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'Are You Able To Cry On Command?' Ghislaine Maxwell's Defense Takes Aim At Accuser's Credibility
Defense attorney Laura Menninger aggressively attempted to discredit "Jane," a woman who says she was sexually abused by Jeffrey Epstein beginning at age 14.
A witness who testified using the pseudonym "Jane” kicked off victim testimony in the trial, telling the court that her sexual interactions with Jeffrey Epstein began when she was 14. She marks the first of at least four women scheduled to testify about their experiences with Maxwell and Epstein.
“Jane” testified that Maxwell, 59, coached her on how to give Epstein, a convicted pedophile, the sexually charged massages he craved. She also claimed Maxwell was present during some of the episodes of sexual abuse.
By Wednesday, Laura Menninger — an attorney for Maxwell — launched into her cross-examination of “Jane” by comparing her trial testimony to transcriptions of her interviews with federal agents. Parts of those documents, which detailed her conversations with the feds and prosecutors between late 2019 and early 2020, were shown to “Jane” on Wednesday.
“When you spoke to the government you told them you do not have a specific memory of the first time with Ghislaine," Menninger asked Jane referring to documents from a 2019 interview, ABC News reports. "You have come up with that memory in the last two years?"
"I don't believe I've come up with a memory," "Jane" responded.
The lawyer also pointed to a 2020 interview in which the witness told the feds that there were “other girls” present the first time she was involved.
"I don't recall," Jane replied, before stating, "The wording that was typed up here is incorrect."
"So another typo by the government?" Menninger asked.
Menninger also pointed out a document prepared by the accuser’s personal lawyer, which identified only Epstein as her abuser and made no mention of Maxwell, Slate reports. Additionally, the attorney brought up Jane's profession as an actor. Menninger read off some of her roles which she referred to as “melodramatic”
“I prefer just ‘dramatic,’” Jane remarked.
"Are you able to cry on command?" Menninger asked the witness.
"Not always," Jane responded, according to ABC. "That's not how it works."
Later Wednesday, Assistant U.S. Attorney Alison Moe asked the actor about the millions she received from an Epstein victim fund. She wept as she said she used it to offset money she spent trying to “fix myself.”
"I wish I would have never received that money in the first place, because of what happened," she said before the prosecutor asked her if she would gain financially in any way if Maxwell were convicted.
"No," she replied, marking her final piece of testimony during the third day of Maxwell’s trial.
Maxwell is accused of recruiting and grooming teen girls as part of the late predator's pyramid of sexual abuse. She faces six federal counts, including transporting minors to engage in criminal sexual activity and sex trafficking of children or by force, fraud or coercion. Epstein, who was found hanged in his jail cell in August 2019 at age 66, just one month after he was arrested on federal sex trafficking charges, referred to Maxwell as his "best friend" in a 2003 Vanity Fair profile.
Maxwell has pleaded not guilty to the charges against her and has adamantly denied any wrongdoing.
For more on the case, watch Peacock’s “Epstein’s Shadow: Ghislaine Maxwell.”