Ghislaine Maxwell’s accuser told a court in New York on Wednesday how she was introduced by Jeffrey Epstein to Donald Trump at his Florida resort and took part in one of his beauty pageants, as the defence challenged her memory of the alleged abuse she suffered.
On the third day of the trial, “Jane” – now an actress in her 40s – was asked by Ms Maxwell’s lawyers whether she had been introduced to the former US president in Palm Beach.
“He [Epstein] took you to Mar-a-Lago when you were 14, you claim?” asked Lara Menninger, acting for the defence.
“Yes,” Jane said.
“He [Epstein] took you in a dark green car and you met Donald Trump there, correct?” Ms Menninger asked.
Jane spoke about a teen pageant she took part in years later wearing a $2,000 (£1,500) dress gifted to her by Epstein.
Jane, referred to as “Victim One” in Ms Maxwell’s indictment, told how at the age of 14 she had flown on Epstein’s private jet with high-profile figures including Prince Andrew, who was dragged into proceedings a day earlier during testimony given by the financier’s pilot.
Jane did not allege any wrongdoing by the Duke or Mr Trump. Ms Maxwell has denied six counts related to her alleged involvement in Epstein’s sexual abuse of teenage girls.
Jane said on Tuesday that she had sexual encounters with Epstein at his Palm Beach home multiple times a month when she was 14, 15 and 16. Other people participated, she said, including the heiress, 59, who touched her breasts.
Ms Menninger asked Jane about apparent discrepancies between her descriptions of Ms Maxwell’s role and earlier conversations with prosecutors before Ms Maxwell’s July 2020 arrest.
“When you spoke with the Government in December 2019, with your lawyers there, you told the Government you were not sure whether Maxwell ever touched you during these encounters, correct?” Ms Menninger asked. “I don’t recall,” Jane replied.
“You told the Government you were not sure if Ghislaine kissed you,” the defence continued. “I don’t recall,” she said. “You told the Government you had no memory of Ghislaine being present when you claim Epstein engaged in any sexual contact?” “I don’t recall,” she said.
Alison Moe interjected with objections nearly 30 times during cross-examination, with many sustained.
‘My timeline was wrong,’ alleged victims admits
Ms Maxwell’s defence pointed to a statement Jane gave the US Government about flying to New York with Epstein and Ms Maxwell when she was 14 in 1994 to see The Lion King. However, they said she must have been mistaken as the musical did not open until 1997.
“My timeline was wrong,” Jane admitted. Ms Menninger spoke about other young women who Jane claimed were present during the abuse.
One aspect of Ms Maxwell’s defence is attempting to undermine accusers’ recollection of events. Her attorneys are expected to call psychologist Elizabeth Loftus as a witness, to discuss how people can form “false memories”.
The prosecution attempted to paint a picture of an alleged victim changing her story to include accusations against the British socialite only after the late financier’s death in 2019.
Jane’s first meeting with authorities was in late 2019. On Tuesday, Jane said she did not tell anybody about any abuse because she was “terrified” and “felt gross and ashamed”.
“These memories came to you after two years?” Ms Menninger said, insinuating she and others were scapegoating Ms Maxwell for Epstein’s crimes. “Memory is not linear,” Jane answered.
Jane ended her time in the witness box saying she was hoping to “finally find some closure to all of this”.
Siblings show their support for Ghislaine
After court was adjourned for the day, Ms Maxwell’s brother Kevin expressed relief at seeing his sister for the first time in more than 500 days.