Ghislaine Maxwell has been
taking notes at far side of the defense table, next to the marble wall. Now
Assistant US Attorney Lara Pomerantz is getting set in the glassed-in COVID
podium, as the jurors come in. It's on.
Judge Nathan signs the praises of the
overflow courtrooms; no mention of the denial of public call-in line such as
exists, right this moment, in DDC, and these days by other SDNY judges.
Opening Statement by AUSA Pomerantz:
I want to tell you about Jane. She turned 14
years old that summer when a man and a woman walked by. The man said he was a
donor who gave scholarships to students at this camp. The woman asked for her
phone number. It began a nightmare.
The man and woman were predators. Jane was
not their only victim. There were other young girls. Who was that woman? It was
the defendant, Ghislaine Maxwell. The defendant took these girls on shopping
trips and won their trust. She talked sex
There were times she was in the room when it
happened. That is why we are here today. Between 1994 and 2004 the defendant
sexually exploited young girls. She preyed on them and served them up to be
sexually abused. She was trafficking kids for sex
He owned a ranch in New Mexico, an apartment
in Paris, a mansion in Manhattan, Palm Beach, a private island. Epstein has
private planes and pilots. The defendant got to enjoy that luxury right along
The defendant was the lady of the house. She
imposed rules. Employees were to hear nothing, see nothing, say nothing. There
was a culture of silence. That was by design. The defendant's design.
They had a play book: get access, gain trust.
They often targeted the daughters of single mothers, struggling to make ends
meet. They made these girls feel seen. But that was a cover.
To get the girls to touch Epstein, they used
the cover of massage. The defendant massaged Epstein then told the girls to do
it. Epstein brought girls into his massage room every single day. It was sexual
Before I describe those so-called massages,
let me say: these are the facts. Epstein touched the teenage girls with
equipment... He sometimes penetrated... The defendant helped Epstein find those
girls, for so-called massages.
They lured their victims with a promise of a
brighter future then destroyed their lives. The defendant was jet-setting in
[Note: And holding press conferences at the
UN, getting Antonio Guterres' official Amir Dossal on her board]
So what happened to Jane? You will hear from her. Someone from Epstein's office invited her to Epstein's house. He told her mother he was offering a scholarship. Jane was 14 - a kid. Epstein was in his early 40s, the defendant in her early 30s
Jane traveled to New York to Epstein's mansion, where he abused her. She was not the only one. You will learn about multiple girls during the course of this trial. You will learn about a 16 year old girl who traveled to the ranch in New Mexico
The defendant told the girl she was going to
give her a massage. But she touched her elsewhere. The girl was 16 years old.
There's a 17 year old, spotted in a parking lot. The driver pulled over.
[Note: Maxwell puts on her glasses and jots
They moved beyond scholarships and moved on
to a pyramid scheme of abuse. They encouraged girls to bring other girls, for
extra cash. The defendant knew exactly what she was doing. That's what we
expect the evidence will show.
You'll hear about a fund that paid millions
to the victims of Jeffrey Epstein. But you will learn that these victims would
have paid anything to have this not have happened to them. You will hear from
relatives. You will hear from staff members.
You'll see massage tables. A school girl's
outfit. You'll see other records - flight logs showing the names of some of
[Note: What about UNindicted co-conspirators?]
At the end we will speak again. Until then, pay attention, follow Judge Nathan's instructions, & use your common sense. You will reach the only verdict possible: that Ghislaine Maxwell is guilty.
Judge Nathan: Thank you Ms. Pomerantz. Ms. Sternheim?
Opening Statement by Maxwell’s Lawyer, Bobbi
Ever since Eve, women have been blamed for
the evil deeds of men. Ghislaine Maxwell is not Jeffrey Epstein or any of the
other men, moguls and media giants who abuse women.
Epstein will be mentioned throughout the
trial. He is the elephant in the room. He is consuming this entire courtroom
and the overflow courtrooms. You are not here to judge Epstein. You are here to
determine if Ghislaine Maxwell committed these crimes
We are proud to represent Ghislaine Maxwell,
me and Christian Everdell, Laura Minninger & Jeffrey Pagliuca [pronounced
like "Lasagna," G silent]
These witnesses want a jackpot of money.
There are 4 accusers. They'll say Ghislaine groomed them
Memories fade and become contaminated.
[Note: Get ready for expert Elizabeth Loftus,
who also testified for Harvey Weinstein and others]
Jeffrey showed only what he wanted to show.
[Note: Get ready for Maxwell's "halo
The Epstein Victims Fund did not test the
claimants' stories. They got millions of dollars. Ghislaine Maxwell is on trial
because of her association with Epstein. She is a scapegoat -- AUSA: Objection!
Judge Nathan: As stated, overruled.
Ghislaine is a stand-in for a man who behaved badly--
Judge Nathan: Let me hear from counsel at the sidebar.
[Note: Non-public whispering]
[Sternheim returns from the sidebar]
"Ghislaine Maxwell can pilot a
helicopter. Her life of luxury is not a crime. You all said you would not be
biased by affluence or opulence and your word is your bond.
In the 1990s Ghislaine met Jeff Epstein
Epstein had made positive traits.
Attractiveness. He radiated what's called a halo effect. Ghislaine became his
employee, to administer his real estate like small boutique hotels. Like many
New Yorkers, he wintered in Palm Beach.
Houses require upkeep. Epstein spent time
with other women and traveled with them without Ghislaine. The jets were like a
Hamptons Jitney in the air. Very interesting people on them: politicians,
celebrities, even a former astronaut who became a Senator
There will be Jane, Annie, Kate and Carol.
