The decade's most triggering comedy
NEW YORK — One of Ghislaine Maxwell’s accusers broke down in tears in court on Tuesday as she described the sexual abuse she says she suffered at the hands of both Maxwell and late convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein when she was just 14 years old.
The woman, who testified under the pseudonym “Jane,” took the stand on the second day of Maxwell’s criminal trial in Manhattan federal court, where the former girlfriend of Epstein faces six counts relating to sex trafficking minors.
“Jane” described one instance in which she was staying the night at Epstein’s ranch near Santa Fe and someone came into her room and told her Epstein was summoning her.
She felt “my heart sinking in my stomach,” she said, her voice breaking.
The prosecution asked why she felt that way.
“Because I did not want to go see him,” said “Jane,” breaking down in tears.
She collected herself but became emotional again when recalling how she felt she couldn’t tell her emotionally unavailable mother about the sexual abuse.
“It just kind of seemed like it was hopeless I guess,” she said with her voice quavering. “It didn’t seem like there was any joy to look forward to.”
“Jane” said she was targeted by Epstein and Maxwell while attending a performing arts summer camp in Michigan in the summer of 1994. Her family was struggling financially at the time, she said, and her father had died of leukemia about nine months earlier.
Initially, her mother went with her to visit Epstein’s Palm Beach, Florida residence, but later Epstein invited the underage teen to visit alone, “Jane” said. Maxwell would call her house to arrange those meetings, she said.
Maxwell herself personally participated in sexually abusing her, “Jane” testified. In one instance, Maxwell and Epstein abused her at the same time in Epstein’s bedroom. They moved “Jane” over to the bed, took their clothes off, and instructed her to take her top off. The pair began to “fondle each other” while “casually giggling,” and Epstein masturbated, “Jane” said.
Maxwell and Epstein both instructed “Jane” on how Epstein liked to be pleasured, which included “twisting his nipples hard” as he climaxed, “Jane” said.
“Jane” also alleged that Epstein touched her breasts and vagina and used a vibrator on her even when she told him it was hurting her. She touched Epstein “everywhere,” she said. Maxwell and Epstein also held group “orgies” with “Jane” and other people that involved “full-on intercourse.” Meanwhile, Maxwell and Epstein acted “very casual” about these activities and “like it was very normal,” said “Jane.”
“I had never seen anything like this,” she said, adding that it “did not feel normal” and “confused” her.
Maxwell befriended her, “Jane” said, taking her shopping and asking her about her life and whether she had a boyfriend. At one point, “Jane” remembered, Maxwell told her about having a boyfriend, “Remember when you do that once you f*** them you can always f*** them again because they’re grandfathered in.”
“Jane” said she traveled with Epstein and Maxwell about 10 times to his residences in Palm Beach, Santa Fe, and New York City, sometimes on Epstein’s private plane. Maxwell was often the one who would arrange her travel.
She spoke about the long-term effects of the abuse as well.
“How do you navigate a healthy relationship with a broken compass?” she remarked.
During “Jane’s” testimony, Maxwell sat mostly still but at several points she glanced back at the gallery and jotted down notes. When their attorneys left the benches to speak with the judge several times, both women sat very still in silence and did not look at each other. Maxwell was wearing what looked like the same outfit as the previous day, a cream-colored sweater and black slacks. Over the course of the day she ran her hand through her hair and whispered to her lawyers at length.
“Jane” was the state’s second witness after Lawrence Visoski, Epstein’s pilot of nearly 30 years, who testified that he flew the well-connected billionaire back and forth between his various residences, sometimes with high-profile guests like ex-presidents Bill Clinton and Donald Trump and actor Kevin Spacey.
Visoski testified that he met “Jane” but believed she was at least 20, calling her a “mature woman.” He vehemently denied being aware of any sexual activity on Epstein’s planes or sexual abuse of minors by Epstein or Maxwell.
His former boss gifted him 40 acres of land on which Visoski built a house for himself, he said. Epstein also paid for the high school and college education of his longtime pilot’s two daughters, Visoski testified. Maxwell used to take his daughters horseback riding, the pilot recalled.