NEW YORK — Ghislaine Maxwell’s defense attorneys sought Wednesday to undermine a key accuser’s allegation that the British socialite helped financier Jeffrey Epstein sexually abuse the lady for years, beginning when she was 14.
The trial witness, who has mentioned she’s utilizing the pseudonym “Jane” to guard her 22-year performing profession, had testified in graphic element on Tuesday concerning the alleged encounters within the Nineteen Nineties, portraying Maxwell as an lively participant.
During a methodical cross examination, defense legal professional Laura Menninger confronted the lady with FBI paperwork from 2019 and 2020, saying she had instructed the federal government her reminiscence was foggy on whether or not Maxwell was current when Epstein molested her and on whether or not she ever touched her.
Other paperwork claimed she mentioned that no abuse occurred throughout a go to to Epstein’s ranch in New Mexico. That contradicted her testimony about alleged encounters with him there that she mentioned made “my coronary heart sink into my abdomen.”
The witness denied ever altering her story. She challenged the accuracy of the paperwork, saying her statements had been by no means recorded.
“This was simply somebody jotting down notes. … Loads of these should not right,” she mentioned.
At one other level, she responded, “I do not recall saying what’s written right here.”
She didn’t dispute different paperwork saying she had named a number of “mannequin varieties” and different ladies she mentioned witnessed collaborating in group massages with Epstein. She additionally confirmed telling the FBI she as soon as flew on a personal jet with Britain’s Prince Andrew.
Maxwell, 59, has pleaded not responsible to prices that prosecutors say present that she and Epstein had been “companions in crime.” The defense has countered by claiming she’s being made a scapegoat for 66-year-old Epstein, who killed himself in his Manhattan jail cell in 2019 as he awaited his personal intercourse trafficking trial.
On Tuesday, the accuser described quite a few sexual encounters with Maxwell and Epstein that started in 1994 and continued by 1997. When recounting the primary time she was abused by Epstein, she mentioned she was “frozen in worry.”
Another time, she mentioned she was taken to a therapeutic massage room the place he and Maxwell each took benefit of her. Other encounters concerned intercourse toys or was oral intercourse “orgies” with different younger ladies and Maxwell, she added.
On cross examination, the defense additionally attacked the witness’ credibility by asking why she waited over 20 years to report the alleged abuse by Maxwell to regulation enforcement. And Maxwell’s requested Jane, an actor, about her tv roles — a most cancers affected person, a automotive crash sufferer, somebody with psychological well being points, a prostitute — suggesting she could have utilized her skilled craft to her testimony.
The final one “was not my favourite function,” Jane mentioned earlier than pushing again on Menninger’s characterizations of her work as melodramatic.
“You wish to name it ‘melodramatic.’ I want ‘dramatic,'” she mentioned.
She later choked up when a prosecutor requested her on the conclusion of her testimony why she did not reveal the whole lot about her expertise with Epstein in her preliminary conferences with prosecutors.
“Because it was too tough — too tough emotionally, too tough on each degree,” she mentioned.
Two of Maxwell’s siblings, Kevin and Isabel, had been amongst spectators within the courtroom on Wednesday. The household has insisted she’s harmless.
This story has been corrected to indicate that one of many Maxwell siblings current Wednesday is Kevin, not Howard.