Ghislaine Maxwell trial – live: Victim calls Maxwell ‘engineer of Epstein’s abuse’ as trial resumes today

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·10-min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Ghislaine Maxwell
    Ghislaine Maxwell
    Socialite
  • Jeffrey Epstein
    American financier
File. Ghislaine Maxwell pictured with Jeffrey Epstein's PA, Sarah Kellen (US Department of Justice)
File. Ghislaine Maxwell pictured with Jeffrey Epstein's PA, Sarah Kellen (US Department of Justice)

The trial of Ghislaine Maxwell, a British socialite and former partner of Jeffrey Epstein, is set to resume today.

Ms Maxwell, 59, is accused of grooming teenage girls for abuse by the late convicted sex-offender and financier. She has pleaded not guilty to all charges against her.

The trial at a federal district court in Manhattan is expected to last six weeks. It was adjourned for the weekend in New York City on Friday.

Last week, prosecutors brought a green massage table in front of the jurors and one survivor claimed in her testimony that Epstein routinely used massages as a pretext for sex abuse.

One of the sexual abuse survivors, Sarah Ransome — who says she was repeatedly raped by Epstein over a nine-month period — described Ms Maxwell as a “very sick woman” who took pleasure in “humiliating” her victims.

Ms Ransome said: “Ghislaine enjoyed humiliating us. You could see the enjoyment in her face.”

Meanwhile, defence attorney Bobbi Sternheim said on the first day of the trial last week: “The charges against Ghislaine Maxwell are for things that Jeffrey Epstein did, but she is not Jeffrey Epstein.”

If Ms Maxwell is found guilty, she could face up to 35 years in jail.

Read More

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

How Ghislaine Maxwell met Jeffrey Epstein

Epstein’s massage table brought into court on fifth day of Ghislaine Maxwell trial

‘You could see the enjoyment in her face’: Ghislaine Maxwell accuser describes her as a ‘very sick woman’

Key Points

  • Prosecutors say Maxwell created a ‘culture of silence’

  • Epstein’s former pilot reveals names of his celeb guests

  • Victim calls Maxwell ‘engineer’ of Jeffrey Epstein’s abuse

  • What we’ve learned so far from inside the courtroom

Epstein’s island: What really happened there?

12:50 , 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 reports:

Epstein’s island: What really happened there?

Palm Beach police sergeant to continue testifying on Monday

11:59 , Eleanor Sly

The trial of Ghislaine Maxwell will enter its second week of testimony in federal court today in Manhattan, with the first witness of the week expected to be Michael Dawson.

Mr Dawson was the final witness to testify last week and is a Palm Beach police sergeant who participated in a search of a South Florida estate owned by Jeffrey Epstein in October 2005.

Mr Dawson said that authorities seized two massage tables and a number of sex toys.

Epstein’s Manhattan house was searched some years later in 2019.

According to prosecutors, “schoolgirl costumes, small ones, were found in the same floor of the house as a massage room where an underage girl was sexually abused.”

They say the evidence is “highly probative” of Epstein’s predatory interest in teenage minors.

Ghislaine Maxwell trial: Who are the key courtroom figures?

11:00 , 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 reports:

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

Epstein employment ‘slavery’ says former housekeeper

10:30 , Eleanor Sly

Juan Patricio Alessi, the former housekeeper to Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell, said that having to be at Epstein’s Palm Beach residence 24 hours a da was “slavery.”

The 72 year old was asked what he had to do when Epstein was at his house in Palm Beach, Maxwell’s defence counsel Jeffrey Pagliuca asked him: “When he was there, you had to be there 24 hours a day, correct?”

Mr Alessi responded: “Yes, it was slavery.”

The former housekeeper was also asked whether or not he would take instructions directly from Epstein. Mr Alessi replied that he would always get directions from Maxwell because “she was my immediate superior”.

He added: “He had very little contact with me in the later years.”

Ghislaine Maxwell’s trial feels disturbingly familiar

09:20 , Eleanor Sly

The women never have names. Not their real ones, anyway. When the time comes to stand in the courtroom and relive their past traumas, a lot of them choose pseudonyms.

They do it to protect their present and future selves. They do it to preserve their careers, their personal lives. They do it so that people won’t be able to look them up.

They do it because they know the world isn’t kind to those who say they were the victims of sexual crimes.

Clémence Michallon writes:

Ghislaine Maxwell’s trial feels disturbingly familiar | Clémence Michallon

Why is the trial not being televised?

08:19 , Eleanor Sly

Television broadcasts have allowed scores of people to witness the trial and acquittal of Kyle Rittenhouse, who killed two people during a Wisconsin protest, so why is Ghislaine Maxwell’s sex trafficking trial not being broadcast too?

In fact there are specific rules which govern what goes on in different courts, with the rules in federal court particularly strict when it comes to the broadcast of cases.

Under rule 53 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, the broadcast of criminal cases has been barred.

Rules are slightly different in county courts, with the state court in Wisconsin (where Mr Rittenhouse’s trial was held) allowing recording devices and cameras in the courtroom since 1979.

Televised trials also face criticism around concerns over whether or not broadcasting a trial could have an effect on how trial participants behave.

Ruth Ann Strickland a former government and justice studies professor at Appalachian State University wrote for the First Amendment Encyclopedia: "Some witnesses fidget nervously before cameras, possibly harming their credibility with jurors.”

