Ghislaine Maxwell trial: Woman says she gave Epstein sexualised massage while wearing schoolgirl’s outfit

‘She told me I was such a good girl, and that I was one of his favourites’

Bevan Hurley
Thurgood Marshall US Courthouse, New York
Monday 06 December 2021 23:44
Ghislaine Maxwell's family criticizes AG Garland over 'unnecessary trauma' during trial

Ghislaine Maxwell told a young woman to dress up in a schoolgirl’s outfit before giving Jeffrey Epstein a sexualised massage at his Palm Beach mansion, a court in New York heard on Monday.

The now 44-year-old British woman told the court she had first given sexual massages to Epstein at the age of 17 at Ms Maxwell’s townhome in Belgravia, London.

Testifying under the pseudonym “Kate”, the woman said on a later trip to Epstein’s Palm Beach mansion she found a schoolgirl’s uniform had been left on a bed in her room consisting of a short white pleated-skirt, shirt, underwear and socks.

She said she asked Ms Maxwell “what was happening with the clothes in my room”.

“And she said, ‘I thought it would be good for you to take Jeffrey his tea in these clothes’.”

“I didn’t know how to say no,” Kate said.

“She told me I was such a good girl, and that I was one of his favourites.”

Kate said she continued to see Epstein into her 30s, and that she was fearful of “disengaging” because of how well-connected he and Ms Maxwell were.

“She seemed to know everybody and she told me she was friends with Prince Andrew, friends with Donald Trump, friends with lots of famous people and their names would sometimes just come up.”

Kate was over the age of consent in Britain at the time she met Epstein, and US district judge Alison Nathan instructed the jury before her testimony that any sexual encounters she described were not “illegal sex acts”.

Prosecutors plan to use Kate’s testimony to corroborate patterns in Epstein’s and Ms Maxwell’s behaviour, by showing that the older socialite would “groom” them for abuse.

Ms Maxwell faces charges of enticement of a minor to travel to engage in illegal sex acts, transportation of a minor with intent to engage in illegal sex acts, sex trafficking of a minor, and three counts of conspiracy related to the other counts. She has denied all the charges.

Under questioning from US assistant attorney Lara Pomerantz, Kate recalled meeting Ms Maxwell aged about 17 on a trip to Paris with her boyfriend at the time, who was in his mid-30s.

Kate testified that Ms Maxwell was “sophisticated and elegant”, and asked her a lot of questions about her life.

She went to Ms Maxwell’s townhouse in the upmarket London suburb of Belgravia a few weeks later for tea.

Ghislaine Maxwell

At the time she said she was having trouble making friends and her mother had been unwell and she felt like she had found a “new connection that could be really meaningful to me”.

“I shared with her that I was really interested in music. She told me lots of amazing things about her boyfriend, she said that he was a philanthropist and that he liked to help young people and that at some point it would be really wonderful for me to meet him.

“She said that he was going to love me and that I was exactly the kind of person he would help. She said she was excited about it and I was excited too.”

A few weeks later, Ms Maxwell called her again to say Epstein was in town and she should come back to her home.

Kate said there was a “sense of urgency, like it was very important that I take this opportunity”.

She arrived to find Epstein dressed in sweatpants and a hoodie, talking loudly on the phone.

After he got off the phone Ms Maxwell listed Kate’s accolades, saying she was strong and athletic, and that she should “give his feet a little squeeze to show how strong you are”.

In this courtroom sketch, Ghislaine Maxwell is at the defence table (Elizabeth Williams/AP)

“He seemed to be very approving. He said, ‘You can go ahead and do my shoulder’.”

Kate testified that a few weeks later Ms Maxwell called her to say Epstein’s massage therapist had cancelled and asked could she come over “because she had such strong hands”.

“She led me up the stairs,” Kate said, and into a dimly lit room with a massage table and towels where Epstein was waiting. He took off his robe, and was naked, as she entered.

Ms Maxwell handed her some massage oil and closed the door, leaving the two of them alone, Kate said.

She said Epstein initiated sexual contact, as he would on every occasion she gave him a massage.

Afterwards, Ms Maxwell asked her how it went and if she had fun.

“She seemed very excited and was happy.”

Kate said she returned again to the Maxwell property a few weeks later where she again gave Epstein a sexualised massage.

“Afterwards she said, ‘Did you have fun, you are such a good girl, he obviously likes you a lot’. She sounded really pleased, and I was pleased that she was pleased.”

Over the next few years Kate travelled to Epstein’s in Palm Beach and his island in the US Virgin Islands  “sporadically”.

Kate said she saw other young blonde girls at the properties on separate occasions, who seemed younger than she was. At the Palm Beach property, she recalled seeing “lots of photos of young girls... they were unclothed”.

Kate said Ms Maxwell would talk about Epstein’s sexual needs, and how demanding he was, and if she knew anyone who could perform oral sex on Epstein.

“She said, ‘You know what he likes – cute, young, pretty like you’.”

The outdoor pool at Epstein’s Palm Beach mansion. Kate testified she dressed in a schoolgirl’s outfit to give him a sexualised massage

Kate said Ms Maxwell told her that Epstein was “demanding” and “needed sex about three times a day”.

When Ms Maxwell discussed sex with her it was “almost like a schoolgirl”.

“I almost felt like she was talking like she was younger than me which was odd. Everything was silly, everything was very exciting, everything seemed to be like a fun, silly joke.”

She told how she was given a black Prada handbag on her 18th birthday “from Ghislaine and Jeffrey”.

Kate said Ms Maxwell confided in her about her wealth, saying as well as the London townhouse she also owned a property in New York, and “Jeffrey got it for her”.

Kate said she continued to visit Epstein even after losing contact with Ms Maxwell, and saw him as many as five times a year into her 30s.

The sexual contact stopped in her early 30s after she had her first child, she said.

Jeffrey Epstein in front of one of his private jets

“I was fearful of disengaging because I understood how connected they both were.”

Kate told Ms Pomerantz she had abused cocaine, sleeping pills and alcohol at the time she knew Epstein, but that it hadn’t affected her memory.

“The memories I have of significant events in my life have never changed.”

She received a $3.25 million payout from the Epstein compensation fund, some of which went towards legal fees.

Kate’s voice would go faint at times, and she closed her eyes as she spoke about the sexual contact with Epstein.

At other times she made eye contact with and smiled at jury members.

In cross-examination by Bobbi Sternheim, Kate said she had never taken drugs around Epstein as it was forbidden.

Kate agreed she had continued to correspond with Epstein even after his imprisonment for underage sex offences in Florida in the late 2000s, signing off an email “best love always, Kate”.

She said she had told Epstein she would send him pictures, but had not actually sent any images.

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