Status: 11/29/2021 3:32 p.m.
Ghislaine Maxwell was the confidante of the late multimillionaire Epstein. She is said to have helped him abuse minors. The trial of Maxwell started today.
It wasn’t long ago that Ghislaine Maxwell was a fixture on Manhattan’s luxury party scene. A few years ago, “Vanity Fair” raved about her as the “most interesting, spirited and unusual person” at these celebrations for the rich and famous. But those times are over. Maxwell has been in prison in Brooklyn since the summer of 2020.
“Difficult conditions for Ghislaine in prison”
Her lawyer David Markus failed four times to get her released on bail: “The conditions are very, very difficult for Ghislaine in prison. Conditions that you don’t even wish your worst enemy. She is treated terribly there. Because of the carelessness of Jeffrey Epstein. That is not right and not fair. It’s all because of that terrible Epstein Effect. “
Epstein was found hanged in his prison cell in August 2019 – shortly before he was due to appear in court. For decades, the wealthy New York investment banker is said to have abused underage girls and operated a prostitution ring on his various estates in the United States. And it is alleged that his partner and right-hand man Maxwell played a central role.
They are said to have lured girls into a trap
New York prosecutor Strauss says: “Maxwell was one of the closest confidants and helped Epstein abuse girls, some of whom were only 14 years old. She helped him recruit and make them compliant. In some cases they even participated in the abuse. “
The allegations relate to the years 1994 to 2004. During this period Maxwell and Epstein systematically lured minors into the trap: “They made friends with the young women, invited them to the cinema or on shopping trips,” said Strauss. Maxwell persuaded them to accept Epstein’s gifts so that they would feel indebted to him. And then she acted on the girls until the sexual abuse seemed normal to them. This procedure is known as “grooming”.
Four key witnesses in court
Maxwell denies doing anything illegal. In order to prove otherwise, the public prosecutor has called in four key witnesses. You and the other alleged victims are likely to see the trial as a last chance for justice.
Like Maria Farmer, for example, who filed the first criminal complaint against Epstein in 1996: “I was out in the car with Ghislaine a few times,” says Farmer. “She said she was looking for models. The driver then had to stop abruptly at schools or parks. Then she ran up to girls and exchanged phone numbers with them. And a few days later I got these girls in seen her house. “
Hope Maxwell will be convicted
But it was not until 2008 that Epstein had to answer for the first time in court: At that time it was about the allegations of 24 minors. The process ended with a deal that continues to raise questions to this day: After 13 months of being at large during the day, Epstein was released.
Until investigators in New York opened the case again and arrested him in 2019. There was no more trial. Which is why Virginia Giuffre is now hoping that at least Maxwell will be convicted: “She is a monster. She is worse than Epstein. She was diabolical and evil. And she is a woman.”
Giuffre also accuses the British Prince Andrew of having molested her as a minor and has filed a civil lawsuit. When she was 17, she was “loaned” by Epstein to Prince Andrew. Epstein’s friends are said to have included ex-US presidents Donald Trump and Bill Clinton and Microsoft founder Bill Gates. Concrete allegations against them are not known in this context.
The trial against Epstein’s alleged girl-catcher Ghislaine Maxwell
Peter Mücke, ARD New York, 11/29/2021 3:05 p.m.