Ghislaine Maxwell: crunch time for Mrs. Epstein

  • The trial against the partner, friend and associate of the sexual predator Jeffrey Epstein begins this Monday in New York

  • In the next six weeks, it will be addressed whether, between 1994 and 2004, when she had a relationship with the billionaire, she conspired with him to traffic minors

The of Ghislaine Maxwell It was for 58 years a perfect life for the chronicles of high society or the coated paper: she was born in France in the golden cradle that the British publishing magnate created for herself and her eight siblings Robert Maxwell; he was educated in the elite of Oxford; he maintained contacts in London and New York with the best of politics, academia, business and even royalty and lived with an intense social agenda in which he displayed what has been described as intelligence, charm, sense of humor and security in itself … It was a life of mansions, parties and galas; of trips in private planes, money, luxury restaurants and designer clothes and even a philanthropic adventure to raise awareness about the oceans that led him to collaborate with the United Nations.

In this woman’s private universe, however, there was something infinitely murkier and darker: recruiting and grooming underage girls to sexually abuse them. Jeffrey Epstein, who for a time was his partner and then remained as a friend and property manager. That is at least what Maxwell is accused of in a criminal trial that starts tomorrow in New York, a trial surrounded by expectation.

Popular jury

Her guilt or innocence in four of the six charges that the prosecution imputed to her after locating and arresting her 16 months ago in the idyllic New Hampshire enclave in which she had taken refuge will be decided by 12 members of a popular jury. Specifically – and after two counts of perjury have been postponed for a later trial – in the next six weeks it will be addressed whether between 1994 and 2004, when he had a relationship with Epstein, Maxwell conspired with him to traffic in minors (although a she was legally of the age of consent in the UK) and prepared them for “sexualized massages”.

The prosecution assures that she “He played a key role in helping Epstein identify, befriend and groom minor victims” and “in some cases he participated in the abuse.” It also states that “Maxwell’s presence during the minor victims’ interactions with Epstein, including those in which the victim was undressed or included sexual acts with Epstein, helped to relax the victims because an adult female was present.”

Pyramid scheme of abuse

It is inevitable to see something more than his own trial in the Maxwell trial, who insists on his innocence and in a hearing on November 1, declared: “I have not committed any crime.” Because when Epstein’s body appeared lifeless in the Manhattan cell where the financier awaited his trial in 2019, the piece of sheet with which the authorities say he committed suicide also drowned the hope that the scope of that plot would be known. he has come to compare it with “a pyramid scheme of abuse” and, also, all those involved. Having Maxwell in the dock gives some victims the hope that justice can be done and, for the rest of those who follow the case with interest, that one can glimpse more of the secrets that Epstein took to the grave.

It is not clear, in any case, how far the revelations will go because the process, chaired by Judge Alison Nathan, will be very focused, at least on paper, on the specific charges.

The four women on whose cases the charges are based will pass the podium. These victims, as the magistrate has allowed to be named in the trial despite the defense attempts to prevent it, will be able to testify under a pseudonym (although one of them has been publicly identified) and without even being portrayed in the illustrations made by artists in the living room.

These are protection measures for four women who must be mentally prepared to be subjected to an aggressive defense campaign for the accused. Their lawyers have managed to get the judge to accept the testimony of a psychologist, to whom they resorted among others Harvey Weinstein and OJ Simpson, which defends a controversial thesis of how memories and memories can be altered.

“Desire for money”

The defense has also made it clear that it will try to undermine the credibility of women. “His new memories of abuse, without corroboration, are not based so much on the truth or desire for justice as on the desire for money,” said in one of the previews one of Maxwell’s lawyers, who has tried to include in the I process information about the payments the four have accepted from the victims compensation fund that was established after Epstein’s death with his money, a fund that has already paid out $ 121 million to 138 people.

For those Maxwell lawyers, as well as for his family, the whole process represents an injustice. They assure that she is not on that bench for her crimes, but for Epstein’s. They deny that there can be a fair trial for a woman who, they say, has already been condemned in the media. And they have also repeatedly tried to make her a victim, but of the penal system.

“Maxwell’s defense has made it clear that he will try to undermine the credibility of the victims”

Related news

The focus of his complaint has been in the conditions in which Maxwell has spent the last 16 months of his life, in a cell at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn, where he has spent time in solitary confinement and under strict surveillance that they assure him prevents sleep. One of his lawyers has come to compare these conditions, without irony, with those of Hannibal Lecter in ‘The Silence of the Lambs’ and this week the brothers even appealed to the United Nations.

For now, in any case, Maxwell will continue to stay there and be moved by the police to court in lower Manhattan each day of the trial. At least four times the judge has already denied the request that he be released on bail, accepting the arguments that he represents a flight risk due to his ties to abroad (he has French and British passports as well as the United States) and because of his situation. economical. Because, although Maxwell declared that she had less than a million dollars in the bank when she was arrested, prosecutors have identified more than 15 accounts associated with her since 2016, with balances ranging from hundreds of thousands of dollars to 20 million.

Leave a Comment