Trial of Ghislaine Maxwell, Epstein's alleged fixer, opens in New York
Eva Deschamps / November 30, 2021
Two years after the suicide in prison of the billionaire Jeffrey Epstein, accused of sexual crimes, the trial of his ex-girlfriend Ghislaine Maxwell, accused of having recruited underage girls for the financier and his entourage, begins Monday in New York.
The daughter of newspaper magnate Robert Maxwell, 59, has been in prison in the United States since the summer of 2020 and faces life imprisonment at the end of proceedings that will last six weeks. Her lawyers arrived shortly before 09:00 at the federal court building in Manhattan. An alleged victim of Jeffrey Epstein, Sarah Ransome, was also present, AFP reporters noted. According to the complex American criminal system, the trial had technically begun in mid-November with the selection of the 12 jurors, a procedure that was still to be completed Monday morning. Ghislaine Maxwell, dark-haired woman, elegant and smiling on the last photos at the height of her glory, is today described by the FBI and the prosecutors as a villain cultivating the art of manipulation. This ultra-mundane is suspected of having played the role of procurer by recruiting between 1994 and 2004 young underage girls sexually exploited for the account of Jeffrey Epstein.
Ms. Maxwell was in a romantic, friendly and professional relationship with him for nearly 30 years, until he was incarcerated and committed suicide in prison in 2019. The Franco-British-American says she is innocent and pleads not guilty to all six charges. She is not expected to speak at the hearing. My clients hope that she will be found guilty of all charges and that she will spend the rest of her days in prison, said in court Lisa Bloom, lawyer for several alleged victims of Jeffrey Epstein, including one also of Ghislaine Maxwell. For my client who knew Ghislaine Maxwell, there would not have been Jeffrey Epstein without Ghislaine Maxwell.
For her, Ghislaine Maxwell was like a drug dealer who brought her drugs to Epstein, and her drugs were young girls, she added. The accused, who lived and grew up in hyper-privileged environments, has been complaining for 18 months about her conditions of detention in a Brooklyn prison. In mid-November, she denounced via her lawyers in the British newspaper Mail on Sunday assaults for a year and a half, the fact of being deprived of sleep and having only spoiled food.