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Ghislaine Maxwell trial – latest: Accuser sobs while recounting Epstein abuse and says she met Trump at 14

Watch live as Ghislaine Maxwell trial continues in New York City

Day three of the trial of British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell has concluded in New York City, as the 59-year-old answers to charges related to her alleged involvement in financier Jeffrey Epstein’s sex crimes.

Cross-examination of her first accuser, who is identified only as “Jane”, took up much of the day with defence lawyer Laura Menninger picking at inconsistencies between her testimony and notes from initial interviews given to the FBI.

On Tuesday, “Jane” had given graphic testimony about her abuse by Epstein from the age of 14, saying that Ms Maxwell not only groomed her for it but also participated. Concluding her testimony in tears on Wednesday she said the first instance of abuse was so clear in her memory as it was when her life changed forever.

Her ex-boyfriend, “Matt” gave a brief testimony saying that “Jane” had told him about Epstein’s financial support, that “the money was not free”, and that a woman had been present. He was not cross-examined.

At the close of proceedings on Wednesday a final witness from the Interlochen school, where “Jane” says she first met Epstein and Ms Maxwell, confirmed the late financier was a major donor.

The court had previously heard from Epstein’s longtime pilot Larry Visoski who said passengers on his boss’ private plane included Bill Clinton, Prince Andrew, Donald Trump, and Kevin Spacey. Mr Visoski also said he never saw either Ms Maxwell or Epstein being inappropriate with a minor in 30 years.

Ms Maxwell, who spent decades rubbing shoulders with British royals and US presidents, is accused of recruiting and grooming underage girls for the late disgraced financier to sexually abuse between 1994 and 2004.

The daughter of the late media mogul Robert Maxwell, Ms Maxwell faces the prospect of up to 35 years of jail if she is found guilty. The trial is expected to last six weeks.


Alleged Maxwell victim denies suggestion she is able to cry on demand

An alleged victim of Ghislaine Maxwell, who went by the name of “Jane”, was questioned over whether or not she is able to cry on demand as she is an actress.

The witness broke down in a federal court in the Southern District of New York on Wednesday as she disclosed that she wished the case would “all come to an end and I can move on with my life”.

She denied the suggestion that she is able to cry on demand saying: "No, not always. That’s not always how it works."

During her cross-examination of “Jane”, defence counsel Laura Menninger asked: "You are an actor who plays a fictional character for a living?"

"You are an actor who convincingly portrays someone else for a living."

"You have been an actor for a very long time."

"You are able to cry on command."

"No, not always. That’s not always how it works."

"But it’s a job you have trained for for a long time."


Being close to sister gave Kevin Maxwell ‘tremendous sense of relief'

Speaking outside court after day three of his sister Ghislaine Maxwell’s trial, Kevin Maxwell said to reporters: “On a personal note it gave me a tremendous sense of relief to be close to her, to see her in the flesh, even to be able to speak with her.

“That’s the first time I’ve spoken to her personally for over 500 days since her pre-trial detention started.

“To see her looking pretty well not withstanding the conditions of detention which are now the subject of a formal complaint to the United Nations committee on arbitrary detention.

“We respect the criminal justice system and process in this country and as a result we are not going to make any further comments while attending court and we won’t be answering any further questions - that’s out of respect for the process.”


What was Jeffrey Epstein’s ‘Lolita Express’?

The trial of Ghislaine Maxwell, the British socialite accused of recruiting and grooming underage girls for the sexual gratification of billionnaire paedophile Jeffrey Epstein between 1994 and 2004, is underway in federal court in Manhattan.

The first witness to take the stand was Lawrence Paul Visoski Jr, Epstein’s chief pilot for more than 25 years, who said he had flown the disgraced financier “every four days” or so since his hiring in 1991.

One of the pilot’s duties was to fly the Boeing 727 that became known among the press as the “Lolita Express” for its role in ferrying young women between New York and Epstein’s primary residence in Palm Beach, Florida, where many of his alleged acts of sexual abuse are said to have taken place.

Ghislaine Maxwell trial underway in New York as disgraced financier’s long-time pilot interviewed on the witness stand


Highlights from day three of Maxwell trial

The cross examination of the first victim to give her testimony in British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell’s trial concluded on Wednesday, revealing graphic details about a number of alleged incidents inside Jeffrey Epstein’s properties.

A witness who was identified only by the pseudonym “Jane” at times broke down in tears as she answered questions posed by Ms Maxwell’s defence, with the cross-examination trying to cast doubt on the story that Jane had shared a day before.

Defence attorney Laura Menninger tried to suggest she was from “a strong, loving family background” in order to contradict the argument that she was lured by the late financier and his partner Ms Maxwell into performing sexual acts.

She also suggested Jane was motivated by financial gains, with questions about the $5 million fund set up to compensate victims of Epstein’s sexual exploitation.

“I wish I would have never received that money in the first place,” Jane said, crying. “Hopefully this just puts it to an end and I can move on with my life,” she added.

