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Ghislaine Maxwell's lawyer probes inconsistencies in victim's memories of sexual abuse

Julie K. Brown and Ben Wieder, Miami Herald on

Published in News & Features

NEW YORK — Under grueling cross-examination, Ghislaine Maxwell’s lawyer sought to trip-up the first of four women who accuse Maxwell of recruiting and grooming them to be abused by Jeffrey Epstein and point out significant inconsistencies in accounts she had given of her alleged abuse.

Laura Menninger, one of four attorneys representing Maxwell, pointed to differences between what FBI agents say she had previously told them and her testimony Tuesday.

“Jane” — who is using a pseudonym to protect her privacy — said Tuesday under questioning by federal prosecutors that she first met Maxwell while eating ice cream with her friends at a summer arts camp in Michigan.

At 14, Jane had just suffered the loss of her father; after his death, the family went bankrupt and lost their home. They moved into a small pool house behind a friend’s home in Palm Beach, Florida. They were struggling financially, and Jane’s mother was unavailable, lost in her own mental anguish.

That was when Maxwell introduced Jane that summer to Epstein, a wealthy financier who had built a chalet at the Interlochen Center for Arts, where he had studied music as a kid growing up in Brooklyn.

From that chance meeting in 1994, Jane’s life would turn into “a nightmare that would last for years,” according to federal prosecutors.

 

Jane testified Tuesday that the British socialite both participated in and facilitated Jane’s sexual abuse, starting when Jane was 14.

But on Wednesday, Menninger pointed out that FBI records showed that Jane had previously told a different version of some of the events, in some cases saying Maxwell was not present for abuse that she now says Maxwell was present for.

Jane maintained her composure during the cross-examination and questioned the information contained in the FBI reports, which were not transcripts of her conversations and which she had not written.

“A lot of this is out of sequence and inaccurate,” she said at one point.

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