In the Maxwell case, there is another concern around keeping the identity a secret of those who testify against Maxwell.

Judge Alison J. Nathan ruled courtroom artists will not even be allowed to sketch the accusers, The New York Times reported. Meanwhile, accusers are allowed to testify under pseudonyms.

How Ghislaine Maxwell met Jeffrey Epstein

07:38 , 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. The trial is set to beging on Monday, 29 November.

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.

Graeme Massie has more:

How Ghislaine Maxwell met Jeffrey Epstein

Expert says defence to keep the spotlight on Epstein

07:04 , Maroosha Muzaffar

Deborah Tuerkheimer, a professor of law at Northwestern University says that in an effort to make Ghislaine Maxwell ‘Eve’ to Jeffrey Epstein’s ‘Adam,’ — “we can expect the defence to do whatever it can to keep the spotlight on his manipulative, grooming behaviour.”

During the opening statements, Ms Maxwell’s lawyer — Bobbi Sternheim — had said: “Ever since Eve was tempting Adam with the apple, women have been blamed for the bad behaviour of men.” She added: “She is not Jeffrey Epstein, she is not like Jeffrey Epstein.”

Ms Tuerkheimer was quoted by NBC as saying that the “defence has signalled its intention to make Epstein central to this trial. By portraying him as charismatic, well-connected, almost larger than life, her team may well be hoping to make Maxwell disappear into the background. Epstein’s star-studded life of fame and riches can grab the jury’s attention and focus, increasing the odds that Maxwell appears as a merely peripheral figure in the story.”

ICYMI: Prosecutors say Maxwell created a ‘culture of silence’

06:26 , Maroosha Muzaffar

Prosecutors at the Ghislaine Maxwell trial accused the former partner of now-dead sex offender Jeffrey Epstein of fostering a “culture of silence” to hide his crimes.

Prosecutors said that Epstein ordered the construction of a detached staff quarter, surrounded by a tall wall, so as to hide the view of the main mansion from them.

Juan Alessi, the former housekeeper of Epstein’s mansion in Palm Beach, Florida also testified that it was “a kind of warning that I was supposed to be blind, deaf and dumb, to say nothing of their lives.”

The trial of Ghislaine Maxwell who faces six charges — one each of enticement of a minor to travel to engage in illegal sex acts, transportation of a minor with intent to engage in illegal sex acts, sex trafficking of a minor, and three counts of conspiracy related to the other counts — resumes today.

Read the full story here:

Scenes from Week 1 of Ghislaine Maxwell's sex-abuse trial

ICYMI: Epstein’s former pilot reveals names of his celeb guests

05:55 , Maroosha Muzaffar

Jeffrey Epstein’s former pilot, Lawrence Paul Visoski Jr. revealed names of several celebrities including Hollywood stars who were guests on the financier’s plane.

During the trial, when questioned by Ghislaine Maxwell’s attorney, he named several celebs like Kevin Spacey, Prince Andrew, Bill Clinton and Donald Trump.

He worked for Epstein between 1991 and 2019.

Mr Visoski Jr said that Ms Maxwell was the “number two” and that Epstein himself was the “big number one” of his operations.

The trial of Ghislaine Maxwell resumes today at a federal district court in Manhattan.

Read the full story here:

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

ICYMI: Epstein housekeeper calls Maxwell ‘lady of the house’

05:17 , Maroosha Muzaffar

During the ongoing trial of Ghislaine Maxwell, the housekeeper of Jeffrey Epstein recalled finding sex toys inside his Palm Beach, Florida mansion.

Juan Alessi, over several hours of his testimony last week said that Ms Maxwell was the “lady of the house” and described the years working for the sex offender.

Mr Alessi also said that he found pornographic tapes and a black leather costume at Epstein’s mansion.

He told the court on Thursday that the now-dead financier would get massages up to three times a day, always by a woman.

Read the full story here:

Epstein housekeeper says he drove accuser ‘Jane’ to Epstein’s Palm Beach mansion

What we’ve learned so far from inside the courtroom

04:41 , Maroosha Muzaffar

Ghislaine Maxwell, the British socialite and former partner of Jeffrey Epstein, faces six charges in the ongoing trial — one each of enticement of a minor to travel to engage in illegal sex acts, transportation of a minor with intent to engage in illegal sex acts, sex trafficking of a minor, and three counts of conspiracy related to the other counts.

After the trial was adjourned for the weekend in New York City, it resumes today in a federal district court in Manhattan.

Read the full story here:

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

Victim calls Maxwell ‘engineer’ of Jeffrey Epstein’s abuse

04:30 , Maroosha Muzaffar

One of the accusers in court last week labelled Ghislaine Maxwell as a “very sick woman” and called her an “engineer” of Jeffrey Epstein’s abuse.

Sarah Ransome, who says she was repeatedly raped by Epstein over a period of nine months, said that one could see “the enjoyment in her face” as the 59-year-old humiliat[ed]” her alleged victims.

Read the full article here:

Ghislaine Maxwell accuser calls her a ‘sick woman’ and ‘engineer’ of Epstein’s abuse

03:33 , Maroosha Muzaffar

Good morning and welcome to The Independent’s coverage of the Ghislaine Maxwell trial.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting