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Ghislaine Maxwell trial – live: Socialite’s ‘little black book’ to remain secret – The Independent

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Ghislaine Maxwell is “unlikely” to testify in her defence as she is “too fragile” her family’s spokesman told The Telegraph.
The socialite’s family and friends are concerned about how the 59-year-old would hold up in the witness box.
The defence is due to begin its case on Thursday after the prosecution rested last week.
It comes as the socialite’s “little black book” containing the names and addresses of nearly 2,000 wealthy and powerful figures will remain secret.
Ms Maxwell’s defence attorneys came to an agreement with prosecutors over the weekend not to release the 97-page directory to the public.
Judge Alison Nathan had previously said she wanted to avoid “needless” namedropping during the trial.
The book was filled with contact details of Ms Maxwell and Jeffrey Epstein’s famous friends, including Prince Andrew, Bill Clinton and Donald Trump, and had been mentioned sporadically during her sex-trafficking trial.
Prince Andrew, Mr Clinton and others mentioned in the directory have denied all accusations they were involved in any alleged sexual abuse.
Ms Maxwell’s attorneys have said they plan to call up to 35 witnesses when her defence opens on Thursday, including three who have requested to testify anonymously.
The court has heard harrowing details of the alleged crimes of Ghislaine Maxwell and her former partner Jeffrey Epstein. Here is a round up of some of the trial’s key moment’s as the court prepares to hear the defence’s case later this week.
Maxwell ‘preyed on vulnerable young girls’
Prosecutor Lara Pomerantz called Ms Maxwell a predator who preyed on young girls, in her opening statement.
“She preyed on vulnerable young girls, manipulated them, and served them up to be sexually abused,” the prosecutor said.
But the defence said Ms Maxwell was being scapegoated because Epstein was no longer alive.
Epstein’s pilot flew a prince and presidents
Larry Visoski, Epstein’s long time pilot, was the first witness of the case and revealed how he flew VIPs including Prince Andrew to luxury destinations across the world.
Defence alleges key accuser of acting
One of the four Maxwell accusers gave evidence of how Epstein abused her when she was 14 and accused Maxwell of showing her how Epstein liked to be massaged.
The defence accused the woman, who is using the pseudonym Jane, of lying and said she could “cry on command” because she is an actor for a living.
Accuser testifies about ‘hundreds’ of Epstein encounters
Carolyn, another accuser to take the stand, said Ms Maxwell had set her up for massages with Epstein “hundreds of times” when she was between the ages of 14 and 18.
“Something sexual happened every single time,” she told the court.
Maxwell ‘dressed accuser as schoolgirl for Epstein’
A British woman using the pseudonym Kate, cried as she told the court how Epstein abused her when she was 14 and on one occasion Maxwell allegedly laid out a schoolgirl outfit on her bed and said: “I thought it would be fun for you to take Jeffrey his tea in this outfit.”
Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell palled around with presidents, movie stars and royalty, hosting household names aboard private jets and at palatial properties all over the world.
Those decades-long connections are forming a key role in Ms Maxwell’s trial for sex-trafficking at the federal courthouse in Manhattan.
Ms Maxwell would frequently boast of her close friendships with Bill Clinton, Prince Andrew and Donald Trump, her accusers have testified.
Read the full story below for more details:
Maxwell’s accusers have testified they found her famous connections both alluring and intimidating
Court artist Jane Rosenberg, who has over four decades of covering notorious trials, was the topic of discussion this month when sketches showed Ghislaine Maxwell drawing her as she drew the socialite.
Speaking to the Guardian, Ms Rosenberg said on the drawing: “I don’t know, and I’m not going to try to read her mind. Maybe she was just bored coming out of her jail cell. I know her sister sometimes also sketches in court. Maybe the Maxwell family just likes to sketch in their free time.”
She and another artist, Liz Williams, were sketching Maxwell one day during a pre-trial motion when they noticed that Maxwell, was drawing them back. She and the British socialite have since become “sketching buddies” of sorts, Rosenberg says. Maxwell waves to her sometimes. Once she mouthed something, and Rosenberg realized she was saying: “Long day, isn’t it?”
Amanda Knox, who was wrongfully convicted of murder in 2009, said that the Ghislaine Maxwell trial is giving her “flashbacks” of her own trial.
“It’s not every day that a prominent man accused of heinous wrongdoing is put on trial while the world sits captivated,” Knox, who was accused of killing her British roommate Meredith Kercher in 2007, wrote in a piece Monday on Bari Weiss’s Substack channel, Common Sense. “It’s even rarer when that person is a woman. Right now, there are two of them—Elizabeth Holmes and Ghislaine Maxwell—and it’s giving me flashbacks.”
Knox and her former boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito, were convicted of the murder and sexual assault of her former roommate, Kercher. She was acquitted in 2011 after spending four years in custody. The murder conviction was reinstated in 2014, but she was definitively acquitted by Italy’s highest court in 2015.
With the prosecution resting its case and the defence due to start on Thursday, there’s time to get up to speed with the key moments of the Ghislaine Maxwell sex abuse trial and the events leading up to it.
In summary, Maxwell, a socialite, has denied allegations from multiple women that she helped the millionaire Jeffrey Epstein sexually abuse underage girls. Her lawyers say she’s being wrongly targeted by prosecutors on a vendetta to hold someone accountable after Epstein killed himself while awaiting trial on related sex-abuse charges.
Read below for the full details:
The prosecution has made its case against Ghislaine Maxwell
Ghislaine Maxwell is unlikely to testify in her defence as she is “too fragile” the family’s spokesman told The Telegraph.
Maxwell’s friends and family said they are concerned about how the 59-year-old would hold up in the witness box. Her defence team will begin presenting its case on Thursday and it has already requested that potential witnesses be able to remain anonymous because they “might get a lot of unwanted attention” testifying on Maxwell’s behalf.
The government has opposed the defence request that three defence witnesses testify by their first names or a pseudonym, according to subsequent court filings.
Ghislaine Maxwell
The trial started on 29 November and was originally projected to last six weeks. However, the prosecution rested earlier than expected, leaving the defence to bring their case forward from Thursday.
The whole trial, therefore, could be over before Christmas.
Maxwell was initially arrested in July 2020, a year after Epstein killed himself. She has spent over a year in prison now lodged in federal lockup in Brooklyn. Her attorneys and family have lambasted jail conditions, which they say are punitive and inhospitable to Maxwell‘s ability to mount a proper defense.
A lawyer for the Duke of York has argued for the civil claim against the royal to be thrown out by claiming that the woman who has accused him of sexual assault has a “tortured interpretation” of the law.
Hollywood-based lawyer Andrew Brettler is known for having represented many high-profile people that had been accused of sexual assault.
He stated that Virginia Giuffre – who is suing the Queen’s son for alleged sexual assault – has said that some of the offences fall outside the jurisdiction of the New York Child Victims Act (CVA) that she is relying on because they happened outside New York state.
Our reporter Lamiat Sabin has the full story below:
The lawyer suggested that no one can corroborate claimant’s allegations against the royal
“When women are accused of sexual offenses, they are frequently accused of participating in abuse with a male co-offender, like the case involving Maxwell and Epstein,” writes Poco Kernsmith, a professor at Wayne State University in Michigan whose primary research includes sexual violence prevention.
“Indeed, it is estimated that 40 percent of women accused of sexual abuse did so with a co-offender,” she continues. “Women may be involved by recruiting victims into abusive situations. This can occur though manipulation or coercion, or by grooming the victims by providing a sense of safety. Female offenders may also participate in sexually abusing victims in front of, or at the same time as, the male abuser, or watching the abuse. Ghislaine Maxwell is accused of all of these.”
Read more here:
When women are accused of sexual offenses, the details are often significantly different to their male counterparts
Prosecutors have portrayed the intimate relationship between socialite Ghislaine Maxwell and disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein as an essential part of their alleged predatory behaviour.
Two of the four women to testify have described how the pair would laugh and fool around with each other like doting teenagers.
But were the duo actually in a romantic relationship as painted by the prosecutors.
Bevan Hurley has more:
Duo appeared to be romantic partners to the young girls who were lured into their orbit, but even those who knew the pair for decades seemed unsure of the true nature of their relationship
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An undated photo shows Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell
U.S. Attorney’s Office/Reuters
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