WOMEN who were allegedly abused by Ghislaine Maxwell and Jeffrey Epstein have begun arriving at court for what has been dubbed the "trial of the century".
Prince Andrew's pal Maxwell will appear at the courthouse in New York accused of sex trafficking as she allegedly acted as a "madam" for Epstein.
Maxwell has pleaded not guilty to all charges against her – but could face up to 80 years in prison if prosecutors can land a conviction.
Facing six of the eight charges against her, it is alleged between 1994 and 2004 Ghislaine participated in sex trafficking alongside billonaire paedo Epstein.
Maxwell faces allegations that she procured girls for Epstein to abuse while also participating in the abuse herself on a number of occasions.
The charges relate to four victims – including Annie Farmer, who claims that Maxwell gave her a topless massage when she was just 16.
Farmer will be joined by three other victims who are expected to testify against the British socialite, 59, under pseudonyms.
As the world's press are gathered outside the courtroom in New York, accusers of the duo have begun to arrive.
Sarah Ransome, who alleges she was recruited into Epstein's network, was pictured surrounded by cameras.
She is not part of the court case against Ghislaine – but went public with her allegations as the alleged victims call for justice.
It is unknown if Ghislaine's friend Prince Andrew – who vehemently denies separate allegations that he slept with a 17-year-old trafficking victim – will be mentioned in the case.
Being a long-term pal of the Duke of York, Maxwell is widely reported to be the one who introduced him to paedophile financier Epstein.
Her alleged victims have described her as a the paedo's "madam" who would groom them and lure them into his web of money and sex.
She has been accused of being tasked with approaching teenage girls with offers of jobs – such as modelling or as masseurs – before bringing them to Epstein.
Prosecutors allege she and Epstein exploited girls as young as 14.
Maxwell's lawyers deny all charges against her and will attempt to argue her relationship with Epstein has been overstated.
The exact charges against Maxwell are:
- Conspiracy to entice minors to travel to engage in illegal sex acts
- Enticement of a minor to travel to engage in illegal sex acts
- Conspiracy to transport minors with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity
- Transportation of a minor with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity
- Sex trafficking conspiracy
- Sex trafficking of a minor
She also faces two other charges of perjury over allegations she lied in a deposition in a separate civil suit, but these will be tried separately.
Epstein killed himself while awaiting trial for sex trafficking in August 2019 – and for some Maxwell facing a judge is their final hope to seek justice.
The pair are accused of hiding in plain sight as they rubbed shoulders with the rich and powerful.
And it is alleged they constructed a vast and high flying sex trafficking ring – including offering young girls up to their powerful friends.
Maxwell was arrested suddenly in July 2020 by the FBI after being accused of going into hiding over the allegations.
She was detained as she was deemed a flight risk and was repeatedly denied bail.
And this sparking a long list of complaints about her jail conditions at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn.
Her lawyers have complained her supposed mistreatment is down to her being seen as a proxy for Epstein.
Maxwell and Epstein have been claimed to jetted girls around the world – from her townhouse in London, to Epstein's mansion in New York, to his infamous private island Little St James.
The two are known to have at one stage been in an item, but at some point it is alleged their relationship became more businesslike.
Daughter of disgraced newspaper mogul Robert Maxwell, Ghislaine was born into a life of wealth – being raised at the 53-room nasion Headington Hill Hall.
She was reportedly her dad's favourite child and the former MP – who in his youth escaped the Nazis – is claimed to have doted on Ghislaine.
Working in various roles at her dad's companies – including as a at director of Oxford United – she became a prominent socialite in London.
At some point she became pals with Prince Andrew – though there is no definitive story as to how she first met the Royal.
Her father died in 1991 as his body was found floating next to his yacht – the Lady Ghislaine.
Maxwell has hinted she suspects there was foul play in her dad's death, being quoted in 1997 as saying he was "murdered".
And it was after her father's death when she started to spend more time in New York – and during this period she is alleged to have grow closer to Epstein.
Described by various accounts as Epstein's "main girlfriend", his "assistant" or the "lady of the house" – her relationship with the disgraced financier is expected to become clearer during the trial in the coming weeks.
The case kicks off today at the US District Court in Manhattan – presided over by Judge Alison J. Nathan.
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