Ghislaine Maxwell trial updates LIVE – Jeffrey Epstein's 'madam' in court and coverage ripped as FAKE press ban surfaces

THE sex trafficking trial of Jeffrey's Epstein's alleged "madam" Ghislaine Maxwell started on Monday, as false reports of the press being banned from the courtroom emerged.

Before the crux of the trial even got underway, online trolls claimed there was a "gag order" barring coverage of the event.

There is no such order in place for the trial, according to Newsweek.

Maxwell's defense attorney compared Jeffrey Epstein to James Bond in the opening day of the socialite's sex trial.

Opening the case for the defense, Maxwell's attorney Bobbi Sternheim told the jury: “Ever since Eve was accused of tempting Adam with the apple, women have been blamed for the bad behavior of men, and women are often vilified and punished more than men are.

"The charges against Ghislaine Maxwell are for things Jeffrey Epstein did. But she is not Jeffrey Epstein."

Of Epstein, Sternheim said that “in many regards, he was like a 21st century James Bond…his accusers have shaken the money tree and millions of dollars have fallen their way.”

The case could see bombshell revelations from the murky world of Epstein emerge as Maxwell answers six charges relating to the trafficking and abuse of four victims.

Maxwell faces allegations that she procured girls for Epstein while also participating in the abuse herself on a number of occasions.

Prosecutors allege she and Epstein exploited girls as young as 14.

Maxwell’s lawyers deny all charges against her and will attempt to argue her relationship with Epstein has been overstated.

Read our Ghislaine Maxwell live blog for the latest news and updates…

  • G. P. Rodriguez

    COURT SKETCH SHOWS MAXWELL DURING OPENING STATEMENTS

    Ghislaine Maxwell listens as defense attorney Bobbi Sternheim gives her opening statement at the start of Maxwell's trial on charges of sex trafficking, in a courtroom sketch in New York City on Monday, November 29.

    Credit: Reuters
  • G. P. Rodriguez

    WILL THE ALLEGED VICTIMS TESTIFY IN MAXWELL'S TRIAL?

    Maxwell's charges relate to four victims – including Annie Farmer , who claims that the alleged "madam" gave her a topless massage when she was just 16.

    Farmer will be joined by three other victims who are expected to testify under pseudonyms.

  • G. P. Rodriguez

    THE CHARGES

    The exact charges against Maxwell are:

    • Conspiracy to entice minors to travel to engage in illegal sex acts
    • Enticement of a minor to travel to engage in illegal sex acts
    • Conspiracy to transport minors with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity
    • Transportation of a minor with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity
    • Sex trafficking conspiracy
    • Sex trafficking of a minor

    She also faces two other charges of perjury over allegations she lied in a deposition in a separate civil suit, but these will be tried separately.

    She has pleaded not guilty to all charges against her.

    • G. P. Rodriguez

      MAXWELL 'FIDGETED' IN COURT

      Ghislaine Maxwell fidgeted with nervous energy in courtroom 318 as the prosecutor pointed and called her a “predator.”

      The English heiress, in a beige cashmere sweater, black trousers and heels, hid her face behind a white mask at The Thurgood Marshall US Courthouse in Manhattan.

      At the start of proceedings, she hugged each of her four lawyers. 

      The accused appeared to be relatively relaxed as she played with her recently dyed hair.

      But, as prosecutor Lara Pomerantz tore into her, Maxwell fidgeted, passed notes to her legal team and leaned in close to talk to them.

    • G. P. Rodriguez

      A '21ST CENTURY JAMES BOND'

      The victims are going to “tell stories that have changed over time and will over time", said Maxwell's attorney Sternheim.

      “Stories that they have told for the first time after Epstein died. Ghislaine has been inserted in those stories as they reframed their stories for a payday.

      Epstein was a “21st-century James Bond” whose wealth and mystery attracted the public’s interest, added Sternheim.

      Maxwell “is is a brand name, she is a lightning rod, she is a convenient stand-in for the man who cannot be here".

    • G. P. Rodriguez

      THE DEFENSE'S ARGUMENT

      Maxwell's lawyer Bobbi Sternheim cast doubt on the accusers' claims and argued Maxwell was a "scapegoat" for the multimillionaire pedophile's crimes.

      "Memories fade over time and this case you will learn that not only have memories faded, but they have been contaminated by outside information, constant media reports and other influences," she said.

      “The government is trying to stitch together stories of four different people, four different stories to support a pattern.

      "But the only pattern you will see here is the success of those four people getting big money awards from the Epstein fund.

      “They have been impacted by lawyers, by media, by things they have read, things they have heard. And by money. Big Bucks.”

