As it happenedended1619209162

Ghislaine Maxwell: Socialite is called ‘courageous’ and ‘tough’ by lawyers as she pleads not guilty

Follow the latest updates from the inside and out of the courtroom

Justin Vallejo
Friday 23 April 2021 16:39
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Watch live as Ghislaine Maxwell’s lawyers arrive at court

Ghislaine Maxwell pleaded not guilty to new indictments during her first in-person court appearance since being arrested on sex trafficking charges.

While she had previously faced the court via video link from the Brooklyn Metropolitan Detention Centre, today marked the first live appearance in a US District Court in lower Manhattan.

The new indictment, which adds a victim and extends the timeframe of the charge, supersedes the previous charges that Ms Maxwell had also pleaded not guilty to.

The brief exchange took roughly 15 to 20 minutes. Ms Maxwell’s sister was in the courtroom, but her two brothers remained in England due to Covid travel restrictions.

Defence attorney David Markus said outside the court that a "courageous and tough" Ms Maxwell was looking forward to the trial so she could fight.

"She’s hanging in there, it’s not easy," Mr Markus told reporters. "I’ve never seen anything like how she’s being treated. It’s the Epstein effect. It’s the Epstein effect. She’s been treated horribly because of the negligence and what happened to Jeffrey Epstein."

One of Epstein’s victims said after the appearance that it was “incredibly vindicating” to see Maxwell sitting in court for the first time.

The unnamed survivor, who appeared with her lawyers David Boies and Sigrid McCawley, said she was too afraid to sit through Epstein’s appearance.

“This is a new feeling for me to sit there and accept a lot. It’s hard to sit through it, and it’s painful, but it’s good too. It’s healing,” she said.

Her lawyer, Mr Boies, said Epstein’s victims were looking forward to a trial. Maxwell has pleaded not guilty to all charges.

“Everybody felt like they were cheated by Mr Epstein’s death, I think that everyone was looking forward by holding him to account in a court of law," he said. “I think now, that Ms Maxwell is going to go to trial, I think that is something that they’re looking forward to.”

Federal judge Alison Nathan did not rule out delaying the 12 July start date of Ghislaine Maxwell’s trial, which the defence wants to postpone until the fall or winter for time to review evidence.

Without ruling on the motion to delay the start date, Ms Nathan said "everyone should assume that it’s July” unless they hear otherwise.

She urged prosecutors to provide disclosures to the defence seven weeks before trial – or 24 May - the allow time to prepared.

“There’s a lot to do for everyone and we’ll get it done,” Ms Nathan said.

Read more:

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Ghislaine Maxwell pleads not guilty to new charges at first in-person court appearance in months

Ghislaine Maxwell pleaded not guilty on Friday to new charges of sex trafficking for her former boyfriend, Jeffrey Epstein.

This was the first time Ms Maxwell has appeared in court in person since she was arrested.

The British socialite, 59, has been charged with trafficking underage girls for Mr Epstein, a convicted sex criminal. She had previously pleaded not guilty to those charges, and on Friday pleaded not guilty to additional charges regarding a new alleged victim.

The Independent’s Nathan Place has more from the courtroom.

Ghislaine Maxwell pleads not guilty to new charges at first in-person court appearance in months

Ms Maxwell had been indicted on additional charges adding a new alleged victim

Justin Vallejo23 April 2021 19:58
1619205160

A ‘courageous and tough’ Ghislaine Maxwell looking forward to a fight at trial, say lawyers

Speaking after the brief court appearance, lawyers for Maxwell said she was “courageous and tough” but looking forward to the trial.

“It was not easy to come to court, she was kept up, she was woken at 3 in the morning this morning, and it’s not easy,” said lawyer David Markus.

“Very difficult conditions, conditions none of us would wish on our worst enemies and she’s staying strong, she’s getting ready for trial, the judge did not set trial yet today, it’s still scheduled for July… Ghislaine is looking forward to that trial, she’s looking forward to fighting. She will fight.”

Justin Vallejo23 April 2021 20:12
1619205523

Ghislaine Maxwell not suicidal but suffering the ‘Epstein effect’ anyway, say lawyers

Lawyers for the British socialite said she was “hanging in there” but that he had never seen anything like how she was being treated, calling it “the Epstein effect”.

“She’s been treated horribly because of the negligence and what happened to Jeffrey Epstein. She’s not suicidal, she’s not, she shouldn’t be treated like this. And it’s not fair and it’s not right. And it’s only because of the horrible Epstein effect,” said lawyer David Markus.

Justin Vallejo23 April 2021 20:18
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Epstein survivor says she feels ‘vindicated’ to see Maxwell in court

One of the victims of Jeffrey Epstein told reporters that it was “incredibly vindicating” to see Ghislaine Maxwell sitting in court for the first time.

The unnamed survivor, who appeared with her lawyers David Boies and Sigrid McCawley, said she was too afraid to sit through Epstein’s appearance.

“This is a new feeling for me to sit there and accept a lot. It’s hard to sit through it, and it’s painful, but it’s good too. It’s healing,” she said.

Her lawyer, Mr Boies, said Epstein’s victims were looking forward to the trial. Maxwell has pleaded not guilty to all charges.

“Everybody felt like they were cheated by Mr Epstein’s death, I think that everyone was looking forward to holding him to account in a court of law. I think when that wasn’t possible that was something that was upsetting,” he said.

“I think now, that Ms Maxwell is going to go to trial, I think that is something that they’re looking forward to.”

Justin Vallejo23 April 2021 20:34
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Judge does not rule out delay to start of Maxwell trial

Federal judge Alison Nathan did not rule out delaying the start date of Ghislaine Maxwell’s trial,  which the defence wants to postpone until the fall or winter for time to review evidence.

Without ruling on the motion to delay the start date, Ms Nathan said"everyone should assume that it’s July” unless they hear otherwise.

She urged prosecutors to provide disclosures to the defence seven weeks before trial – or 24 May - the allow time to prepared.

“There’s a lot to do for everyone and we’ll get it done,” Ms Nathan said.

Justin Vallejo23 April 2021 20:41
1619208126

‘Courageous and tough’ Ghislaine Maxwell is looking forward to trial, her lawyers say

A lawyer for accused Jeffrey Epstein enabler Ghislaine Maxwell said Friday that she is “courageous and tough” and looking forward to her trial.

“She’s looking forward to fighting, and she will fight,” the lawyer said outside federal court in Lower Manhattan.

Nathan Place will have more from the brief appearance today.

‘Courageous and tough’ Ghislaine Maxwell is looking forward to trial, her lawyers say

‘She’s looking forward to fighting, and she will fight,’ the lawyer said after Ms Maxwell’s arraignment

Justin Vallejo23 April 2021 21:02

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