Day 6 of the Ghislaine Maxwell trial began Monday morning with testimony from a woman using the name “Kate” to protect her identity. She described her sexual relationship with Jeffrey Epstein and how Maxwell, who is facing myriad charges connected to his alleged underaged sexcapades, facilitated that relationship.
A striking woman in her 40s with pulled back blonde hair and a faded British accent, Kate is not a victim of alleged criminal behavior in the case as she was of age when she first met Maxwell and Epstein, but prosecutors hope that her testimony will establish a predatory pattern of behavior from the pair.
Kate met Maxwell in Paris around 1994 when she was 17. She said, “I felt that I had found a new connection that could really be meaningful to me.” According to her, things got very intimate very fast the first time she met Epstein in Maxwell’s London home, claiming that after praising how strong she was for such a petite girl to Epstein, she asked Kate to “give his feet a little squeeze” to prove it, an effort that moved to his shoulders.
Not long after, Kate testified, she was asked by Maxwell to fill in for a masseuse and was led to a massage room in her house, where Epstein dropped his robe, “he was naked,” she added. Then Kate says that Maxwell “gave me some massage oil.” This was the first time she claimed she and Epstein had sex.
As the testimony got seedier, Maxwell in a smart sweater and slacks, dark hair cascading from a slightly off center part, was steely-eyed and taking copious notes. Her brother Kevin and sister Isabel were seated behind her in the front row of the gallery.
Kate told the jury that Maxwell talked to her about “The nature of boys and their wee wees,” “How demanding Jeffrey was,” and asked, “did I know anyone who could give Epstein [oral sex], because it was a lot for her to do.”
As the relationship grew, Kate described a trip to Epstein’s Palm Beach estate recalling the walls covered with images of naked young women.
While there she said she found a schoolgirl outfit laid out on her bed, “a pleated skirt, white socks, white panties, and a shirt.” She stated that when she asked Maxwell about it she replied that it “would be fun to take Epstein his tea in the outfit.” Upon doing so she said, sex ensued.
Prosecutor Lara Pomerantz closed her questioning by asking about Epstein’s infamous island, on which Kate said she saw a “blond, slim girl, very young.”
When asked why she had remained in contact, sexual and otherwise, with Epstein for a decade, Kate, seeming near tears, admitted, “I did not want to admit what happened to me,” adding, “I had witnessed how connected they both were.”
The defense cross-examination by Bobbi Sternheim sought to discredit Kate on several grounds. She admitted to having dated many men, to cheating on her husband, said she had been a cocaine and sleeping pill addict at the time of the alleged abuse, and the defense also alluded to potential book or movie deals Kate might be after, even though she has already received a $3.25 million settlement from the Epstein Victim Compensation Fund.
Lastly, the defense questioned Kate’s motives for wanting anonymity, given that she has publicly spoken out against Epstein using her real name. Kate said she wanted to protect her daughter.
The exchange between Sternheim and Kate got chippy at times, but never truly heated. At one point when defense counsel asked Kate if she had married “a prominent restaurateur,” Kate dryly replied, “I married a man with two restaurants,” to a smattering of laughs.
The second witness of the day was Patrick McHugh, an Executive Director at JP Morgan. He testified to several very large bank transfers from Epstein to Maxwell. One such transfer, supported by a bank statement from 1999 was for a whopping $18 million dollars.
In addition, there were later transfers of $5 and $7.5 million, the latter to a company called Air Ghislaine, of which Maxwell was president. Later that day Air Ghislaine used the money to buy a helicopter, the statement showed.
The day ended on a bit of a cliffhanger. Late in the afternoon, FBI Special Agent Kelly Maguire testified about the July 2019 search warrant she executed at Epstein’s 8-floor, 40-room Upper East Side townhouse. FBI photos showed the glamour of a grand staircase as well as the more sordid image of Epstein’s own massage room.
Among the items found were binders full of compact discs, some in a fifth floor closet, some in a safe in a third floor dressing room. The warrant didn’t cover the CDs so Maguire testified that she obtained a new warrant and came back days later, only to find the items from the safe missing. They were soon returned by one of Epstein’s attorneys.
With only 12 minutes to go before Judge Alison Nathan’s fairly strict 5 pm finish time, FBI analyst Kimberly Mader took the stand. Mader was one of the people responsible for analyzing the CDs, some of which were stored with printed thumbnails, presumably of the images on the discs.
There was only time for her to describe one of the images, a photo of Maxwell and Epstein. That is when the clock ran out and the jury was dismissed for the night.
Whatever else is contained on those CDs, whatever secrets they may tell will have to wait until day 7 of the trial, set to begin Tuesday morning when Mader will resume her testimony.