- The first accuser to speak at the Ghislaine Maxwell trial wrapped up testimony on Wednesday.
- “I’m here to hopefully find closure to all this. It’s something I’ve been running from my entire life.”
- Maxwell is standing trial on sex-trafficking charges. She has pleaded not guilty.
The first accuser to take the stand in the Ghislaine Maxwell trial cried in court on Wednesday, as she recounted how she has struggled to recover from the sexual abuse she said Maxwell and Jeffrey Epstein committed against her, starting when she was 14.
Prosecutors have accused Maxwell of sex trafficking girls with Epstein, sexually abusing them herself, and lying about her actions in a deposition. Maxwell has pleaded not guilty to the charges, and denied all accusations of wrongdoing. Epstein killed himself in jail while awaiting trial in 2019.
On her second day of questioning on Wednesday, the accuser — identified only by the pseudonym Jane to protect her identity — was asked by the prosecution why she decided to testify against Maxwell.
“I’m here to hopefully find closure to all this. It’s something I’ve been running from my entire life and I’m just tired of it,” Jane said.
She proceeded to break down in tears when the prosecution asked her what it meant to receive $US5 ($AU7) million from a compensation fund set up for Epstein’s victims.
“I wish I would have never received that money in the first place,” Jane said. “In this country, compensation is the only thing you can get to try and move on with your life for the pain, abuse, and suffering.”
“Hopefully this puts it all to an end and I can move on with my life,” Jane said.
Jane said Epstein and Maxwell first approached her at a summer camp when she was 14
Jane is the first of four accusers scheduled to testify against Maxwell at her trial, which is expected to last six weeks.
Her testimony began Tuesday, when she recalled Epstein and Maxwell first approached her while she was eating ice cream at a summer camp in 1994.
Jane said the sexual abuse started that same year, when she was 14 years old. Jane testified that the abuse started with Epstein climaxing on her in his pool house, but proceeded to include orgies with Maxwell, who she said instructed her on how to give Epstein sexualized massages.
Jane said the sexual abuse, with Maxwell often in the room, happened so often that she couldn’t give a specific number of incidents.
Jane said the abuse lasted at least five years, until she moved across country in 1999. She testified that she cut off contact with Epstein in 2002.
For years, she tried to keep her name out of news reports about Epstein, saying she felt “scared, embarrassed, and ashamed.”
Jane said she even found it hard to detail what happened to her when she finally decided to sit down with prosecutors and tell her story.
“I was sitting in a room full of strangers, telling my most shameful, deepest secrets I’d been carrying around with my my whole life,” she said. “It was too difficult emotionally, it was difficult on every level.”