Jane was questioned about her career as an actor and the roles she has played, including a cancer patient, and whether she had played a prostitute (”not my favourite role”).

Asked if she could cry on command she responded: “No, not always, That’s not really how it works.”

The lawyer also grilled her on the irregularities in some of her statements, to which Jane replied saying “memory is not linear”. She was also questioned about a trip she said Epstein took with her to New York to see “The Lion King” on Broadway, when she was 14.

Ms Menninger countered it saying: “The Lion King did not come out until 1997?” After which Jane testified that she had been “incorrect in my timeline”.

An ex-boyfriend of Jane who testified as “Matt” said she told him that she had “a godfather, an uncle, a family friend-type person who helped her mom pay the bills," but never told him what she had to do to get the money.

"She never went into detail. She just said that it wasn’t pretty."


How Duke of York got involved in Epstein’s case?

The Duke of York has been dragged into the sex-trafficking trial of Ghislaine Maxwell after being listed as a passenger on disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein’s private planes.

Jurors trying the case at the court in the Southern District of New York were told Andrew was one of a number of high-profile figures to fly on the aircraft, including former US presidents Donald Trump and Bill Clinton and actor Kevin Spacey.

British socialite Maxwell, who was described as “dangerous” during Monday’s proceedings, is accused of preying on vulnerable young girls and luring them to massage rooms to be molested by Epstein between 1994 and 2004.

On Tuesday, Epstein’s former pilot Larry Visoski told the court Maxwell was “number two” to her ex-partner, with the convicted sex offender “definitely the big number one”.

The witness also recalled meeting one of Epstein’s alleged victims, given the pseudonym “Jane”.

Andrew was name-dropped in court as one of a number of high-profile people to have flown on Jeffrey Epstein’s planes.


Maxwell ‘looking pretty well’, says brother

Ghislaine Maxwell’s brother has said she is “looking pretty well, notwithstanding the conditions of detention”, after day three of her sex trafficking trial.

Kevin Maxwell spoke to reporters after the hearing in the Southern District of New York and reiterated that her treatement was the subject of a formal complaint to the United Nations.

Previous hearings have heard that guards repeatedly flashed light into the 59-year-old’s cell, which her lawyers said may have led to her suffering a black eye.

The court was previously told by Maxwell’s defence counsel that “she has grown increasingly reluctant to report information to the guards for fear of retaliation, discipline and punitive chores”.

Kevin Maxwell spoke to reporters outside court after day three of his sister’s New York trial.


Where was Jeffrey Epstein’s island and what exactly was it?

The guests came from across the world, and from the highest ranks of society: celebrities and scientists and members of royal families, touching down in a private jet and then boarding a helicopter to the island. Its owner liked to call it “Little St Jeff”; locals called it “paedophile island”.

But what is the truth about Little St James, the 75-acre private paradise in the US Virgin Islands that billionaire sex abuser Jeffrey Epstein once called home?

The island is now at the centre of a web of lawsuits and criminal investigations seeking to untangle the life of Jeffrey Epstein, who died in prison in 2019 at the age of 66 in what authorities claimed was a suicide.

Jeffrey Epstein island Ghislaine Max Well


Who is Ghislaine Maxwell?

Ghislaine Maxwell was born in France in 1961, the youngest of nine children in a wealthy and well-connected family.

Her father, Robert, was a former Labour MP, owner of The Mirror in Britain and the Daily News in New York among other publications, and was accused of misappropriating his workers’ pension funds.

In 1991, Ms Maxwell met Epstein, who died in jail two years ago. They had been romantically involved and stayed close friends for decades.

Maxwell, 59, could be sentenced to up to 35 years in prison if found guilty of sex trafficking


Pilot says Prince Andrew, Bill Clinton and Trump flew on Epstein’s ‘Lolita Express’

The pilot of the so-called “Lolita Express” testified during the trial of Ghislaine Maxwell that he flew presidents, princes and Hollywood stars on Jeffrey Epstein’s private jets for 30 years.

Mr Visoski name-dropped the high-profile passengers, along with actor Chris Tucker and violinist Itzhak Perlman, when asked during cross-examination if he remembered them specifically.

Larry Visoski says he never saw any sexual activity of any kind on-board Epstein’s private jet


How did Ghislaine Maxwell meet Jeffrey Epstein?

Ghislaine Maxwell, the daughter of the late media mogul Robert Maxwell, told a 2016 deposition that she met Jeffrey Epstein, then a wealthy financier, in 1991 through a mutual friend.

During the 1990s the couple socialised with Donald Trump and Bill Clinton, as well as Prince Andrew, with Ms Maxwell flying on Epstein’s private jets and staying at his homes, before settling in a $5m New York townhouse.

Federal prosecutors allege that Ms Maxwell first helped Epstein in his sexual exploitation of underage girls in 1994, with Annie Farmer, then 16, alleging she was lured to Epstein’s ranch in New Mexico.

British socialite faces decades behind bars if convicted on sex trafficking charges

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