The trial of Ghislaine Maxwell, the confidant and closest associate of disgraced billionaire Jeffrey Epstein, continued into its third day on Wednesday, with Maxwell’s defence attorney cross-examining one of Maxwell’s accusers.
Maxwell is standing trial in federal court on six counts related to the sex trafficking of minors. If convicted, she faces up to 80 years in prison.
Maxwell’s defence attorney, Laura Menninger, questioned Maxwell’s accuser for hours about how accurately she remembers her teenage years.
The accuser, who’s going under the pseudonym “Jane,” alleges that Maxwell sexually abused her. Menninger compared the statements Jane made to the FBI in previous years with more recent statements, accusing her of contradicting herself on multiple topics, including details of Maxwell’s involvement in the alleged abuse.
According to the Daily Wire’s Mairead Elordi, Menninger questioned Jane on details such as how old she was when she met Epstein. Jane testified that she met the disgraced billionaire at a performing arts summer camp in Michigan around her 14th birthday in 1994.
The defence attorney also claimed that the witness had previously claimed she could not remember if Maxwell had touched her sexually, prompting Jane to respond “That’s not true.”
Jane told the jury that the first time she saw Maxwell naked marked when the “fun, casual relationship I had with her just changed.”
The Daily Wire reports:
The defense attorney also challenged the accuser on her changing story around when she went to see “The Lion King” on Broadway with Epstein and Maxwell. Previously, “Jane” had said that trip happened when she was 14, but the show did not come out until she was 17. “Jane” clarified in court that she did go see the show with Epstein and Maxwell but acknowledged that she got the timeline wrong.
“A lot of this is out of sequence and incorrect,” she said of the FBI’s notes from her interviews with investigators. “This is not a transcript.”
The defense also tried to show that “Jane” has a financial incentive in accusing Maxwell. Menninger accused “Jane” of traveling “on Epstein’s dime” after she escaped the abuse. She also asked her whether she had ever “cried” because Epstein gave her only $2000 for a teen beauty pageant dress.
“That’s ridiculous. I would never do that,” she responded.
The defence attorney asked Jane if she knew that her cooperation in the criminal trial of Ghislaine Maxwell would help her civil litigation on her claim with the Epstein victim fund, which was pending at the time.
The victim fund ended up awarding her $5 million. Jane told the court that she did not know that.
The defence attorney also brought up Jane’s career as an actress, suggesting that her outburst of emotion was just her acting on the witness stand. Menninger asked Jane if she could “cry on command,” and pointed out that Jane played a prostitute on a soap opera.
“Not my favorite storyline,” Jane responded.
When cross-examined by the prosecution on her motivation for cooperating in the Maxwell trial with the state, Jane said that she wanted to help because she wants to “hopefully find some closure to all of this,” referring to “the pain, abuse, and suffering,” adding that it is “something I have been running from my entire life.”