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Ghislaine Maxwell says prosecutors have not proven her guilt, as defense rests

Eva Andersson-Dubin arrives to testify for the defense in the trial of Ghislaine Maxwell in New York on Dec. 17.
Eva Andersson-Dubin arrives to testify for the defense in the trial of Ghislaine Maxwell in New York on Dec. 17. (Jeenah Moon/Reuters)
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NEW YORK — The defense rested its case in Ghislaine Maxwell’s sex-trafficking trial on Friday, with the socialite and longtime companion of Jeffrey Epstein asserting that she had “no need” to testify because the prosecution failed to demonstrate her guilt.

Maxwell, in a standard exchange with U.S. District Judge Alison Nathan that is required to inform a defendant of their right to testify, went beyond what a defendant usually says when prompted to confirm her decision.

“Uh, your honor,” Maxwell said, making her first public utterance of the three-week trial. “The government has not proven its case beyond a reasonable doubt, and so there is no need for me to testify.”

The U.S. attorney’s office rested its case a week ago after calling 24 witnesses, including four women who testified to varying degrees about the role Maxwell allegedly played in recruiting and grooming them to be Epstein’s victims. Two of the women also described unwanted sexual touching by Maxwell herself.

Other witnesses corroborated elements of the accusers’ testimonies, which spanned events from the 1990s and early 2000s.

Maxwell’s defense lawyers on Thursday and Friday presented several witnesses who tried to cast doubt on elements of the prosecution’s case.

Eva Andersson-Dubin, a physician and the wife of a prominent hedge fund manager, testified under subpoena Friday saying she knew Epstein for years and never saw anything “inappropriate” between him and teenage girls.

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Both Maxwell, 59, and Andersson-Dubin, 60, dated Epstein for a number of years. Maxwell worked for Epstein after their split, managing his properties and other affairs.

She is on trial for sex-
trafficking and related charges, accused of finding and scheduling women and underage girls to give Epstein up to three sexualized massages a day. She has pleaded not guilty.

Epstein died by suicide in a jail cell in 2019 while awaiting his own federal trial.

Andersson-Dubin, an ex-
model who previously worked as an internist and is a frequent presence on New York’s society scene, said she dated Epstein “on and off” for seven or eight years beginning in 1983. They remained friends after their breakup, she said, and Epstein became an uncle figure to her and Glenn Dubin’s three children, including two daughters who are now in their 20s.

Jeffrey Pagliuca, one of Maxwell’s attorneys, asked Andersson-Dubin if she ever saw “any inappropriate conduct between Mr. Epstein and any teenage females.”

“I did not,” she answered.

Andersson-Dubin also denied ever being in a group sexual encounter or group massage with Epstein — a tidbit that could cast doubt in jurors’ minds about the testimony of a woman who testified for the prosecution, under the pseudonym Jane.

That witness said a woman named Eva took part in the orgy-like situations she found herself in beginning in 1994, when she was 14, at Epstein’s Palm Beach, Fla., mansion.

Andersson-Dubin and other members of her family flew on Epstein’s private planes, trips that were documented in flight records maintained by pilots Epstein employed. Her children referred to Epstein by the nickname “Uncle F.”

Andersson-Dubin said she and her husband were comfortable with the relationship their children had with Epstein.

Another witness, who worked as an assistant at Epstein’s office in New York in the 1990s, testified that Maxwell was a “fantastic” boss.

Michelle Healy, 47, described Maxwell as “tough but great” in her management style — testimony the defense hopes will temper earlier statements from a longtime employee at Epstein’s Palm Beach house who said Maxwell set strict guest-interaction policies. That employee, Juan Alessi, said Maxwell told him he could not look Epstein in the eyes.

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Earlier Friday, Maxwell’s lawyers called as witnesses a pair of FBI agents whose notes from interviews with the accusers seem to contradict parts of the alleged victims’ trial testimony.

Jason Richards, an FBI agent who around 2007 interviewed an Epstein victim identified at the trial as “Carolyn,” testified Friday that per his notes, Carolyn found Epstein’s number in a phone book.

On the witness stand, however, she said another Epstein accuser, Virginia Giuffre, introduced her to Epstein after telling her at a house party that she could make easy cash at Epstein’s house.

Another FBI witness, Agent Amanda Young, was asked by Maxwell attorney Laura Menninger to read from notes from a prior interview with Jane, who testified that Maxwell orchestrated her invitations to Epstein’s Palm Beach mansion. Jane said she was repeatedly sexually abused there, beginning at age 14.

Young’s investigation notes say Jane told her and other investigators two years ago that she was “not sure” if Maxwell ever made appointments for her to massage Epstein. She also told Young, according to the notes, that she does not recall being abused at Epstein’s ranch in New Mexico.

On the witness stand, she vividly described being summoned to Epstein’s room for sex against her will.

Maxwell faces up to 70 years in prison if convicted on all counts.