Ghislaine Maxwell compared to Eve, Epstein to James Bond on Day 1 of trial
Opening statements were made in Ghislaine Maxwell's trial at a New York court on Monday, November 29. She is on trial for eight counts centered around the accounts of four accusers who have been identified as Jane Doe 1 to 4. The 59-year-old lover and alleged "madam" of level-three registered sex offender Jeffrey Epstein could face a maximum of 40 years in jail if convicted for conspiracy to commit sex trafficking of minors. Other charges against her carry maximum penalties of five to ten years. Her defense lawyer Bobbi Sternheim argued in court that Maxwell was a "scapegoat for Jeffrey Epstein" on day one of the trial while the prosecution maintained she was "essential" to the abuse meted out to the victims.
The Oxford-educated wealthy daughter of press baron Robert Maxwell recruited underage girls and groomed them for Epstein who she was also romantically involved with, prosecutors say. "She preyed on vulnerable young girls, manipulated them, and served them up to be sexually abused," Assistant District Attorney Lara Pomerantz said in her opening statement, according to BBC. Epstein died by suicide in his prison cell on August 10, 2019, and Maxwell's defense argued she was only being tried as he can't be brought to justice.
Ghislaine Maxwell compared to 'Eve', Epstein to 'James Bond' on day 1 of trial
Maxwell has denied all the charges against her while the prosecution argues she and Epstein were "partners in crime" in the sex abuse of the four victims. However, Sternheim said, "The charges against Ghislaine Maxwell are for things that Jeffrey Epstein did, but she is not Jeffrey Epstein." She further painted her client as the victim of sexism while drawing comparisons with biblical figure Eve. “Ever since Eve has been blamed for tempting Adam with an apple, women have been blamed for things men have done,” Sternheim said. “She is not Jeffrey Epstein. She is not anything like Jeffrey Epstein," she argued further.
Sternheim appeared to minimize the atrociousness of Epstein's crimes saying, "he had many positive traits." She added, "In many regards, he was like a 21st century James Bond." Maxwell is on trial for allegedly recruiting minors for Epstein mostly in the '90s. Sternheim is said to argue that the accusers might have faulty memories caused by time and contamination by "outside information, constant media reports and other influences."