstein.

New witness: Paul Kane of New York’s Professional Children’s School

Thursday 2 December 2021 14:55 , Oliver O'Connell

Day four of the trial begins with a new witness — Paul Kane, director of finance of New York’s Professional Children’s School.

The school is an independent day school on West 60th St in Manhattan serving grades six to 12.

Mr Kane is asked by the prosecution to identify a document, which he recognises as an enrollment application for a student.

Asked what happens when such a form is received, he says they contact the family by phone and then invite them for a tour of the school and a conversation.

Without mentioning the name of the student on the application, Mr Kane is asked what grade the person on the form was applying for, to which he replies: “12th grade, due to a move to New York.”

Listed as the person of financial responsibility on the form is Mr Jeffrey Epstein.

Alleged victim Teresa Helm enters court

Thursday 2 December 2021 14:25 , Oliver O'Connell

Alleged victim Teresa Helm, who gave an interview to the BBC, was seen entering the court with attorney Sigrid McCawley as day four of the Ghislaine Maxwell trial begins.

Second accuser Annie Farmer takes to the stand

Thursday 2 December 2021 14:00 , Eleanor Sly

Day four of the Ghislaine Maxwell sex trafficking trial will begin on Thursday morning, and the 59-year-old socialite’s second accuser is expected to take the stand.

Annie Farmer is the only one of Ms Maxeell’s four accusers who will testify without a pseudonym.

Ms Farmer, a 42-year-old psychotherapist, claims she was flown to Jefrey Epstein’s New Mexico ranch in 1996 at the age of 16 where she was groomed and given sexualised massages.

Ms Farmer has recounted the alleged abuse for the Netflix documentary Filthy Rich, and in numerous media interviews over the years.

During the defense’s opening statement, Bobbi Sternheim said Ms Maxwell met with Ms Farmer only once in Santa Fe.

“You should wonder why she is even a part of this case. Because from our perspective, what happened in New Mexico is not illegal conduct under the terms of this indictment,” Ms Sternheim told the jury on Monday.

Ms Sternheim said Ms Farmer had received $1.5 million from a victim’s compensation fund.

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

Thursday 2 December 2021 14:00 , 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?

Finance executive Daniel Besselsen to return to the court to give evidence

Thursday 2 December 2021 12:40 , Eleanor Sly

Daniel Besselsen will return to the stand on day four of the trial.

The finance executive at the Interlochen Center for the Arts the nonprofit organisation behind the summer camp where witness “Jane” said she first met Ghislaine Maxwell and Jeffrey Epstein will give evidence on Thursday.

Mr Besselsen provided records which comprised donor letters confirming Epstein and Maxwell’s relationship to the camp. These included one addressed to Maxwell saying that a lodge had been reserved for the use of Epstein’s in August of 1994.

It is thought that this is where the couple met Jane.

Epstein had funded a two-bedroom lodge, known as the Jeffrey Epstein Scholarship Lodge, at Interlochen in northern Michigan where parents, donors and other guests could stay.

The lodge’s name has now been changed to the Green Lake Lodge.

Who is the judge in charge of deciding the fate of Maxwell?

Thursday 2 December 2021 12:14 , Eleanor Sly

The trial of the sex trafficking case of Ghislaine Maxwell is being overseen by US District Judge Alison Nathan.

Judge Nathan is 48 years old and hails from Pennsylvania. She has decades of experience on high-profile cases and is reputed to be a tough litigator.

The Cornell Law School graduate spent a decade on the US District Court for the Southern District of New York, having been appointed to the District Court in 2011, by then President Barack Obama.

Before this, she served as an associate White House counsel and special assistant to Mr Obama. Later she served as a special counsel to New York State’s solicitor general.

Judge Nathan has denied Maxwell’s request for bail four times, even though Maxwell offered $28.5 million (£23m) in bond for her release.

She has also ruled against the defence on almost every objection they had to witnesses who were proposed by the prosecution.

