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Ghislaine Maxwell trial - live: Defence quiz accuser as Prince Andrew, Trump invoked amid QAnon demos outside

Watch live as Ghislaine Maxwell trial continues in New York City

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

On the second day, her first accuser who identified only as “Jane”, took the stand and testified that Ms Maxwell was in the room when Epstein sexually assaulted her at the age of 14.

In at times graphic testimony, she described how she met the couple and was invited into their world, only to be subjected to sexual abuse over a period of years, ruining her self-worth. Cross-examination of “Jane” now continues.

Epstein’s longtime pilot Larry Visoski was cross-examined by the defence team on Tuesday morning about specific flights and passengers, following questioning by the prosecution regarding his work and access to Epstein’s properties.

He testified that passengers on Epstein’s plane included Bill Clinton, Prince Andrew, Itzhak Perlman, Donald Trump, Chris Tucker, John Glenn, Kevin Spacey, and George Mitchell. 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.

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Defence lawyer Laura Menninger is cross-examining ‘Jane'

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Day three underway

Day three of the Ghislaine Maxwell trial has begun in court in Lower Manhattan.

The witness and accuser of Ms Maxwell, who is only being identified as “Jane”, is back on the stand as her cross-examination by the defence team continues.

On Tuesday she gave emotional testimony detailing her experiences with Ms Maxwell and the late disgraced billionaire Jeffrey Epstein that included graphic descriptions of sexual assault beginning when she was just 14 years old in the mid-1990s.

The jury sits at 9.30am, but prior to that both prosecution and defence are debating with the judge about the validity of a line of questioning regarding where “Jane” lived when she met Epstein — believed to be an attempt to undercut her testimony that the family was in financial difficulty following her father’s death.

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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.

Joe Sommerlad reports:

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

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Ghislaine Maxwell: How did she meet Jeffrey Epstein?

She spent decades rubbing shoulders with British royals and US presidents.

Now British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell is set to stand trial in a New York courtroom on sex trafficking charges, and faces decades behind bars if convicted.

Ms 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.

Read more from Graeme Massie here:

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

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Maxwell’s lawyers expected to resume questioning of first accuser

Ghislaine Maxwell’s lawyers are expected to resume questioning on Wednesday of a woman who said the British socialite facilitated her sexual abuse by Jeffrey Epstein, when she was 14.

She also suggested that Maxwell took part in some encounters.

The woman, known by the pseudonym “Jane”, gave an account of the abuse she suffered in the 1990s during the second day of the trial, Tuesday.

“Jane” explained that Epstein had offered to help her advance her career as a performing artist, but went on to regularly sexually abuse her for a number of years.

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Ghislaine Maxwell trial: Who are the key courtroom figures?

After nearly 17 months in jail, Ghislaine Maxwell will finally have her day in court as her trial for underage sex trafficking gets underway in Manhattan’s federal court on Monday.

After months of pre-trial hearings, prosecutors will deliver opening arguments on how Ms Maxwell allegedly recruited and groomed girls on behalf of her one-time boyfriend Jeffrey Epstein.

The spectre of Epstein, who killed himself in August 2019 while awaiting trial, is likely to hang heavily over the trial.

Bevan Hurley explains here:

Maxwell’s trial will be one of the most highly anticipated of the year

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An attorney representing several of Jeffrey Epstein’s alleged victims shared her thoughts with Bloomberg on the trial’s opening statements.

She explained: “I thought that yesterday was a very strong day for the prosecution. As an attorney for sexual abuse survivors myself, I think that the prosecution very clearly and concisely layed out their case, that there are four victims here.

“That Ghislaine Maxwell knew everything that Jeffery Epstein was doing, that she trafficked these women, that she was part of it all.”

Commenting on the defence side’s opening statement, she said: “I thought it was a weak opening statement, I give them about a C. It was a good start saying that since the time of Eve, women have been blamed for men’s bad acts, I liked that.

She went on to say that the case was the first one that she had seen “with a female judge, two female lead attorneys, female defendant and four female victims.”

Before adding: “That was a good start for the defence but it was all downhill after that, and to call Jeffery Epstein “the 21st century James Bond,” to go on about how he was so intelligent and charming, really to write this love letter to Jeffery Epstein I thought was a very bad move for the defence.”

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What are the charges in the Ghislaine Maxwell sex abuse trial?

The trial of Ghislaine Maxwell, the British socialite accused of recruiting and grooming girls for deceased financier Jeffrey Epstein to abuse, got underway on Monday in New York federal court.

Here is an explanation of the charges Maxwell faces and her expected defence:

British socialite’s trial underway in New York

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Who is Ghislaine Maxwell?

Ghislaine Maxwell was born in 1961 in Maisons-Laffitte, a suburb to the west of Paris. The youngest of nine children, she grew up in a 53-room mansion, Headington Hill Hall, in Oxford.

Maxwell is the daughter of late newspaper tycoon, Robert Maxwell, who was discovered to have committed fraud against Mirror Group employees. Her mother, Elisabeth, was a French-born scholar and researcher.

She attended a number of different schools in Oxford and the surrounding area before undertaking her A Levels at Marlborough College in Wiltshire, a British public school attended by Kate Middleton and Princess Eugenie, amongst others.

Following a stint in Spain, learning Spanish and selling books, she went to Oxford University to study Modern History with Languages at Balliol College, graduating in 1985.

It wasn’t until the early 1990s that Maxwell met Jeffrey Epstein at a party in New York, later beginning a romantic relationship with the now deceased financier.

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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

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