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.
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.
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.
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.
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