The long-awaited trial of convicted sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein’s confidant Ghislaine Maxwell, getting underway Monday, can be likened to an iceberg — many of the unanswered questions about their alleged enterprise will remain hidden, for now.
Maxwell, a British socialite who insists she is innocent, is not likely to face questions about allegedly helping Epstein arrange “dates” with women over the age of 18 for a constellation of rich and powerful men. She is also not likely to be questioned about the allegations from an alleged victim who said in a civil lawsuit that Maxwell trafficked her to Britain’s Prince Andrew when she was 17. He has denied the allegations.
Nor is it likely the prosecution will be allowed to delve too deeply into the social and business relationships of Epstein, a multimillionaire financier, with other bold-faced names like former Presidents Bill Clinton and Donald Trump, and Ohio billionaire Leslie Wexner.
Instead, U.S. District Judge Alison Nathan of the Southern District of New York has limited the scope of federal prosecutors by focusing the case against the British socialite-turned-suspect specifically on allegations that she helped Epstein recruit and abuse four underage girls in the 1990s.
“This is going to be a narrow slice of what happened,” said civil attorney Dan Kaiser, who represents several alleged Epstein victims though none involved in this particular trial. “This is a ring that ensnared dozens and dozens and dozens of girls. And Maxwell was an integral player. You could say she was Epstein’s chief operating officer.”
Opening statements in a trial that is expected to last six weeks begin Monday. And those four, now-grown, women will take the stand and testify against Maxwell, prosecutors have said.