Ghislaine Maxwell looking well despite conditions of detention, brother says

Thursday 2 December 2021 11:38 , Eleanor Sly

Ghislaine Maxwell’s brother has said she is “looking pretty well, notwithstanding the conditions of detention”, after day three of her sex trafficking trial.

Kevin Maxwell spoke to reporters after the hearing in the Southern District of New York and reiterated that her treatment is the subject of a formal complaint to the United Nations.

Previous hearings have heard that guards repeatedly flashed light into the 59-year-old’s cell, which her lawyers said may have led to her suffering a black eye.

Ghislaine Maxwell looking well despite conditions of detention, brother says

Maxwell a ‘master manipulator,’ says alleged victim

Thursday 2 December 2021 11:13 , Eleanor Sly

Teresa Helm, who says that she was sexually assaulted by Epstein at the age of 22, has called Ghislaine Maxwell a “master manipulator.”

In an interview with the BBC, she said that were it not for Maxwell, she “never would have walked [herself] into the home of a predator.”

She explained: ““If it were not for her, I never would have walked myself to the home of a predator.

“I was overwhelmed with excitement at the opportunity of working with this woman who had this beautiful, lovely home.

“Now I know for certain, this is part of the tactic of a master manipulator. This was part of her role.”

Ms Helm went on to add that the experience had “changed” her and “hurt [her] deeply.”

She explained: “I had gone and lived with this experience, which changed me and it hurt me deeply.

“It was a sense of me finally standing up to them and finally standing up for myself.”

Maxwell’s ‘little black book’ could be key piece of evidence in trial

Thursday 2 December 2021 10:25 , Eleanor Sly

Ghislaine Maxwell’s so-called “little black book” of addresses could be a key piece of evidence in the trial, legal experts have said.

According to TIME, the address book, known as Government Exhibit 52, has long been an object of interest in the case. Indeed, Maxwell and Epstein had links to numerous famous and influential people in the 1990s and early 2000s.

In 2015, Gawker published a copy of its contents, which included the names of world leaders, famous performers and business titans such as Donald Trump, Courtney Love and former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak.

If the book is admitted into evidence, the book’s role in the trial could be “significant,” says Jessica Roth, a professor at Cardozo Law and a former federal prosecutor.

“[Much of] this case is going to turn on the credibility of the victims, who will testify to the role that they claim Maxwell played in their [alleged] abuse,” reported TIME.

However, those wishing to know whether those names will appear in Maxwell’s trial via the alleged address book may be disappointed.

The Associated Press reported that the judge will only consider admitting the section under the heading “massage” into evidence. This is because it is thought to contain the names of the victims.

Witness’ former boyfriend says he was told about abuse in 2009

Thursday 2 December 2021 09:45 , Eleanor Sly

A former boyfriend of the alleged victim of Ghislaine Maxwell, known as “Jane” has testified that she told him about Epstein’s abuse in 2009.

The man, who went by the pseudonym “Matt”, dated “Jane” from 2006 to 2014 and said that his former girlfriend had "said that having a woman there made her feel more comfortable" during the encounters.

“Matt” said that he was not told that it was Maxwell until after she had been arrested in 2020.

“Jane” initially told her then-boyfriend of the abuse one year after Epstein had pleaded guilty to soliciting an underage girl for prostitution and served a one-year prison term in Florida.

Alleged Maxwell victim denies suggestion she is able to cry on demand

Thursday 2 December 2021 09:00 , Eleanor Sly

An alleged victim of Ghislaine Maxwell, who went by the name of “Jane”, was questioned over whether or not she is able to cry on demand as she is an actress.

The witness broke down in a federal court in the Southern District of New York on Wednesday as she disclosed that she wished the case would “all come to an end and I can move on with my life”.

She denied the suggestion that she is able to cry on demand saying: "No, not always. That’s not always how it works."

