Orignally published on 2021-12-07 23:30:29 by www.nytimes.com
The third of four accusers took the stand late Tuesday morning in Ghislaine Maxwell’s trial, beginning her testimony by briefly recounting a difficult childhood in Palm Beach, Fla., where she dropped out of middle school, she said, and became addicted to cocaine and pain pills.
The accuser, testifying using only her first name, Carolyn, is identified in the indictment as Minor Victim-4 — the subject of the sex-trafficking count Ms. Maxwell faces. She spoke in a soft, halting voice, and the judge at times asked her to speak up.
Carolyn testified that she met Jeffrey Epstein through a female friend when she was 14 years old. That friend, Virginia Roberts, asked her if she wanted to make money by giving massages to her friend who lived on Palm Beach Island.
When the two girls arrived at Mr. Epstein’s house, Ms. Maxwell met them at the door and told them to go upstairs to Mr. Epstein’s bathroom. The first time, Ms. Roberts got fully undressed and Carolyn asked to keep on her bra and underwear. Then, Mr. Epstein entered the massage room and lay down.
Forty-five minutes later, Mr. Epstein turned over, Ms. Roberts got on top of him and they had sex, Carolyn told the jury, her voice cracking. Carolyn watched from a nearby couch, she said.
Afterward, Carolyn said they were both paid, in hundred dollar bills left at the bathroom sink, and Ms. Maxwell took her number.
Ms. Roberts, now known as Virginia Roberts Giuffre, has become one of Mr. Epstein’s most vocal accusers. She is not believed to be one of the four victims on which the charges against Ms. Maxwell are based and is not expected to testify at trial.
Carolyn testified that she gave Mr. Epstein hundreds of massages over the next four years. Ms. Maxwell, she said, would call to set up appointments, which her then-boyfriend would urge her to take.
Each time she went over to the house, Mr. Epstein would first lie on his stomach while Carolyn gave him a massage and they spoke about her troubled upbringing. At the end, he would roll over, touch her, sometimes with a sex toy, and masturbate.
“Something sexual happened every single time,” Carolyn said.
She was paid $300 to $400 in hundred dollar bills after each encounter, sometimes handed directly to her by Ms. Maxwell, she said. She used the money, she said, to buy drugs.
She said she brought teenage friends over a few times to take part in the massages, and was paid extra. Once, she said, Mr. Epstein pushed a button in the room and a young naked woman with an accent came into the room, and the three of them had sex.
Carolyn testified that Ms. Maxwell saw her naked in the massage room three times, including once when she touched her breasts and complimented her body.
Carolyn said she sometimes talked to Ms. Maxwell about her upbringing, including details about how she was sexually abused by her grandfather starting when she was four. Mr. Epstein, too, sometimes asked her about her home life.
Ms. Maxwell and Mr. Epstein knew she was only 14 years old, she said, because they asked if she could travel to Mr. Epstein’s island and she said she did not have a passport and her mother would not allow her to go.
Ms. Maxwell and Mr. Epstein sent her gifts, she said: Victoria’s Secret lingerie, concert tickets, a massage book.
Carolyn said she always called Ms. Maxwell “Maxwell,” rather than her first name. Asked by a prosecutor, Maurene Comey, why she did that, Carolyn said, “Because I couldn’t exactly pronounce her first name correctly.”
She also told Ms. Comey that she regularly takes methadone and other medications to manage her addiction and schizophrenia symptoms.
Several years into the abuse, Carolyn got pregnant by her then-boyfriend and had a child, she told the jury. Afterward, she went back to Mr. Epstein’s house a few times, because she needed money. “He asked me if I had any younger friends, and I said no,” she said. “And that’s when I realized I was too old.”
She was 18.