Ghislaine Maxwell was in the room as Jeffrey Epstein raped underage girls in ‘orgies,’ an accuser testified on Tuesday in the British socialite’s sex-trafficking trial.
Jane Doe says she was just 14 years old when the pair befriended her at the prestigious Interlochen arts camp in Michigan. The alleged victim testified that her family was struggling when she met Epstein—her father, a musical composer, died of leukemia and “we essentially went bankrupt”—and that Maxwell approached her at the camp as she was eating ice cream with friends. Soon, the couple was inviting her to Epstein’s compounds, which were decorated with “pictures of famous people, presidents.. [and art of] naked women, creepy animals.”
While there, she says she witnessed Maxwell lounging topless at the pool with naked girls. Epstein began to pay for voice lessons, clothes, and school supplies, and gave her cash for her struggling mother. He also told her about his glittering social circle—“Donald Trump, Bill Clinton, Mike Wallace.”
But Epstein began to abuse her, she says—with Maxwell’s help. He allegedly masturbated on her, fondled Maxwell in front of her, groped her, raped her with sex toys, and made her give him “hard” massages.
All the while, Maxwell was “very casual, like this was entirely normal. I was confused. When you are 14, you have no idea what is going on,” she testified. “He would get on the massage table and it would sort of turn into this orgy.”
“That did not feel normal to me,” Jane Doe testified, adding that she was embarrassed to tell anyone what was happening to her.
Jane testified that the abuse continued at Epstein’s homes in New Mexico and New York, with Maxwell handling Jane’s travel arrangements. Jane recalled how at first she thought Epstein and Maxwell “were a married couple” but she didn't fully understand their relationship; later they seemed like friends and that Maxwell was perhaps his employee.
The locations may have changed but the alleged abuse was the same: Epstein would bring her to a massage room and touch her with his fingers or a vibrator while he masturbated.
She said Epstein’s Manhattan mansion “wasn’t a very warm place.”
“It felt uncomfortable,” Jane said. “You didn’t feel safe. It always felt like someone was watching you.”
Jane detailed the troubles with her home life before she met Epstein. After her father’s death, she felt she couldn't grieve because her mother didn’t allow her or her siblings to talk about their feelings. That would be a sign of weakness, Jane said.
Meanwhile, Jane’s mother knew she was spending so much time with Maxwell and Epstein. “My mom was so enamored with the idea that these wealthy people took an interest in me,” Jane testified. She added that her mother suggested she “be grateful for the attention I received.”
Jane testified that she never told her mom about Epstein and Maxwell’s alleged molestation because she “felt ashamed and disgusted,” and like it was somehow her fault.
When Jane spoke to a guidance counselor in 7th grade about her family issues, her mother berated her for doing so. “You don't tell other people what’s going on at home,” Jane recalled her mother warning her.
When assistant U.S. prosecutor Alison Moe asked why Jane had trouble remembering how many times she was abused by Epstein, Jane responded: “I was abused every time I would go over to his house. It started to seem the same after a while… you become numb to it.”
Jane said she moved to New York when she was 17, to attend the Professional Children's School on Epstein's dime. The sexual exploitation continued. “To be clear, did you want to be doing that?” Moe asked. Jane answered no.
When Jane turned 18, she moved to Los Angeles and got a job as an actress. She lost touch with Epstein four years later, when she got engaged and her then fiancé questioned why she was at this older man’s beck and call. She told him Epstein was her “godfather” but the fiancé was still leery of him.
In the late 2000s, she later told another romantic partner about Epstein, after his name made headlines after his Florida arrest and conviction for soliciting a minor girl.
Jane testified that she spoke to police for the first time in 2019, after Epstein’s death. She also submitted a claim to the Epstein Victims’ Compensation Program and received a $5 million settlement, about $2.9 million of which went to her after attorney’s fees and other court costs.
Asked why it’s important for her to remain anonymous, Jane replied that victim-shaming persists in our society and she fears coming forward would impact her career.
“I’ve always wanted to move on with my life. I’m proud I have my own career, my own husband, my own children,” Jane said.
“I didn't want any part of it,” she added, referring to the Epstein case. “I just wanted it to go away.”
The defense will cross examine Jane on Wednesday.