Who is Ghislaine Maxwell?
She is the daughter of Robert Maxwell, a British media mogul and millionaire who died under mysterious circumstances and is accused of misappropriating funds from his businesses. Ghislaine is a British socialite who has connections to many rich and famous people worldwide including presidents and royalty. She was born in France and holds citizenship in France, England, and the United States. The 59-year-old was the longtime consort and friend of disgusting sexual predator Jeffrey Epstein.
After being on the lam from American authorities, they eventually uncovered her in an isolated estate in New Hampshire. The FBI arrested her in July 2020. She has been held in a Brooklyn prison ever since (though she has attempted to get transferred to a more comfortable confinement citing fears about safety in prison based on Epstein’s apparent “suicide”).
What is she accused of doing?
Maxwell is accused of aiding and abetting Epstein’s delinquent sexual behavior by trafficking and grooming young girls to become his playthings, and even taking part in some of the sexual abuse. Essentially, she is accused of being the madam to Epstein’s house of trafficked young girls. She was the normalizer of the abusive behavior and a main manipulator of these victims, some as young as 14.
The duo started out their grooming by promising young girls that they would fund their hopes and dreams, using places like a prestigious fine arts camp. Later, in Florida, they developed a pyramid scheme where girls they had already victimized would go out and recruit more girls. Epstein would pay for their silence on the matter. Solicitation, anyone?
The prosecution and the defense laid out their case for the court earlier this week. The prosecution, represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Lara Pomerantz, told the jury that Maxwell and Epstein were “partners in crime.” The prosecution has four main witnesses, a.k.a. victims, who are willing to testify.
The defense’s opening statements were given by Bobbi Sternheim. The gist of the defense is this: Witnesses have tainted memories, they are only after money, and Maxwell is being used as a “scapegoat” for Epstein’s vile criminal behavior. Sternheim actually said, “Ever since Eve was tempting Adam with the apple, women have been blamed for the bad behavior of men.”
On Tuesday, the testimony of Jeffrey Epstein’s longtime pilot was given. Lawrence Paul Visoski Jr. stated that Maxwell was Epstein’s No. 2 vis-à-vis recruiting girls to abuse them.
If convicted, she could face up to 70 years in prison, which is basically a life sentence for her.
What are the trial controversies?
It is not a public trial. There are no video cameras recording every moment like there were in the Rittenhouse case. This is actually very typical for a federal trial. But this trial holds a lot of public interest given the multitude of victims. The judge has also barred media from her courtroom.
The judge is a Barack Obama appointee who was recently promoted by Joe Biden.
The interesting player list continues: James Comey’s daughter is the lead prosecutor in this case. Recall that former FBI Director Comey was fired by President Donald Trump for his partisan and unethical dealings regarding Hillary Clinton. Comey’s daughter is controversial because she and her family are open and vocal Clinton supporters. Former President Bill Clinton had several dealings with Epstein, even flying on his private jet. Ghislaine and Bill seem to have had a friendship as well.