NEW YORK — The case for and against Ghislaine Maxwell has been made, and as soon as Monday, her fate will rest squarely in the jury’s hands.
Maxwell, a socialite, has denied allegations from four women who say they were teens when she helped the wealthy financier Jeffrey Epstein sexually abuse them. Her lawyers say she has been wrongly targeted by prosecutors intent on holding someone — anyone — accountable after Epstein killed himself while awaiting trial on related sex-abuse charges.
The evidence phase of the trial concluded within three weeks. With just days left before a verdict is expected, it’s time to take stock of developments.
WHO ARE GHISLAINE MAXWELL’S ACCUSERS?
The prosecution, mounted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, hinges on the accusations of four women who say they were teenagers when Maxwell and Epstein sexually exploited them in the 1990s and early 2000s. Three testified under the pseudonyms Jane, Kate and Carolyn. One, Annie Farmer, decided to tell her story publicly.
WHAT WAS GHISLAINE MAXWELL UP TO BEFORE HER ARREST?
Maxwell was arrested in July 2020 — almost a year after Epstein killed himself in jail while awaiting trial. After Epstein’s death, she withdrew from public activities like running an oceans charity. Her whereabouts became a subject of public speculation. Was that her eating a burger and reading a book on CIA operatives in Southern California? Was she living in Britain or Paris or maybe even Massachusetts? Prosecutors say she went into hiding in New Hampshire — where she was eventually arrested — in a million-dollar home where she kept her cellphone wrapped in foil.
SO HAS GHISLAINE MAXWELL BEEN IN JAIL THIS WHOLE TIME?
Yes, despite multiple requests for bail, Maxwell has spent well over a year lodged in a federal lockup in Brooklyn. Maxwell has triple citizenship with the U.S., U.K., and France, the last of which does not extradite its citizens. Her attorneys and family have lambasted jail conditions, which they say are punitive and inhospitable to Maxwell’s ability to mount a proper defense.
HOW EXACTLY DO YOU PRONOUNCE ‘GHISLAINE’?
Think French. Hard “g,” silent “s.” First syllable: “ghee,” like the clarified butter, and quick. Second syllable, like a country lane and slightly emphasized.
IS THE GHISLAINE MAXWELL TRIAL AIRING ON TELEVISION OR STREAMING?
No. It’s in federal court, which doesn’t allow cameras. That’s why all the images from the courtroom are sketched.
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