Ghislaine Maxwell’s accuser ‘Jane’ shares her testimony
| Breaking News Updates | Fox News
The 14-year-old was having ice cream with friends one afternoon in 1994 around a picnic table at a summer arts camp in Michigan, she said, when a ” tall, slim woman “with a” cute little Yorkie “passed.
Campers asked if they could pet the dog, but soon after the girl’s friends left her alone with the woman, a man joined them and asked the girl about the camp and her other interests. He said he was a benefactor who gave to the camp and supported young talent. When the girl said she lived in Palm Beach, Florida, the man said, “What a coincidence, we live there too.” He asked her for her phone number.
Testifying in the sex trafficking trial of Ghislaine Maxwell on Tuesday, the 14-year-old from Florida, now an adult identified by the court only as “Jane”, described to jurors how what appeared to be a chance encounter with Ms Maxwell – the woman with the Yorkie – and Jeffrey Epstein has led to years of sexual abuse.
The abuse took place at Mr. Epstein’s properties in Florida, New Mexico and New York City, and at times involved groups of people, she said. Sometimes, she said, Ms Maxwell participated in the sexual acts.
For years, Jane testified, she didn’t tell anyone about the abuse, only confiding in those close to her after she cut off contact with Mr. Epstein, around 2002. Jane – who identified herself as a active actress – did not speak about her to the police. allegations until after Mr Epstein’s death in 2019, in part out of fear, she said, that she would face a professional backlash in Hollywood.
As the first accuser to testify in Ms Maxwell’s trial, Jane described how Ms Maxwell and Mr Epstein brought her into their lives and how what appeared to be mentoring and special treatment quickly developed into sexual abuse.
Weeks after the first reunion in Michigan, Jane said, returning home from school – it was early in her eighth grade – to find that Mr. Epstein had called to invite her and her mother over to their home. him to have tea. A driver picked them up and brought them to Mr. Epstein’s home.
It was the first of his many visits, but his mother never joined them again. The house was impressive, she said, as were Mr. Epstein and Mrs. Maxwell, although their conduct was confusing or overwhelming at times.
As she described those early days, Jane sometimes made fun of herself, gestured and addressed the jury directly. But as she turned to her accounts of her abuse – and later, as Ms Maxwell’s lawyer sought in cross-examination to challenge her memories – Jane’s tone grew more serious.
At several times throughout Jane’s testimony, Ms Maxwell leaned forward in her chair at the defense table, put on a pair of glasses and took notes.
“From the start there was a lot of bragging that they were friends with everyone,” Jane said, adding that Ms Maxwell and Mr Epstein would engage in “name dropping” – she recalled them by quoting public figures like Donald Trump, Bill Clinton and Mike Wallace. The effect was to suggest that “they were very well connected and rich”.
Jane said she was heading to Mr. Epstein’s in Palm Beach soon every week or two, and Ms. Maxwell was a constant presence. At first, Ms. Maxwell came across as a big sister – “odd and ‘quirky,’ Jane said,” but pleasant. Jane said Ms Maxwell had taken her to the movies and shopping for cashmere shirts and sweater, and to Victoria’s Secret for underwear: “white cotton briefs, basics.”
But soon Ms Maxwell started talking to him about sex, Jane said. One day, Jane said, Ms Maxwell was part of a group of topless or topless women lounging around Mr Epstein’s pool.
Another day, when she was still 14, Jane testified, was speaking with Mr. Epstein in his office when he told her he could introduce her to talent agents and “shake things up” for her. Then he “abruptly” ended the conversation, took her hand and said, “Follow me,” as he led her outside and into the pool house.
Inside, Jane said, Mr. Epstein led her to a sofa and took off her sweatpants. He pulled her on him and “started to masturbate”, she testified in a hesitant voice. After he was done, she said, he went to a bathroom to clean himself up, then “acted like nothing had happened.”
“I was frozen with fear,” said Jane. She said she hadn’t told anyone about what happened inside the pool house, adding: “I was terrified and felt disgusting and ashamed.”
Understanding the trial of Ghislaine Maxwell
A confidant of Epstein. Ghislaine Maxwell, the daughter of a British media mogul and once a fixture on New York’s social scene, was a longtime companion of Jeffrey Epstein, who committed suicide after his arrest for sex trafficking in 2019.
Shortly after this incident, Jane said, Ms Maxwell joined them in Mr Epstein’s bedroom; as the two adults touched each other, they guided her to join them. On subsequent visits, Ms Maxwell and Mr Epstein brought Jane to the home’s massage room, where Ms Maxwell explained how Mr Epstein liked to have a massage.
A prosecutor, Alison Moe, asked about Ms Maxwell’s behavior during the incidents.
“I would say it felt very relaxed, like it was very normal, like it wasn’t a big deal,” Jane said.
Jane’s often moving testimony came on the second day of Ms Maxwell’s trial in Manhattan Federal District Court on charges that she aided Mr Epstein in recruiting, grooming and ultimately sexually assaulting girls as young as 14. years.
Prosecutors said Jane and three other accusers, all now adults, would testify under pseudonyms or partial names at the trial.
The defense made it clear their intention to seek to undermine Jane’s credibility during cross-examination by suggesting that she plays a role and that she only decided to cooperate with the government and involve Ms Maxwell because she believed it would help him secure a claim with Epstein’s Victims Fund, which awarded him $ 5 million.
Late Tuesday afternoon, one of Ms Maxwell’s attorneys, Laura Menninger, began her cross-examination by emphasizing Jane about the delay in reporting her allegations, and sought to point out the gaps in her memory of her teenage years in Florida. His cross-examination is expected to continue on Wednesday morning.
Prior to that, Ms Moe, the prosecutor, asked Jane if she had ever publicly disclosed her identity as the victim of Mr Epstein and Ms Maxwell.
No, Jane said, and she didn’t want to either.
“I’ve always wanted to put this behind me. I have evolved in my life, ”said Jane. “I work in the entertainment industry and the shame of the victims is still very much to this day.” Speaking publicly could also affect her career, she said.
“I didn’t really want to be a part of it,” she said. “I just wanted it to go away.”
Lola fadulu contributed reports.
News Today World news Ghislaine Maxwell’s accuser ‘Jane’ shares her testimony