Ghislaine Maxwell ‘too fragile’ to be grilled about Jeffrey Epstein and Prince Andrew


A spokesman for Ghislaine Maxwell’s family says she is ‘too fragile’ to give evidence to the trial, which will mean she will avoid being asked about her relationship with Jeffrey Epstein and her rich and famous friends including Prince Andrew

Ghislaine Maxwell confers with her lawyer Bobbi Sternheim during the trial
Ghislaine Maxwell confers with her lawyer Bobbi Sternheim during the trial

Ghislaine Maxwell will avoid being grilled about her former lover Jeffrey Epstein and pal Prince Andrew after her family said she was “too fragile” to take the stand.

The British socialite’s siblings have long argued their sister’s condition has deteriorated badly during her 18 months in jail, while awaiting her grooming and sexual abuse case in New York to be heard.

When asked if she would be giving evidence a spokesman for the family replied saying she was “too fragile”

Crucially by not taking the stand, which is any defendant’s right, Maxwell will avoid being asked about her relationship with her former lover, Epstein.

It will also ensure she is not asked about her rich and famous friends who have been mentioned during her trial, including the Duke of York.

British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell is on trial in the Southern District of New York
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Maxwell is accused of procuring, grooming and at times sexual abusing four girls under 18 for the late billionaire sex offender.

If convicted of all six charges, the 59-year-old faces up to 70 years in prison.

She has pleaded not guilty to each.

A source told the Mirror: “Ghislaine is perfectly entitled to refuse to give evidence. It is up to the prosecution to prove their case against her with or without her testimony.

“Her family have long argued she has become a shell of her former shelf, accusing jail officials of holding her in inhumane conditions. They say her hair has fallen out as a result, and she has lost weight after being deprived of food and sleep.

“Her siblings have even written to the American Attorney General and the UN over her treatment while in detention.

“Crucially for her defence team – whether she was fragile or not – by not having Ghislaine give evidence, it prevents the prosecution from asking her about her relationship with Epstein and others, including Prince Andrew, Donald Trump and Bill Clinton.

“If she does take the stand, it’s likely the Government would have in the box for days.”

Maxwell is accused of preying on vulnerable young girls and luring them to massage rooms to be molested by Jeffrey Epstein
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Previously, Maxwell’s lawyers told the court their client was” withering” away.

In a letter to Judge Alison Nathan, her attorney Bobbi Sternheim.

complained about her being deprived of sleep, served inedible food and being “physically abused” by a jail guard.

She said when the Brit – the daughter of disgraced tycoon Robert Maxwell – complained about her treatment, she was punished for it.

Maxwell with Jeffrey Epstein
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“It is impossible to overstate the deleterious effect of the conditions under which Ms Maxwell is detained,” Sternheim wrote.

“She is withering to a shell of her former self – losing weight, losing hair, and losing her ability to concentrate.”

On Thursday, jurors are set to return to court after a three-day break in the proceedings as Maxwell’s lawyers scrambled to ensure her defence witnesses were able to appear.

The prosecution blindsided her legal team after they cut short their evidence by three weeks, taking only a fortnight to present their case.

They had previously told Judge Nathan they could take five weeks before they rested.

The defence has provided the names of 35 witnesses they are expected to call.

Some are coming from abroad, and three may not be willing to testify unless their identities are kept secret by the court.

Maxwell’s legal team have indicated they expect to take two or three days for their defence, raising the outside possibility the jury could be out before Christmas Day – Maxwell’s 60th birthday.

With Prince Andrew at Ascot
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The trial will resume without the socialite’s “little black book” containing the names and addresses of nearly 2,000 wealthy and powerful figures being presented in court.

Maxwell’s defence attorneys came to an agreement with prosecutors over the weekend not to release the 97-page directory to the public.

Judge Nathan had previously said she wanted to avoid “needless” name dropping during the trial.

Epstein, 66, died after hanging himself in his cell at the Metropolitan Correctional Centre in Manhattan in August 2019 while awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges.

His death was ruled a suicide by New York’s chief medical examiner.




www.mirror.co.uk

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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