Accuser testifies Ghislaine Maxwell told her she ‘had a great body for Epstein and his friends.’ She was 14.
Dec 8, 2021, 8:30 AM | Updated: 9:00 am
(Elizabeth Williams via AP)
Editor’s note: This article contains language that some may find disturbing.
(CNN) — Carolyn said she was just 14 years old when she began to go to Jeffrey Epstein’s home in Palm Beach, Florida, two or three times per week in the early 2000s.
On one visit, Carolyn was setting up a massage room for Epstein when his longtime companion Ghislaine Maxwell came into the room. Maxwell touched Carolyn’s breasts, hips and butt, and commented that she “had a great body for Epstein and his friends,” according to Carolyn.
Each time she visited, $300 in cash was left for her on the bathroom sink, she said — but it was not without a cost.
“Something sexual happened every single time,” Carolyn said.
Now in her 30s, Carolyn described her teenage experiences with Epstein on Tuesday in Maxwell’s federal trial on charges including sex trafficking of minors. At one point on the stand, Carolyn sobbed when prosecutor Maurene Comey asked if she was trying to get money for her testimony.
“No, money will not ever fix what that woman has done to me,” Carolyn said, sobbing. “Because what she did was wrong and she takes vulnerable young girls and traffics them and I’m so petrified that my daughters are going to be trafficked.”
Carolyn is the third woman to testify that she was sexually abused by Epstein and that Maxwell was involved. A woman identified as “Kate” testified Monday that Maxwell set up those sexual meetings, and a woman identified as “Jane” said last week that Maxwell sometimes joined in on the sexualized massages.
The trial, which began last week, has alternated between disturbing testimony from sexual abuse victims and illuminating testimony about some of Epstein’s connections to high-profile figures such as Donald Trump, Bill Clinton and Prince Andrew. None are alleged to have committed wrongdoing in relation to the ongoing trial.
Epstein, who pleaded guilty in 2008 to state prostitution charges, was indicted on federal sex trafficking charges in July 2019 but died by suicide in prison a month later. Maxwell, his confidante and former girlfriend, was arrested a year afterward and has pleaded not guilty.
In opening statements of her trial, prosecutors said Maxwell and Epstein created a “pyramid scheme of abuse” to lure underage girls into sexual relationships with Epstein and pay them bonuses to bring other girls into the fold. Her defense, meanwhile, said she was a “scapegoat” for Epstein’s actions and attacked the memories and motivations of the women who say they were sexually abused.
The trial is taking place in federal court in Manhattan, which prohibits the use of cameras. The government anticipates it will rest its case this week, as soon as Thursday, a prosecutor said Tuesday afternoon.
Carolyn says she visited Epstein over 100 times
Carolyn testified that she was introduced to Epstein through Virginia Roberts, whose boyfriend knew Carolyn’s boyfriend.
Roberts, who also goes by Virginia Roberts Giuffre, told the BBC in 2019 that she was trafficked by Epstein and forced to have sex with his friends, including the Duke of York, when she was underage.
Giuffre recently filed a civil lawsuit against Prince Andrew alleging that he sexually abused her at both Epstein and Maxwell’s invitation when she was a minor and that instances of alleged sexual abuse occurred at Maxwell’s home in London, Epstein’s home in Manhattan and Epstein’s home in the US Virgin Islands. Prince Andrew has vehemently denied all allegations against him.
Roberts’ attorney David Boies declined to comment, saying the government advised him not to comment publicly during the trial.
Carolyn testified that Roberts told her she could make money going to see “her friend” and drove her to Epstein’s Palm Beach house the first time to meet him.
She testified that Roberts dressed her provocatively for the meeting. Roberts brought her through the kitchen of the house, introduced her to Maxwell, and then led her upstairs to Epstein’s bathroom, where Roberts set up the room.
Carolyn, 14 at the time, testified that she sat in her bra and underwear on an “ugly” couch and watched Roberts have sex with Epstein on a massage table in the bathroom. Afterward, three $100 bills were left for Carolyn on the bathroom sink.
Carolyn said she would go back to the house two or three times per week for years, over a hundred times in all.
She said that she remembered bringing three different friends around her same age with her over the years. On those occasions she’d receive $600 in cash as an incentive for bringing them, and her friends would receive $300.
Carolyn described a number of sexual encounters with Epstein. She also said Maxwell saw her fully naked in the massage room “probably three times” over the years.
She testified that Epstein brought two male friends on different occasions into the massage room, but she did not elaborate and was not asked any other questions about them. Other times older women joined in.
In one visit, Epstein pressed a button on the phone in the room and a naked woman walked in and joined in the sex acts, she said.
On another visit, a different woman came into the room. There, Epstein penetrated Carolyn’s vagina but stopped when she said she was uncomfortable, and the other woman performed oral sex on Carolyn, she testified. And in another instance, Epstein listened to her plea when she asked him to stop using a sex toy on her vagina, she testified.
Maxwell and Epstein separately invited her to go to an island, but she told them she was too young and her mom wouldn’t let her travel out of the country, she testified. She also didn’t have a passport.
Carolyn called Ghislaine Maxwell just “Maxwell” because she couldn’t exactly pronounce her first name correctly, she said. During her testimony she consistently referred to Epstein as “Mister Epstein.”
Witness says she used the money for drugs
Maxwell or another Epstein associate would call her to set up an “appointment” time, Carolyn testified. Other times she would call asking if she could come over because she wanted the money, she said. She testified that Maxwell and the associate would call her on her mom’s or her boyfriend’s phone numbers if they couldn’t reach her.
In a quivering voice, she testified she used the money to buy drugs.
“Marijuana, cocaine, alcohol, anything that could block out for me to go to the appointment,” she said.
She continued the sexualized massage encounters with Epstein until she was 18, she said. She took a break from going to Epstein’s for a time when she was pregnant at 16, but returned after giving birth because she needed the money to provide for her son, she said.
When she went back to Epstein’s house, he asked if she had any younger friends.
“That’s when I realized I was too old,” she testified.
Defense attorney Jeffrey Pagliuca cross-examined Carolyn for more than two hours Tuesday and spent considerable time suggesting Carolyn made inconsistent statements specifically about her timeline at different points including a 2007 FBI meeting and in a 2009 deposition for lawsuits she pursued against Epstein.
It was revealed that she received nearly $450,000 as a result of settlements.
During a 2009 deposition she testified that Maxwell and an Epstein associate would call her to make appointments for him, according to a deposition transcript excerpt read into the record.
Carolyn offered on direct examination that she currently takes several drugs, including an opioid blocker for her addiction history and schizophrenia-related medication. She sometimes hears voices telling her that someone is going to kidnap her daughters, she said, but she can identify the voices as not a part of reality.
Carolyn also acknowledged past felonies to which she pleaded guilty, including felony possession of cocaine and felony possession of stolen property.
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