Ghislaine Maxwell‘s highly-anticipated sex trafficking trial is set to begin on Monday in New York where she is facing 80 years in prison if she’s found guilty.
Maxwell, 59, is charged with recruiting and grooming four underage girls for billionaire pedophile and one-time boyfriend Jeffrey Epstein from 1994 to 2004.
Epstein died by suicide in 2019 in a Manhattan jail cell before he could be tried on sex abuse charges.
Maxwell has been awaiting trial in a ‘hell-hole’ Brooklyn prison since her arrest last July. The trial will stretch to mid-January with opening statements beginning on Monday.
Lawyers for the British socialite are expected to focus on undermining her accusers and distancing her from Epstein, according to legal experts and court filings.
Ghislaine Maxwell’s sex trafficking trial begins today in New York
Maxwell, 59, who is accused of procuring underage girls for pedophile Jeffrey Epstein, is set to stand trial on sex trafficking charges on November 29. She has pleaded not guilty to all charges
In what is being viewed as a risky strategy in the post-#MeToo era, the defense will question the credibility of four women who say she groomed them as teenagers for Epstein to abuse, arguing that their memories are faulty or that they are motivated by financial incentives to lie or exaggerate.
Whether or not her her tech CEO spouse Scott Borgerson will be there to support Maxwell is very much in question. Borgerson surfaced hundreds of miles away in Manchester-by-the-Sea last week, seen for the first time in over a year by DailyMail.com.
Questions about the true nature of their relationship remain. Prosecutors revealed the couple is married, but they managed to keep it a secret even from some close relatives.
DailyMail.com has been unable to find any marriage license, or divorce papers, filed under their names in town or in the county where they were living.
Lawyers for Maxwell say they plan to call American psychologist Elizabeth Loftus to testify about ‘false memories.’
Maxwell’s legal team has repeatedly made claims about her alleged mistreatment behind bars. She is shown in prison earlier this year with ‘a black eye’
Last week a judge ruled that the administrators of Epstein’s victims’ compensation fund must provide records of claims made by women who accuse Ghislaine Maxwell of playing a role in their having been sexually abused.
US District Judge Alison Nathan rejected requests by the fund’s administrators and by federal prosecutors to quash the subpoena for the records by Maxwell’s lawyers.
Nathan will review the materials Maxwell wants to see before deciding which can be turned over.
The defense have said four accusers expected to testify against her have made claims to the fund, which paid out more than $121million to about 138 people.
The defense sought records from the fund related to payments to the women and statements they made, court records show. Prosecutors called the records irrelevant.
At a Tuesday pre-trial conference, Nathan also deferred a ruling on whether or not to admit an address book for Maxwell that prosecutors said contained contact information for at least one alleged victim.
Maxwell’s lawyers had questioned the address book’s authenticity.
Maxwell, 59, denies all allegations against her, which cover a period between 1994 to 2004.
Maxwell’s hair, which had grown out from her signature pixie cut, looked recently washed and noticeably more lustrous than her last appearance last week. She is pictured in 2013
In a world exclusive published in The Mail on Sunday, Ghislaine Maxwell has spoken of the hell of her life in Brooklyn’s Metropolitan Detention Center, saying that conditions are so bad a rat would sit beside an open sewer in her cell as she went to the toilet (Pictured: Ghislaine Maxwell and Jeffrey Epstein at an event in New York in 1995)
At least four accusers are set to testify against Maxwell with three of them being granted anonymity.
But one of Epstein’s most well-known accusers, Virginia Roberts Giuffre, will not take to the stand in Maxwell’s trial despite naming names of those who took part in the billionaire’s alleged trafficking ring, reports revealed Monday.
It is not yet clear why she is not being called to testify in Maxwell’s trial, but Giuffre’s lawyers has suggested his client was not part of the case against the socialite because she was 17 at the time, which is over the age of consent in some of the locations where her alleged abuse is said to have taken place.
Giuffre has spoken openly over the years about the alleged abuse and described Maxwell as ‘pure evil’, saying: ‘Epstein was a sick pedophile but Maxwell was the mastermind.’
She has claimed in media interviews and various depositions that Epstein, together with Maxwell trafficked her to powerful men.
Although she won’t be appearing on the stand, Giuffre is said to be planning on holding off-the-record remote briefings for reporters throughout the trial from her home in Australia, according to Vanity Fair.
Ghislaine Maxwell, 59, in June 2019 with her six living siblings. Ian Maxwell, her older brother, top right, shared it this weekend. A month after it was taken, Jeffrey Epstein was arrested and Ghislaine went into hiding with her husband, Scott Borgerson. The siblings, L-R, are: Anne, 73, Kevin, 62, twins Isabel and Christine, 70, Philip, 71, and Ian, 64
It’s still an open question whether Maxwell’s husband Scott Borgerson will take the trek to New York to attend the trial in support of his wife
Maxwell’s legal team and family have argued that she is being prosecuted as a proxy for Epstein, 66, who died in a Manhattan jail in August 2019 while awaiting trial on child sex trafficking charges, in what New York’s official coroner ruled a suicide.
Epstein was convicted in Florida in 2008 of paying young girls for massages, but served just 13 months in jail under a secret plea deal struck with the then-state prosecutor.
His suicide deprived dozens of his accusers their day in court and launched countless conspiracy theories, including that he was killed to protect powerful friends.
Judge Nathan has four times rejected Maxwell’s bail requests, noting the ease with which the holder of US, French and British citizenships could use wealth and global connections to flee.
Virginia Roberts Giuffre will not be testifying during Maxwell’s trial but will be giving off-the-record briefings to reporters. She has previously claimed she was forced to have sex with Andrew. The Duke of York has consistently denied all sexual allegations made against him
Giuffre (right with Prince Andrew), has been one of Epstein’s most vocal accusers but she will not be testifying at the trial of Ghislaine Maxwell. She has long claimed that she was a victim of Epstein’s sex trafficking ring throughout the early 2000s when she was a teenager (Ghislaine can be seen, pictured right)
Following the death of Epstein – a multimillion-dollar money manager who befriended countless celebrities including Britain’s Prince Andrew – prosecutors vowed to pursue co-conspirators, resulting in Maxwell’s arrest in July 2020.
She has since been held at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn where she has repeatedly complained of unsanitary and inhumane conditions.
‘I have been assaulted and abused for almost a year and a half,’ she said in comments carried by Britain’s Mail on Sunday, adding that guards interrupt her sleep and shine bright lights in her eyes.
‘I am weak, I am frail. I have no stamina. I am tired. I don’t even have shoes which fit properly. They feed me rotten food. One apple had maggots in it. I have not been allowed to exercise,’ she said, also complaining of rats in her cell.
Maxwell’s alleged crimes occurred between 1994 and 2004, and relate to four unnamed women, including two who say they were just 14 and 15 years old when they were sexually abused.
Prosecutors say Maxwell befriended girls with shopping and movie theater trips, later coaxing them into giving Epstein nude massages at his various residences during which he would engage in sex acts before giving them money.
US government attorneys say she sometimes participated in the alleged abuse, at her London home and at Epstein’s properties in Manhattan, Palm Beach and New Mexico.
French-born Maxwell has also been charged with two counts of perjury, which are due to be tried after her sex crimes trial.
The perjury counts relate to testimony she gave in 2016 in a defamation case filed against her by long-time Epstein accuser Virginia Giuffre.