They will tell their stories only from memory. But memory, as you will here,
Consider the incentive of personal monetary
gain. These women were not initial interviewed by investigators with experience
Judge Nathan: Sustained. Jury will disregard.
Sternheim: You decide if they are credible.
Epstein was a manipulator. He had no
children. He had no boss. But he attracted these rich and famous people. Before
his fall from grace. He was a 21st Century James Bond. His mystery has stirred
interest and his accusers have shaken the money tree
Epstein traveled with an entourage but kept
parts of his life locked up. Other manipulators? Lawyers, media & money
have impacted the memories you'll hear. Civil lawyers targeted clients and
Judge Nathan: Just a moment. Grounds?
[Another whispered sidebar. Maxwell drinks
from a water bottle, straighten her glasses: she does not go up to the bench
[In the 2d row: new US Attorney Damian
Williams, being whispered to by senior AUSA Tom McKay]
Sternheim is back:
For people to receive money from the Epstein
Fund, they receive more if they cooperate with the government. These witnesses
have gotten money, lots of money.
The Epstein Fund has many of
the same administrators as the 9/11 fund. But for 9/11, there was hard proof.
Let's talk about Jane. Yes, she was and is a talented singer and Epstein, a
patron of the arts and a supporter of young talent, sponsored her
After Epstein died, when money was on the
line, Jane hired a lawyer and became a client, they got in touch with the
government because it would help with her monetary claim,
Jane is now on a soap opera. She got $5
million from the Epstein fund. Consider that. And this, about Annie - her
sister is an artist. She came to NY when she was 16 and met Epstein. Ghislaine
was not in the country.
[Long sidebar. US Attorney Damian Williams
has left the courtroom.]
Annie will tell you she stopped writing in
her diary before the events in NM. Annie is a 41 year old psycho-therapist who
only met Ghislaine once, in NM. She promotes herself as a victim
She will say she's scarred. But why did she
keep the boots Epstein gave her? They are well worn. She was awarded $1.5
million. Let's talk about Kate. She has admitted she is ambitious. She was
involved with an older British gentleman.
She eagerly spent time with Epstein. Her
emails to Epstein continued a relationship with him for over a decade. When he
was in jail she sent him pictures of herself. Kate is a 44 year old former
actress and socialite from the UK.
She came on an entertainment visa but she is
no longer in the entertainment field. She got $3.25 million. She is also
seeking assistance from the government to help her get a visa, a special visa
for US witnesses.
The last accuser -- she had a dangerous
lifestyle, using drugs. This is 2002. Carolyn was introduced to Epstein by
Virginia Roberts, who was paid to recruit for massages. This is for the
trafficking charges 5 and 6. This had nothing to do with Ghislaine
She sued Epstein and his assistant, but not
Ghislaine. Ghislaine had not come up in the interview in 2007. It was Carolyn
who groomed and trafficked for Epstein. But when he died, her story changed to
include Ghislaine. She got $3.5 million minus $40k
We are not here to smear anyone, just to test
the government's proof. In NY the age of consent is 17. For trafficking, the
age of consent is 18. But for Carolyn, the charges will not be proven.
The government is trying to stitch together
four different story. But the only common denominator is they got big payouts.
These are paper cut-outs. The charges are not supported.
Jeffrey Epstein is not here. Ghislaine is
here. You have the power - find Ghislaine not guilty
Judge Nathan: Thanks. 10 minute
break then 1st US witness.
1st US Witness, Epstein Pilot
Larry Visoski, called by AUSA Maurene Comey:
Witness is Lawrence Paul Visoski.
Nickname: Larry. "I am an airplane pilot."
AUSA Comey: Who did
you work for?
Visoski: Mister Jeffrey
AUSA Comey: Where did Epstein hire
Visoski: Columbus, Ohio. David Rogers was
AUSA Comey: How long did Mister
Rogers work for Mister Epstein?
Visoski: Same duration as myself.
AUSA Comey: What was Ms Maxwell's
hairstyle in those days?
Visoski: She changed it a lot, "like
most women." [Some groans]
AUSA Comey: Can you identify Ms.
Maxwell, if you see her in the courtroom, by a piece of clothing?
Visoski: She's in the corner, in the white
sweater and the dark hair.
AUSA Comey: Let the record reflect, the
witness has identified the defendant.
Visoski: The only time Epstein didn't take a
private jet was when the Concorde was flying. Ms. Maxwell used airlines
sometimes. In the late 1990s she had an option on a quarter share of a private
jet. For a domestic flight, I didn't need to know who was flying in my
AUSA Comey: So you didn't get all the
Visoski: I did not. There was NYC, Palm
Beach, Santa Fe- actually Stanley NM - an apartment in Paris & an island in
AUSA Comey: Can you describe the interior
of Mr. Epstein's Palm Beach residence?
Visoski: A master bedroom, three guest
bedrooms. There's a Florida room, which I guess in New York you'd call a family
room... a butler's pantry, a 3 car garage
AUSA Comey: Who drove Mr. Epstein up
to this plane?
Visoski: Juan comes to mind. But others too.
AUSA Comey: And in NY?
Visoski: Manhattan. 9 East 71st Street.
AUSA Comey: And what did you do at 9
East 71st Street?
Visoski: Pick up luggage - and install video
AUSA Comey: Which airport did you
Visoski: Teterboro. Then Newark or JFK with
the larger plane.
Judge Nathan: It's 4:58, we're going to break for the day.
Clerk Ms. Williams: All rise!
*Thank you to Inner City Press for the coverage*
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