    • G. P. Rodriguez

      A 'PYRAMID SCHEME OF ABUSE'

      Maxwell paid victims to entice more girls to be abused by Epstein, the prosecutor told the court.

      “Under this pyramid scheme of abuse, the defendant could just call girls to schedule massage appointments and just hand them cash afterwards.”

      Epstein killed himself while awaiting trial for sex trafficking in August 2019.

    • G. P. Rodriguez

      'THE BEST OF FRIENDS'

      Prosecutor Pomerantz explained in court that Maxwell and Epstein had been in a relationship but remained "the best of friends" after they split.

      Through the financier, Maxwell was able to maintain a luxurious lifestyle, Pomerantz claimed.

      “These girls were a means to support her lifestyle. Maxwell was Epstein’s best friend and right hand.

      “She was involved in every detail of Epstein’s life. During the 10 years, they committed these crimes together. She was the lady of the house.”

    • G. P. Rodriguez

      THE 'PLAY BOOK'

      Prosecutor Lara Pomerantz outlined what she called the "play book" Maxwell and Epstein used under the cover of being "wealthy and influential" people to win victims' trust.

      "First, they got access to young girls. Then they gained their trust. They learned about each girl’s hopes and dreams. They learned about each girl’s family.

      "They figured out what the girls dreamed of being when they grew up and promised to help. They made them feel special. But that was a cover.”

    • G. P. Rodriguez

      'MAKING IT SEEM NORMAL'

      Not only did Maxwell groom the girls to be abused by Epstein, she even watched and took part, the court was told.

      “The defendant walked the girls into a room where she knew that man would molest them, and there were times she was in the room when it happened, making it all feel normal and casual. That is why we are here today.”

      "Sometimes, she was even in the room for the massages herself, and sometimes she touched the girls' bodies."

    • G. P. Rodriguez

      JURY IS TOLD MAXWELL 'SERVED UP' GIRLS FOR JEFFREY EPSTEIN

      Opening the case against Maxwell, prosecutor Lara Pomerantz said she lured girls for Epstein to abuse under the guise of giving him massages – even watching as it happened.

      “The defendant helped Epstein find those girls, she helped him recruit those girls for so-called massages,” she said.

      "She preyed on vulnerable young girls, manipulated them and served them up to be sexually abused.

      “Make no mistake – she knew exactly what Epstein was going to do to those children when she sent them inside those massage rooms.

      “But was happening in those massage rooms was not massage. Those girls were not professional masseuses. They were kids being sexually exploited and abused."

    • G. P. Rodriguez

      'PARTNERS IN CRIME'

      At the start of the 59-year-old’s trial for allegedly sex-trafficking for Epstein, the jury was told the "predator" and Epstein were “partners in crime”.

      The much anticipated "trial of the century" began with the prosecution detailing to the packed Manhattan court room her role in helping Epstein abuse girls – even watching and taking part..

      Her lawyer then told the court her four alleged victims were motivated by money and the evidence against Maxwell was based on memories from two decades ago.

    • G. P. Rodriguez

      GHISLAINE MAXWELL’S ROMANTIC HISTORY, CONTINUED

      According to a 2009 deposition, several of Epstein's household employees testified that Epstein referred to Maxwell as his "main girlfriend."

      It is unclear exactly when or if their relationship went from romantic to platonic before he was jailed for soliciting a minor for prostitution in 2008.

      Following his initial release, the two were no longer seen in public together.

      Maxwell was then linked to the founder of Gateway Computers, Ted Waitt. The two attended Chelsea Clinton's wedding together in 2010, and Maxwell reportedly helped Waitt to renovate a luxury yacht, Plan B, before they eventually split.

      While the exact time and date of the wedding is unknown, Maxwell and Borgerson have been married since 2016.

    • G. P. Rodriguez

      GHISLAINE MAXWELL'S ROMANTIC HISTORY

      While Maxwell has not been married prior to her nuptials with Scott Borgerson, she has been linked to a series of high-profile men over the years.

      In the 1990s, Maxwell dated Count Gianfranco Cicogna, an Italian aristocrat and millionaire. According to reports, the two ended on bad terms.

      Following her relationship with Cicogna, Maxwell began dating Jeffrey Epstein, a convicted sex offender who killed himself while behind bars in 2019.

    • G. P. Rodriguez

      DOES GHISLAINE MAXWELL HAVE KIDS?

      Ghislaine Maxwell does not have any children of her own, but is reportedly the stepmother to her husband's children from his first marriage.

      According to reports, Maxwell secretly wed tech millionaire Scott Borgerson in 2016.

      Maxwell's own family didn't know about the wedding until her bail hearing, according to her brother, Ian.

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