While defense attorneys for Ghislaine Maxwell, the alleged madame for Jeffrey Epstein, have argued that the women who accuse her of grooming them for the late financier to abuse are simply money-grubbing opportunists, evidence seized by the FBI from Epstein’s Manhattan mansion seems to back up the alleged victims’ chilling testimony.
On Monday, a second pseudonymous woman, “Kate,” testified that she met and was groomed by Maxwell when she was 17.
She described the warm, friendly manner in which Maxwell treated her, and how her desire to stay in with her sophisticated, well-connected older friend made it feel impossible to turn down sexual encounters with Epstein, for whom she acted as a masseuse at Maxwell’s behest.
Kate detailed what seems to have been something of an audition for the services she would later be pressured into providing for Epstein.
ABC News reported that Maxwell “encouraged [‘Kate’] to massage Epstein’s feet and shoulders. Epstein was ‘very approving,’ she said. … A few weeks later, ‘Kate’ said, Maxwell called again, claiming a massage therapist had cancelled at the last minute, and she asked if ‘Kate’ could ‘do her a favor’ by coming over to massage Epstein again.”
During many subsequent meetings, Kate was instructed to give Epstein massages that included sexual contact.
Maxwell, she testified, once told her she was “such a good girl.”
On one visit to Epstein’s Palm Beach mansion, Maxwell laid out a schoolgirl outfit for “Kate” on a bed, telling the teenager it would be “fun” to don it while serving Epstein tea. The costumed encounter that followed between the girl and the much older man also concluded with a sex act.
Kate’s story mirrors that of “Jane,” who testified last week that she had been lured into a friendship with the couple that eventually turned sexual in nature when she was just a teenager.
Both women, however, have been characterized by the defense as willing participants who only came forward to tell their stories when they saw the opportunity to profit from a victim’s compensation fund arranged after Epstein died in his Manhattan jail cell in 2019.
On Tuesday, another woman, “Carolyn,” testified that she began giving massages to Epstein when she was 14, according to The Independent.
Also on Tuesday, photos discovered by the FBI on CDs seized from a safe in Epstein’s Upper East Side penthouse bolstered Kate’s testimony.
According to News.com.au, the court saw images of the women who accuse Maxwell of grooming them in various states of undress.
The outlet reported that there were also photos of Maxwell massaging Epstein’s feet, just as “Kate” says she was instructed to do.
There is no reason at all to believe that “Kate” knew what was on the discs seized from Epstein’s mansion in 2019, as they were shown to the public for the first time on Tuesday.
Maxwell’s attorneys are arguing that the women accusing their client of sexual abuse and trafficking are exaggerating or falsifying her role in Epstein’s crimes because he is no longer alive to stand trial.
They all, however, have remarkably similar stories to tell of their time in the twisted inner circle of the Epstein orbit, and none of it looks good for Ghislaine Maxwell.
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