During her cross-examination of “Jane”, defence counsel Laura Menninger asked: "You are an actor who plays a fictional character for a living?"

"Yes," Jane replied.

"You are an actor who convincingly portrays someone else for a living."

"Yes."

"You have been an actor for a very long time."

"Yes."

"You are able to cry on command."

"No, not always. That’s not always how it works."

"But it’s a job you have trained for for a long time."

"Yes."

Being close to sister gave Kevin Maxwell ‘tremendous sense of relief'

Thursday 2 December 2021 08:25 , Eleanor Sly

Speaking outside court after day three of his sister Ghislaine Maxwell’s trial, Kevin Maxwell said to reporters: “On a personal note it gave me a tremendous sense of relief to be close to her, to see her in the flesh, even to be able to speak with her.

“That’s the first time I’ve spoken to her personally for over 500 days since her pre-trial detention started.

“To see her looking pretty well not withstanding the conditions of detention which are now the subject of a formal complaint to the United Nations committee on arbitrary detention.

“We respect the criminal justice system and process in this country and as a result we are not going to make any further comments while attending court and we won’t be answering any further questions - that’s out of respect for the process.”

What was Jeffrey Epstein’s ‘Lolita Express’?

Thursday 2 December 2021 07:50 , 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 has more:

What was Jeffrey Epstein’s ‘Lolita Express’?

Highlights from day three of Maxwell trial

Thursday 2 December 2021 07:00 , Stuti Mishra

The cross examination of the first victim to give her testimony in British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell’s trial concluded on Wednesday, revealing graphic details about a number of alleged incidents inside Jeffrey Epstein’s properties.

A witness who was identified only by the pseudonym “Jane” at times broke down in tears as she answered questions posed by Ms Maxwell’s defence, with the cross-examination trying to cast doubt on the story that Jane had shared a day before.

Defence attorney Laura Menninger tried to suggest she was from “a strong, loving family background” in order to contradict the argument that she was lured by the late financier and his partner Ms Maxwell into performing sexual acts.

She also suggested Jane was motivated by financial gains, with questions about the $5 million fund set up to compensate victims of Epstein’s sexual exploitation.

“I wish I would have never received that money in the first place,” Jane said, crying. “Hopefully this just puts it to an end and I can move on with my life,” she added.

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.”

The lawyer also grilled her on the irregularities in some of her statements, to which Jane replied saying “memory is not linear”. She was also questioned about a trip she said Epstein took with her to New York to see “The Lion King” on Broadway, when she was 14.

Ms Menninger countered it saying: “The Lion King did not come out until 1997?” After which Jane testified that she had been “incorrect in my timeline”.

An ex-boyfriend of Jane who testified as “Matt” said she told him that she had “a godfather, an uncle, a family friend-type person who helped her mom pay the bills," but never told him what she had to do to get the money.

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

How Duke of York got involved in Epstein’s case?

Thursday 2 December 2021 06:38 , Stuti Mishra

The Duke of York has been dragged into the sex-trafficking trial of Ghislaine Maxwell after being listed as a passenger on disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein’s private planes.

Jurors trying the case at the court in the Southern District of New York were told Andrew was one of a number of high-profile figures to fly on the aircraft, including former US presidents Donald Trump and Bill Clinton and actor Kevin Spacey.

British socialite Maxwell, who was described as “dangerous” during Monday’s proceedings, is accused of preying on vulnerable young girls and luring them to massage rooms to be molested by Epstein between 1994 and 2004.

On Tuesday, Epstein’s former pilot Larry Visoski told the court Maxwell was “number two” to her ex-partner, with the convicted sex offender “definitely the big number one”.

The witness also recalled meeting one of Epstein’s alleged victims, given the pseudonym “Jane”.

