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'I met Donald Trump at 14 and flew with Prince Andrew,' says Ghislaine Maxwell accuser

Witness, now in her 40s, tells of taking part in pageant in dress bought by Jeffrey Epstein
Defense lawyer Laura Menninger questions witness "Jane" during the trial of Ghislaine Maxwell, the Jeffrey Epstein associate accused of sex trafficking, in a courtroom sketch in New York City, U.S., December 1, 2021. REUTERS/Jane Rosenberg

Defense lawyer Laura Menninger questions witness "Jane" during the trial of Ghislaine Maxwell, the Jeffrey Epstein associate accused of sex trafficking, in a courtroom sketch in New York City, U.S., December 1, 2021. REUTERS/Jane Rosenberg

Josie Ensor and Jamie JohnsonTelegraph Media Group Limited

Ghislaine Maxwell’s accuser told a court in New York yesterday how she was introduced by Jeffrey Epstein to Donald Trump at his Florida resort and took part in one of his beauty pageants, as the defence challenged her memory of the alleged abuse she suffered.

‘Jane’, who is now an actress in her 40s, was asked by Ms Maxwell’s lawyers on the third day of the bombshell trial whether she had been introduced to the former US president in Palm Beach.

“He (Epstein) took you to Mar-a-Lago when you were 14, you claim?” asked Lara Menninger, acting for the defence, in reference to Mr Trump’s home.

“Yes,” Jane said. “He (Epstein) took you in a dark green car and you met Donald Trump there, correct?” Ms Menninger asked.

Jane then spoke about a Miss Teen pageant she took part in several years later wearing a $2,000 dress gifted to her by Epstein.

Jane, referred to as ‘Victim One’ in Ms Maxwell’s indictment, told how she had flown on Epstein’s private jet with various high-profile figures including Prince Andrew, who was mentioned in proceedings a day earlier during testimony given by the financier’s pilot.

Jane was 14 at the time of the flight. She did not allege any wrongdoing by Prince Andrew or Donald Trump.

Ms Maxwell has pleaded not guilty to six counts related to her alleged involvement in Epstein’s sexual abuse of teenage girls.

Jane said on Tuesday that she had sexual encounters with Epstein at his Palm Beach home multiple times per month when she was 14, 15 and 16.

She said other people participated, including the heiress (59), who touched her breasts.

Ms Menninger asked Jane about apparent discrepancies between her descriptions of Ms Maxwell’s role and earlier conversations with prosecutors before Ms Maxwell’s July 2020 arrest.

“When you spoke with the government in December 2019, with your lawyers there, you told the government you were not sure whether Maxwell ever touched you during these encounters, correct?” Ms Menninger asked.

“I don’t recall,” Jane replied.

Wearing a grey wrap-around sweater, a black dress and black boots, Jane pushed back her dark hair and took off her mask after the judge reassured her that the sketch artists could not draw her likeness.

“You told the government you were not sure if Ghislaine ever kissed you,” the defence said.

“I don’t recall,” she replied.

“You told the government you had no memory of Ghislaine being present when you claim Epstein engaged in any sexual contact, correct?”

“I don’t recall,” she replied again.

Alison Moe for the government interjected with objections nearly 30 times during the cross-examination, many were sustained by Judge ­Alison Nathan.

Ms Maxwell, in an olive jumper and black trousers, watched as she rubbed her arms, apparently cold.

Her sister Isabel, who has been in court since the opening, was joined by brother Kevin.

Ms Maxwell’s defence pointed to a statement Jane, who was an aspiring singer at school, gave the government about flying to New York with Epstein and Ms Maxwell when she was 14 in 1994 to see The Lion King . However, they said she must have been mistaken as the musical did not open until 1997.

“My timeline was wrong,” Jane admitted.

Ms Menninger spoke about other young women who Jane claimed were present during the abuse, including a British woman, Emmy Taylor. Ms Taylor served as a personal assistant to Ms Maxwell.

Ms Taylor denies the allegations and is not expected to testify in the trial, which is set to run until mid-January.

One aspect of Ms Maxwell’s defence is attempting to undermine accusers’ recollection of events.

Her attorneys are expected to call psychologist Elizabeth Loftus as a witness, to discuss how people can form “false memories”.

The prosecution attempted to paint a picture of an alleged victim changing her story to include accusations against the British socialite only after the late financier’s death in 2019.

Jane’s first meeting with authorities was in late 2019.

On Tuesday, Jane said she did not tell anybody about any abuse because she was “terrified” and “felt gross and ashamed”.

“These memories came to you after two years?” Ms Menninger said, insinuating she and others were scapegoating Ms Maxwell for Epstein’s crimes. “Memory is not linear,” Jane answered.


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