Ghislaine Maxwell’s ‘posh’ demeanour helped lure Jeffrey Epstein victims, sex-trafficking jury told

She described Epstein as a puppet-master who dated women behind Ms Maxwell’s back. “She was a happy, educated, beautiful woman. Why would she risk it all for one man, just because, as they said, he was a means to support her lifestyle?” Ms Menninger asked. “Use your common sense.”

Ms Moe, however, suggested being “a right hand to a multi-millionaire” had “considerable benefits”, pointing to photographs the jury had been shown of Epstein’s private jets and helicopter and exotic foreign holidays.

The defence has relied on the three “Ms” – “money, manipulation and memories” – to prove Ms Maxwell’s innocence.

Ms Menninger questioned why the four women, several of whom had launched civil lawsuits against Epstein, had not implicated Ms Maxwell until after his death. “Why would you go decades without mentioning it?” she asked.

A brief two-day defence presentation included former Epstein employees who had fond memories of Ms Maxwell. It also included testimony from Elizabeth Loftus, a memory expert, who said memories are particularly vulnerable to corruption as time passes.

“These accusers have stories to tell of Epstein, only decades later did they insert Ms Maxwell,” she said. “Memories have been manipulated over time for money.”

‘We molested kids money’

Each of the four accusers won payouts from the Epstein Victims’ Compensation Fund set up by his estate after his death in prison in 2019.

However, Ms Moe pointed out that the women had received the money before the trial began and “they had no financial stake in its outcome”.

In a passionate rebuttal to the defence closing statement, Maurene Comey, the lead prosecutor, said it was “borderline laughable” that Ms Maxwell didn’t know about Epstein’s crimes. She added that the millions of dollars given to Ms Maxwell by Epstein was “we molested kids money”.

Ahead of closing arguments, federal prosecutors released photos and videos into evidence, including video of a raid of Epstein’s Palm Beach mansion in 2005.  

There were several images of Ms Maxwell accuser Annie Farmer, who testified last week that she was abused on Epstein’s New Mexico ranch when she was 16.

Also submitted was a photo of two boxes of the “Twin Torpedo” sex toy that was recovered by the FBI at Epstein’s home.  

The jury was sent out to deliberate on Monday and will be encouraged by Judge Alison Nathan to try to reach a verdict before court adjourns for Christmas on Wednesday evening.

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