For the big a part of the previous couple of hours of Ghislaine Maxwell’s trial on Friday, she sat conferring along with her lawyer Bobbi Sternheim. What had been anticipated to be an easy choice as to whether or not or not she would take the stand appeared to be the topic of some last-minute strategizing. But when Maxwell lastly rose to converse, she confirmed what many observers had lengthy suspected to U.S. District Judge Alison Nathan in a gradual assertion: “Your honor, the government has not proven its case beyond a reasonable doubt, and so there is no need for me to testify.”
With that, simply earlier than 4 p.m., the protection rested its case. Maxwell’s announcement adopted the ultimate testimony in her federal sex-trafficking trial. She has pleaded not responsible to expenses of recruiting and grooming underage ladies for Jeffrey Epstein’s sexual abuse.
The doctor and former mannequin, Eva Andersson-Dubin, who married the hedge fund billionaire Glenn Dubin in 1994 after relationship Epstein took the stand as a protection witness earlier within the day. Andersson-Dubin was the primary witness known as within the trial who could possibly be stated to occupy the identical social strata as Epstein and Maxwell. But regardless of her proximity—she testified on Friday that her three youngsters used to refer to Epstein as “Uncle Jeff”—Andersson-Dubin’s clipped testimony supplied little in the best way of solutions to the questions that proceed to circle Epstein and Maxwell as the trial attracts to an in depth.
During cross-examination, the prosecution requested Andersson-Dubin whether or not it was her understanding that Maxwell and Epstein have been in a relationship. “It’s hard to define, I think, relationship,” she stated, “but they were living in the same house.”
When requested whether or not the 2 had an open relationship, she stated, “I can’t really say whether I knew that they did or did not.”
Pagliuca was largely profitable in rattling off objections to this line of questioning, partially as a result of Andersson-Dubin testified to her personal restricted information.
“I can’t say I saw what she did,” Andersson-Dubin stated of Maxwell’s work for Epstein, earlier than Pagliuca’s objection prevented her from speculating about it.
Andersson-Dubin spoke in gradual, quick phrases, answering virtually each query in an entire sentence: “I am” or “I do.” If she wasn’t thrilled to be there, she was removed from a hostile witness for the protection. She testified underneath direct examination by Pagliuca that she by no means noticed any inappropriate conduct by Epstein with teenage ladies. During cross-examination, she stated that she has had reminiscence issues in recent times due to medical points.
One ostensible function of calling Andersson-Dubin as a protection witness was to dispel the testimony of a prosecution witness, Jane (a pseudonym used within the trial), who claimed within the trial that among the many girls concerned along with her in Epstein’s group, sexualized massages have been two named Eva and Michelle.
“I don’t recall ever meeting this person,” Andersson-Dubin stated of Jane.
But Jane didn’t specify final names in her testimony. During cross-examination, Andersson-Dubin stated that “Eva” is a “very, very common name” and that she couldn’t declare to know each particular person Epstein has met. (The witness following Andersson-Dubin, Michelle Healy, was previously an worker for Maxwell and Epstein, and stated the identical concerning the title. She additionally echoed Thursday’s testimony from Cimberly Espinosa, one other former Maxwell assistant, in praising their outdated boss: “She’s fantastic”; “she taught me a lot. I respected her.”)
After the protection rested, the prosecution stated it might not current a rebuttal case. Closing arguments from each side will comply with on Monday earlier than the jury begins its deliberations.
More Great Stories From Vanity Fair
— The Story Behind the Only Known Photo of Prince Andrew and Jeffrey Epstein
— The Best Vanity Fair Photographs of the Year
— What Ghislaine Maxwell’s Trial Reveals About Jeffrey Epstein’s Workaday Cruelty
— Ben Affleck Says His Marriage Went South for a Lot of the Normal Reasons
— The Most Festive Party Outfits Money Can Buy
— The Second Coming of Guru Jagat
— The “Original Carrie Bradshaw” on the Sex and the City Reboot
— From the Archive: Jennifer Garner Talks Breaking Up With Ben Affleck
— Sign up for “The Buyline” to obtain a curated record of trend, books, and sweetness buys in a single weekly publication.