Friday, May 27

Woman testifies that Ghislaine Maxwell arranged dates for Epstein

New York (CNN) – A woman who has accused Jeffrey Epstein of sexual abuse testified Monday that Ghislaine Maxwell organized their encounters and spoke often about sexual issues, including Epstein’s sexual needs.

“She said he needed to have sex about three times a day,” the woman told the court.

The woman, who testifies under the pseudonym “Kate,” took the stand Monday morning to start the second week of the federal trial against Maxwell for charges that include the sex trafficking of minors. Kate is not considered a minor victim on the charges because she was over the age of consent at the time of the alleged abuses, but Judge Alison Nathan determined that jurors can consider her testimony.

Kate stated that she met Maxwell when she was 17 through her boyfriend, who was older than her, during a trip to Paris. Maxwell invited her to tea at his London home a few weeks later and told Kate about her boyfriend “philanthropist” Epstein, who Maxwell thought would help Kate with her aspiring music career.

“I understood that her job was to take care of Jeffrey’s needs,” Kate said.

“I left there feeling euphoric,” she said. “As if someone loved me.”

Weeks later, Maxwell invited Kate to the village house again to meet Epstein, prompting her to accept the invitation with a sense of “urgency,” she recalled.

There, Maxwell told him to give Epstein a little “squeeze” on the foot to show him how strong he was despite his small frame, Kate said. Epstein approved of the foot massage and also asked him to give him a shoulder massage.

A couple of weeks later, Maxwell called Kate to ask if she would do her “a favor” and come give Epstein a massage with her “strong hands,” despite having no experience in massage therapy. Maxwell led Kate upstairs to a room where Epstein put on a robe, gave Kate massage oil, and closed the door behind her.

Kate stated that Epstein undressed and initiated a sexual act with her. Shortly after this incident, Maxwell called her back to the house and told her it was difficult to get her needs met, Kate said. “He said, ‘I’m so glad you’re here. You did such a good job the last time (that) he wanted you to come back,'” Kate said.

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This time Epstein was completely naked when Maxwell led her into the same room and closed the door behind her. “Have a good time,” he remembers Maxwell saying as he left the room. Maxwell also asked her if she had “fun” after both sexualized massage encounters, Kate said.

Maxwell’s trial, which began last week, has alternated between heartbreaking testimony from underage victims and illuminating testimony about some of Epstein’s connections to high-profile figures like Donald Trump, Bill Clinton and the príncipe Andrew. None of them have allegedly committed unlawful acts in connection with the ongoing trial.

In fact, Kate testified Monday that Maxwell was talking about his friends Prince Andrew and Trump around him.

Epstein, that pleaded guilty in 2008 of prostitution charges in the state, was charged with federal sex trafficking charges in July 2019, but committed suicide in prison a month later. Maxwell, Epstein’s confidant, was arrested a year later and pleaded not guilty.

In the opening statements of his trial, prosecutors said Maxwell and Epstein created a “pyramid scheme of abuse” to lure underage girls into sexual relationships with Epstein. Her defense, for its part, said that she was a “scapegoat” for Epstein’s actions and attacked the memories and motivations of women who say they have suffered sexual abuse.

Witness recalls photos of naked girls in Epstein’s house

In her testimony, Kate stated that she made trips paid for by Epstein several times to New York; Palm Beach, Florida; and Little St. James in the US Virgin Islands, where Epstein owned property. Maxwell was briefing him on travel arrangements, he said.

During a visit to the Palm Beach residence when she was about 18 years old, she said, a “schoolgirl” outfit was left on her bed: a pleated skirt, white underwear and socks, and a shirt. When he asked Maxwell what it was for, he recalled, Maxwell told him, “I thought it would be fun if you brought Jeffrey his tea with this outfit.”

“I didn’t know how to say no,” she said. She thought they might force her to leave if she said no, Kate declared.

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She put on the suit and brought the tea on a tray to Epstein, who, she recalled, was working out with a trainer at the gym near the pool. Epstein initiated and performed a sexual act with her there when the coach left, he said.

Kate also recalled seeing photos of naked young girls scattered around the Palm Beach home in almost every room. “I remember they were shocking,” he recalled.

She testified that Maxwell invited her to Epstein’s private island for massages.

Maxwell often discussed sexual issues with Kate, asking her if she knew of other girls who could perform oral sex on Epstein.

“You know what she likes: pretty, young (and) pretty like you,” Maxwell told her, according to her testimony.

He never recruited other women of any age for Epstein despite the request, he stated. He does recall seeing a slim blonde girl who he thought was about his age, 17, on one of those occasions.

On his second questioning, he testified that Maxwell was by his side the first time he saw Epstein naked.

“I remember it very clearly because I was terrified and frozen,” Kate stated. “Those events come to mind all the time. I have nightmares about them.”

Kate received $ 3.25 million from the Epstein Victim Fund

During cross-examination, defense attorney Bobbi Sternheim went to great lengths to undermine her testimony by highlighting her continued contact with Epstein and questioning his motives.

Kate said she stayed in contact with Epstein until around 2012. She was around 24 years old when she last traveled with Maxwell and Epstein, but she continued in contact with Epstein until she was 30, she stated.

In 2008, while Epstein was in jail, he reached out by email to send him photos of himself. She said she never sent her photos, but did sign an email: “I love you always, ‘Kate.” He also testified that he contacted Epstein to stay with him at his Manhattan home in 2011, but he was in Paris at the time.

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She described staying in contact with him as a mixture of denial and fear.

“I did not want to admit what had happened to me and I felt that when the communication ceased I would have to acknowledge the events that occurred and would have to say something,” he said. “I was also afraid of disengaging because I had witnessed how connected they were both and I was afraid.”

Sternheim also attempted to discredit the witness by pointing to media interviews in which she spoke of her high ambitions, asking about her previous failed relationships and her history of substance abuse.

Kate admitted in court that she had problems with cocaine, alcohol and sleeping pills in her late teens and early 20s. He testified that substance abuse has not affected his memory and that he was required not to take drugs or get drunk around Maxwell and Epstein.

Kate has been cooperating with the law since she was first contacted in 2019, she said. Kate said she is testifying under a pseudonym despite having previously made public appearances in the media because she has a son she does not want to bring to the attention of in the case.

“I have a great deal of humiliation and shame about the events that took place,” he said.

Kate said she received a $ 3.25 million settlement from Epstein’s victim compensation program. The money, he said, validated his experiences with Epstein.

“What the money meant to me was the recognition of my pain. What it meant to me was that my truth was important,” he said.

Kate acknowledged that she asked the prosecution about a special visa for victims who cooperate with law enforcement, but said she was not financially or otherwise motivated to testify in this case.

“This is the most difficult thing I have had to do and I am here because I do not think there is anything more important, especially now that I am a mother, than to show her that I can defend myself and show that the truth is important,” she said.

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