Duke of York dragged into Ghislaine Maxwell sex-trafficking trial

Maxwell ‘looking pretty well’, says brother

Thursday 2 December 2021 05:29 , Stuti Mishra

Ghislaine Maxwell’s brother has said she is “looking pretty well, notwithstanding the conditions of detention”, after day three of her sex trafficking trial.

Kevin Maxwell spoke to reporters after the hearing in the Southern District of New York and reiterated that her treatement was the subject of a formal complaint to the United Nations.

Previous hearings have heard that guards repeatedly flashed light into the 59-year-old’s cell, which her lawyers said may have led to her suffering a black eye.

The court was previously told by Maxwell’s defence counsel that “she has grown increasingly reluctant to report information to the guards for fear of retaliation, discipline and punitive chores”.

Ghislaine Maxwell looking well despite conditions of detention, brother says

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

Thursday 2 December 2021 04:48 , Stuti Mishra

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?

Who is Ghislaine Maxwell?

Thursday 2 December 2021 04:00 , Nathan Place

Ghislaine Maxwell was born in France in 1961, the youngest of nine children in a wealthy and well-connected family.

Her father, Robert, was a former Labour MP, owner of The Mirror in Britain and the Daily News in New York among other publications, and was accused of misappropriating his workers’ pension funds.

In 1991, Ms Maxwell met Epstein, who died in jail two years ago. They had been romantically involved and stayed close friends for decades.

Read more here:

Everything we know about Ghislaine Maxwell as trial begins

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

Thursday 2 December 2021 03:30 , Nathan Place

The pilot of the so-called “Lolita Express” testified during the trial of Ghislaine Maxwell that he flew presidents, princes and Hollywood stars on Jeffrey Epstein’s private jets for 30 years.

Larry Visoski told the court on Tuesday that he remembered Prince Andrew, Bill Clinton, Donald Trump, and Kevin Spacey being among the passengers.

Mr Visoski name-dropped the high-profile passengers, along with actor Chris Tucker and violinist Itzhak Perlman, when asked during cross-examination if he remembered them specifically.

Read more here:

Epstein’s pilot says Prince Andrew, Bill Clinton and Trump flew on ‘Lolita Express’

How did Ghislaine Maxwell meet Jeffrey Epstein?

Thursday 2 December 2021 02:30 , Nathan Place

Ghislaine 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.

During the 1990s the couple socialised with Donald Trump and Bill Clinton, as well as Prince Andrew, with Ms Maxwell flying on Epstein’s private jets and staying at his homes, before settling in a $5m New York townhouse.

Federal prosecutors allege that Ms Maxwell first helped Epstein in his sexual exploitation of underage girls in 1994, with Annie Farmer, then 16, alleging she was lured to Epstein’s ranch in New Mexico.

Read more here:

How did Ghislaine Maxwell meet Jeffrey Epstein?

Ghislaine Maxwell trial: Key accuser ‘Jane’ recalls meeting Trump at Mar-a-Lago with Epstein during gruelling cross-examination

Thursday 2 December 2021 11:22 , Eleanor Sly

The key prosecution witness in Ghislaine Maxwell’s sex trafficking trial told a federal court in New York how Jeffrey Epstein had driven her to Mar-a-Lago to meet Donald Trump when she was just 14 years old.

The accuser, testifying under the pseudonym “Jane”, faced a gruelling cross-examination by Ms Maxwell’s defence team on the third day of her trial.

A day earlier Jane had described in vivid detail being subjected to years of sexual abuse by Epstein at properties in Palm Beach, New York and New Mexico between the ages of 14 and 16, and how Ms Maxwell had joined in on multiple occasions.

Bevan Hurley reports:

Ghislaine Maxwell accuser recalls meeting Donald Trump at Mar-a-Lago with Epstein

Ghislaine Maxwell trial: Who are the key courtroom figures?

Thursday 2 December 2021 12:08 , 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 has more:

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

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

Thursday 2 December 2021 01:30 , Nathan Place

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.

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.

Read more here:

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

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