Ghislaine Maxwell’s Defense Says Accusers’ Memories Are Contaminated

( In Monday’s opening arguments in the sex trafficking trial of Ghislaine Maxwell, her defense argued that Maxwell’s accusers were motivated by money and claimed their memories of the alleged abuse have been “contaminated.”

Maxwell’s defense attorney Bobbi Sternheim kicked off her opening statement by saying women have shouldered more blame than men since Adam and Eve. She argued that Jeffrey Epstein is not the one on trial, yet “he is consuming this entire courtroom.” Sternheim said Epstein’s suicide in 2019 has left a “gaping hole” in the desire for justice, so the victims are turning Maxwell into the scapegoat for Epstein’s crimes.

Sternheim said that Maxwell’s trial is about “memory, manipulation, and money.” Casting doubt on the accusers’ credibility, Sternheim said their memories of abuse are “contaminated” and possibly “false.”

Last week, the judge in the case ruled that Maxwell’s defense could call Elizabeth Loftus, a “false memory” expert who previously testified in the trials of Harvey Weinstein, Bill Cosby, O.J. Simpson, and Ted Bundy.

In her opening statement, Sternheim questioned the motivation of the accusers in going after Maxwell decades after the alleged abuse, saying Maxwell was “inserted into these stories” for a payday.

Sternheim dismissed the prosecutions’ portrayal of Maxwell as “the rich girl,” arguing that there are “many exceptional things” about her, including her education, extensive travel, and her ability to pilot a helicopter.

In its opening statement, the prosecution portrayed Maxwell as a knowing participant in Epstein’s sex trafficking. Arguing that Maxwell knew what she was doing when she targeted Epstein’s victims, the prosecution said she normalized Epstein’s “abusive sexual conduct,” and that she herself engaged in sexual abuse of minors.

On Tuesday, the prosecution called its first witness in the trial, a woman identified by the pseudonym “Jane” who described how Maxwell and Epstein lured her into their creepy life when she was a teenager. She testified that she was abused by Epstein in the presence of Maxwell multiple times and was eventually abused by Maxwell herself.

She also described group sex sessions when she and others, including Maxwell, would be summoned to Epstein’s bedroom or massage room where both Epstein and Maxwell would engage in sexual acts with each other and with her.