/Ghislaine Maxwell trial – live: Annie Farmer says at 16 socialite massaged her breasts and Epstein groped her – The Independent

Ghislaine Maxwell trial – live: Annie Farmer says at 16 socialite massaged her breasts and Epstein groped her – The Independent


Ghislaine Maxwell Trial: Day 7

The trial of Ghislaine Maxwell has resumed a day after being adjourned due to an attorney falling ill.

Ms Maxwell is accused of grooming teenage girls for her convicted sex offender partner Jeffrey Epstein from the 1990s onwards. She has pleaded not guilty to all charges. Her defence team said that she is being made the “scapegoat” for Epstein’s deeds.

However, her accusers have testified that she was instrumental in the late financier’s crimes and even participated.

Annie Farmer, the fourth accuser from the indictment against Ms Maxwell, is now testifying. She is the only victim using her real name and has described in detail being groped by Epstein, instructed to rub his feet by Ms Maxwell, and being massaged naked by the disgraced socialite.

Meanwhile, Ghislaine Maxwell’s brother Kevin Maxwell has alleged that his sister is being abused in prison and was only fed a packet of crisps during one day in court.

The prosecution reiterated on Wednesday that they intend to rest their case this week, wrapping up arguments from their side in a trial that was expected to last five to six weeks.

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Defence questions Ms Farmer about matters in the years since the abuse took place.

Ms Menniger says that Ms Farmer told the Epstein Victim’s Compensation Fund that the New York movie theatre “hand-holding” incident was sexual abuse.

Ms Farmer responds that she told them in detail what happened.

She is then asked if she is in a WhatsApp group of Epstein victims, to which she replies that she is. Ms Farmer also says she has been in email contact with Virginia Giuffre Roberts.

At one point Ms Farmer is asked if she is aware of how much money her lawyers at Boies Schiller have made representing Epstein accusers leading to an objection and Judge Nathan ordering Ms Menninger to stop.

Oliver O’Connell10 December 2021 19:51

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What has Annie Farmer said in the past about Maxwell?

When Ms Maxwell entered her not guilty plea in July 2020, the court also heard from two alleged victims of Ms Maxwell, who spoke in support of the prosecution’s request to deny her bail.

One was Ms Farmer, who told the court she was 16-years-old when she met Ms Maxwell.

“She is a sexual predator who groomed and abused me and countless other young women. She has lied under oath and tormented her survivors,” she said.

She added that Ms Maxwell “has never shown any remorse for her heinous crimes”.

Oliver O’Connell10 December 2021 19:37

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Ms Farmer is asked for more detail during the cross-examination, specifically about whether her genitalia was touched during the movie theatre incidents with Epstein. She replied no.

Oliver O’Connell10 December 2021 19:22

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Farmer lured to New Mexico with expensive gifts

Annie Farmer described how Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell lured her to come alone to New Mexico by feigning interest in her studies and on the promise of funding her college fees while lavishing her with expensive gifts of tickets to Broadway shows, international flights, and cowboy boots.

Bevan Hurley reports for The Independent from the Thurgood Marshall Courthouse in Lower Manhattan.

Oliver O’Connell10 December 2021 19:20

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Ms Farmer says she wore the cowboy boots to dance the two-step.

Oliver O’Connell10 December 2021 18:59

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Cross-examination resumes

Maxwell defence lawyer Laura Menninger questions Ms Farmer about the cowboy boots and whether she told the FBI that she spent a lot of time horseback riding on her trip to New Mexico.

Ms Farmer replies that she did, before identifying the boots which are admitted into evidence.

Oliver O’Connell10 December 2021 18:53

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Annie Farmer’s testimony so far

A fourth Ghislaine Maxwell accuser testified at the British socialite’s sex abuse trial on Friday, recalling that she felt “frozen” when the late financier Jeffrey Epstein climbed into bed with her at his New Mexico ranch when she was 16.

The testimony by the woman, Annie Farmer, comes as the prosecution has said it could rest its case by the end of the week.

Ms Maxwell has pleaded not guilty to eight counts of sex trafficking and other charges for her alleged role in recruiting and grooming four teenagers for Epstein to abuse between 1994 and 2004. Her attorneys say she is being scapegoated because Epstein is no longer alive.

The financier killed himself at age 66 in 2019 in a Manhattan jail cell while awaiting trial on sex abuse charges.

Ms Farmer said she was 16 when she visited Epstein at the ranch in the spring of 1996. Ms Farmer said she believed Epstein would help pay for her college education.

She said she felt uncomfortable going to Epstein’s ranch because he had held her hand and caressed her in a movie theater during an earlier meeting in New York. But Ms Farmer testified that she didn’t believe Epstein would touch her at the ranch with Ms Maxwell present.

While at the ranch, Ms Farmer agreed to receive a massage from Ms Maxwell, who touched her breasts during the massage, Ms Farmer said.

The door was open, and while she did not see Epstein during the encounter, she said she thought he was nearby.

“I just had this sense that he could see me,” Ms Farmer said. “I just wanted so badly to get off the table and have this massage be done.”

Later on, Ms Farmer said she was in bed when Epstein opened the door to her room and playfully told her that he wanted to “cuddle”. He then got into her bed and “pressed his body into me”.

“I felt kind of frozen,” she said.

She said she had to use the bathroom, which she described as an “excuse” to get away from Epstein.

Before Ms Farmer’s testimony, jurors had heard from three women who said they were teenagers when Ms Maxwell set them up for sexual abuse by Epstein. Those witnesses said Ms Maxwell encouraged them to give Epstein massages that would escalate into sexual encounters.

Ms Farmer, the only one of the four to testify under her full name, said she had no further contact with Epstein or Ms Maxwell after the New Mexico trip.

US District Judge Alison Nathan instructed jurors that any physical contact Farmer had with Epstein was not “illegal sexual activity” under New Mexico’s laws.

Oliver O’Connell10 December 2021 18:30

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Defence: Maxwell not mentioned in Farmer’s journal

Oliver O’Connell10 December 2021 18:16

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The trial will resume this afternoon.

Oliver O’Connell10 December 2021 17:26

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Ms Menninger notes that without a corresponding journal entry, there is no paper evidence of who invited Ms Farmer to New Mexico. She agrees, saying with no piece of paper there is not.

The defence lawyer asks if she researched when the movie Primal Fear came out to recall the date of the New Mexico trip.

Ms Farmer says that she wouldn’t say it in that way.

Ms Menninger asks if she communicated with a journalist that she had researched the release date of the movie. Ms Farmer says she did.

The witness has also confirmed that she never gave the government her full journal.

Oliver O’Connell10 December 2021 17:20

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