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Squinting through her prison-issued glasses, Ghislaine Maxwell’s fate was suddenly undeniable

After her got here Elizabeth Stein, who recalled being “assaulted and raped countless times” throughout a three-year interval after Epstein and Maxwell lured her into their intercourse trafficking ring by “seizing upon her vulnerability”.

Ms Ransome and Ms Stein, who had not met earlier than the December trial, held fingers because the others took their flip on the lectern. Ms Ransome kissed Ms Stein on the highest of her head as she obtained as much as communicate. The victims, Ms Ransome advised me, had shaped a bond through their shared trauma.

“It just feels like I’ve known her for years.”

Maxwell stared straight forward, unmoved, through a lot of the testimony, turning her head simply as soon as to have a look at Ms Ransome, the one survivor to not testify at trial.

Ms Ransome returned the look – for she had come to look her “tormentor” within the eye.

Then it was the defence’s flip.

In a theatrical flourish, Maxwell’s lawyer Bobbi Sternheim, who established a status as a fierce cross-examiner throughout the trial, turned to face the general public gallery.

“I hope you don’t mind, your honour,” she addressed Judge Alison Nathan.

“I need to acknowledge these ladies’s braveness in coming ahead.

“We feel your pain,” she stated, contorting the microphone.

“We can only hope it will bring you solace.”

“I know that what we hear today doesn’t beg sympathy. But (Ghislaine) lived the entirety of her life under clouds that cast a dark shadow,” she stated, referring to Maxwell’s purportedly troubled childhood with press baron father Robert.

A 3rd sufferer, Annie Farmer, shook her head indignantly as Ms Sternheim pleaded mitigating circumstances for the socialite, whom the courtroom heard holds citizenships to a few nations and loved a lifetime of unbelievable privilege.

The courtroom was surprised when the defendant herself then determined to take the stand. “Does Ms Maxwell wish to speak?” Judge Nathan requested, earlier than Ms Sternehim signalled that she did.

Much behaviour and motive has been ascribed to a silent Maxwell since her arrest two years in the past. Many column inches devoted to making an attempt to know why she did what she did. And, extra importantly, whether or not she had any regret.

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