Maxwell attorney attacks account of prosecution's key witness, on third day of blockbuster trial

The defense attempted to poke holes in the testimony of a key witness, alleged victim of abuse of Epstein and Maxwell

Updated: December 2, 2021 - 10:12am

On the third day of the New York trial of Jeffrey Epstein consort Ghislaine Maxwell, defense attorneys attempted to undermine the testimony of a key accuser.

A woman, in her early-40s, who has been identified to the court solely by the pseudonym "Jane," testified Tuesday in detail about alleged encounters between her, Epstein, and sometimes Maxwell that occurred from 1994 to 1997.

During a cross examination, Maxwell's attorney Laura Menninger confronted "Jane" with FBI documents dated 2019 and 2020, according to which she had told the bureau that her memory was hazy in terms of whether Maxwell had been present when Epstein abused her.

The witness denied the accuracy of the FBI documents, telling the court that her statements to the FBI had not been recorded. "This was just someone jotting down notes. ... A lot of these are not correct," she said.

The defense also questioned the credibility of the witness who waited 20 years to discuss with law enforcement the alleged abuse by Maxwell. When prosecutors asked her why she had waited so long and failed to reveal everything about her experience with Epstein in initial meetings, she tearfully responded, "Because it was too difficult – too difficult emotionally, too difficult on every level."

The 59-year-old Maxwell has pleaded not guilty to charges that prosecutors say prove she was Epstein's "partner in crime." Maxwell's attorneys claim she is being scapegoated for the actions of Epstein who died in his Manhattan jail cell while awaiting trial. 

Just the News Spotlight