On the second day of the trial of British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell, which took place on Tuesday 30 November in New York City, Jeffrey Epstein’s longtime pilot Larry Visoski was cross-examined by the defence team on specific flights and passengers, following questioning by the prosecution regarding his work and access to Epstein’s properties.
He testified that passengers on the late convicted sex offender’s plane included Bill Clinton, Prince Andrew, Itzhak Perlman, Donald Trump, Chris Tucker, John Glenn, Kevin Spacey, and George Mitchell. Asked to describe Maxwell’s standing in Epstein’s operations, the pilot described her as “the number two.”
“Epstein was the big number one,” he further told the court, as initially reported by the BBC. Visoski also said he never saw either Maxwell or Epstein being inappropriate with a minor in 30 years, although the cockpit door was always kept closed during flights on the plane nicknamed the “Lolita Express.”
Visoski also recalled flying Virginia Roberts Giuffre, who says she was sexually assaulted by Prince Andrew. The Queen’s 61-year-old second son has consistently denied the allegation. Asked if he remembered Giuffre, Visoski said, “Yes. A shorter woman with dirty blonde hair. She didn’t look young. I mean, whatever you decipher is the definition of young. But she was a woman in my category.”
Maxwell, who spent decades rubbing shoulders with British royals and US presidents, is currently facing charges related to her alleged involvement in Epstein’s sex crimes. She is accused of recruiting and grooming underage girls for the late disgraced financier to sexually abuse between 1994 and 2004. On Tuesday, her first accuser who identified only as ‘Jane’, took the stand in the afternoon and testified that Maxwell was in the room when Epstein sexually assaulted her when she was only 14 years old.
In at times graphic testimony, Jane described how she met the couple and was invited into their world, only to be subjected to sexual abuse over a period of years, ruining her self-worth. Cross-examination of the victim’s testimony will continue today, Wednesday 1 December.
In opening statements, prosecutor Lara Pomerantz told jurors at the Manhattan federal court that in the 1990s, Maxwell would procure girls for Epstein via the “ruse” of a massage. In response, Maxwell’s defence said that she was being made a scapegoat because Epstein’s death led her accusers unable to seek justice.
The daughter of the late media mogul Robert Maxwell, the socialite faces the prospect of up to 35 years of jail if she is found guilty. The trial is expected to last six weeks.
After Ghislaine Maxwell was accused of assisting Jeffrey Epstein’s abuse of minors by helping to recruit and groom victims while knowing they were underage, she was then arrested by the FBI at the beginning of the month. Since then, she faced her first hearing in New York on 14 July and was denied bail.
Now, documents about dealings between Maxwell and Epstein have just been publicly released (on Thursday 30 July) by a US court.
Among the documents released were email correspondence between Maxwell and Epstein in early 2015, who were identified respectively as ‘jeffrey E’ and either ‘Gmax’ or ‘G Maxwell’, including an email in which Epstein told Maxwell she had “done nothing wrong,” and urged her to “go outside, head high, not as an escaping convict. go to parties. deal with it.”
Judge Loretta Preska had ordered the materials’ release by Thursday, saying the public’s right to see them outweighed Maxwell’s interests in keeping them under seal.
Although most of the documents were revealed to the public, two depositions remain under seal after Maxwell filed an emergency motion with the federal appeals court in Manhattan to keep them from becoming public. We won’t know whether the last two materials will be revealed before Monday 3 August at least.
Maxwell’s lawyers have said that in one of those depositions, which was filed in April 2016, Maxwell was asked “intrusive” questions concerning her sex life, and that its release could make it “difficult if not impossible” to get a fair trial. The second is a deposition by an unnamed Epstein accuser.
The documents released on Thursday and the depositions that remain sealed were part of the now-settled 2015 civil defamation lawsuit against Maxwell by Virginia Giuffre, who said she was underage when Epstein kept her as a “sex slave” with Maxwell’s assistance.
Maxwell has been held in a Brooklyn jail and is awaiting her criminal trial which is scheduled for next July.