GHISLAINE Maxwell’s alleged victims include a British actress and a US soap opera star, a court heard.
Prosecutors argue she “served up” young girls to Epstein as part of a pyramid scheme of abuse as she appeared in court in New York.
Epstein and Maxwell rubbed shoulders with the world’s rich and famous – allegedly hiding in plain sight amid a web of sordid sex abuse.
Her lawyers deny all charges against her, argue she is being made a proxy for Epstein, and have painted the alleged victims as in it for the cash.
It was revealed in court yesterday that one of the three anonymous victims is a British actress, while another is a star on a US soap.
The third unidentified victim was also attacked by Maxwell’s defence team as having a “dangerous lifestyle”.
And the only publicly named victim of the three is Annie Farmer, the sister of another Epstein victim Maria Farmer.
Maxwell’s lawyer Bobbi Sternheim claimed “ever since Eve, women have been blamed for the evil deeds of men”.
She said: “Ghislaine Maxwell is not Jeffrey Epstein or any of the other men, moguls and media giants who abuse women.”
The defence will attempt to argue that she is a “scapegoat” and are expected to hinge much of their case on going after the victims.
“The government is trying to stitch together four different story,” Sternheim said.
“But the only common denominator is they got big payouts. These are paper cut-outs. The charges are not supported.”
However, the prosecution paint a very different picture of Ghislaine as instrumental in Epstein’s web of money, sex and lies.
Lawyers called the 59-year-old Brit heiress a “dangerous predator” and said she and Epstein were “partners in crime”.
She preyed on vulnerable young girls, manipulated them and served them up to be sexually abused
Maxwell is alleged to have snared girls as young as 14 into a “nightmare” after promising them “the world”.
She is accused of walking girls into Epstein’s liar where she watched as he molested them – and sometimes even joined in.
Opening the case against Maxwell, prosecutor Lara Pomerantz said: “The defendant helped Epstein find those girls, she helped him recruit those girls for so-called massages.
“She preyed on vulnerable young girls, manipulated them and served them up to be sexually abused.
“But was happening in those massage rooms was not massage. Those girls were not professional masseuses. They were kids being sexually exploited and abused.”
Pomerantz explained that Maxwell and Epstein had been in a relationship but remained “the best of friends” after they split.
Through the financier, Maxwell was able to maintain a luxurious lifestyle.
“She was involved in every detail of Epstein’s life. During the ten years, they committed these crimes together. She was the lady of the house,” she said.
Epstein’s pilot Lawrence ‘Larry’ Paul Visoski Jr was called to stand as the prosecution’s first witness, and testified the couple had a relationship “more personal than business”.
He added however he he wouldn’t “categorise it as romantic”, saying it was “couple-ish” but never witnessed them kiss or hold hands.
The exact charges against Maxwell are:
- Conspiracy to entice minors to travel to engage in illegal sex acts
- Enticement of a minor to travel to engage in illegal sex acts
- Conspiracy to transport minors with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity
- Transportation of a minor with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity
- Sex trafficking conspiracy
- Sex trafficking of a minor
The pilot said Maxwell would manage Epstein’s households – including hiring staff and decorating his homes.
Epstein killed himself while awaiting trial for sex trafficking in August 2019.
She also faces two other charges of perjury over allegations she lied in a deposition in a separate civil suit, but these will be tried separately.
It is unknown if Ghislaine’s friend Andrew – who vehemently denies separate allegations that he slept with a 17-year-old trafficking victim – will be mentioned in the case.
Maxwell was arrested suddenly in July 2020 by the FBI after being accused of going into hiding over the allegations.
She was detained as she was deemed a flight risk and was repeatedly denied bail.
Daughter of disgraced newspaper mogul Robert Maxwell, Ghislaine was born into a life of wealth and raised at the 53-room mansion Headington Hill Hall.
Working in various roles at her dad’s companies – including as a director of Oxford United – she became a prominent socialite in London.
Her father died in 1991 after apparently falling from his yacht – named the Lady Ghislaine.
It is from this point, it is claimed the Maxwell grew closer with Epstein and the abuse is alleged to have begun in the 90s.
Epstein was first convicted of sex offences in 2008 on a single charge of soliciting prostitution from girls as young as 14.
Some 11 years later, the cops finally charged him with a wider conspiracy for trafficking minors in Florida and New York.