Ghislaine Maxwell trial: First accuser says Epstein introduced her to Trump at age 14
'Jane' broke down in tears as she recounted meeting with prosecutors for the first time
Ghislaine Maxwell’s accuser says Jeffrey Epstein once took her to Mar-a-Lago when she was 14 years old and introduced her to Donald Trump there.
The alleged victim, while on cross-examination and who testified under the pseudonym "Jane," also recalled flying with Prince Andrew on one of Epstein’s private planes. However, she did not allege that there was any inappropriate behavior from the former president nor from the duke.
Earlier, during the defense’s questioning, she had stated that the late financier did not force her to have sex with any of his friends.
"Jane" took the stand for about eight hours Wednesday, the first of a total of four alleged victims who will be testifying against the British socialite in her sex abuse trial.
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"Jane"'s account got dramatic at times. She wiped her tears quickly once as she was asked by the prosecutor to describe how the defendant instructed her to touch Epstein.
Later, she would break into tears as the government asked her if it was difficult for her to have told them her story when she met in private with prosecutors ahead of the trial.
"Yes, absolutely," she said as her voice cracked. She then needed a moment before continuing to describe how she felt. It was her "deepest secret" that she had "been carrying" with her "for quite a while."
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The defense had spent the morning attacking the witness’ credibility and trying to point out inconsistencies in her reports throughout time of how she met the pair and how the alleged sexual incidents took place.
"When you spoke to the government in December of 2019, with your lawyers there, and you told the government at that time you were not sure whether Ghislaine ever touched you during these encounters, correct?" attorney Laura Menninger asked her.
"I don’t recall," the witness answered.
"You told the government that you were not sure if Ghislaine ever kissed you, correct?" the lawyer insisted.
"I don’t recall," the witness repeated.
The day before, "Jane" had testified that she was sexually abused by Epstein starting at age 14 and that there were often other women involved, Ghislaine Maxwell being the most frequent participator, who would "mainly" touch her "breasts."
Like a ‘godfather’
On Wednesday afternoon, the jury briefly heard from Jane’s friend and ex-boyfriend, who also testified under a pseudonym. "Matt" would tell the jurors how, during the years that they dated between 2006 and 2014, she told him that Jeffrey Epstein was like a "godfather" to her. However, she later confessed to him that "the money wasn’t f--- free," he recalled.
It was only when the FBI approached "Jane" in 2009 that "Matt" would dare to ask further and would learn that she had been sexually abused by the financier. She mentioned to him that there was a woman at those encounters with Epstein who made her feel "comfortable." The accuser later told "Matt," when he heard about Ghislaine Maxwell’s arrest on the news, who that woman was.
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Maxwell, who wore a gray sweater and black pants, listened to the witnesses’ testimonies intently, sometimes putting on her glasses and taking notes, which she would then pass along to her attorneys. In the courtroom for the first time was her brother Kevin Maxwell alongside her sister Isabel. He made a quick statement to reporters as he departed, saying he was "pleased" to finally see his sister.
"That's the first time that I've spoken to her personally, in over 500 days since her pretrial detention started, and to see her looking pretty well, notwithstanding the conditions of detention," he said.
If you or someone you know is suffering from abuse, please contact the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-4673.