Ghislaine Maxwell accuser says she became 'too old' for Jeffrey Epstein at 18

A 2020 photo shows Ghislaine Maxwell with Jeffrey Epstein as charges are announced against Maxwell in New York. PHOTO: AFP

NEW YORK (BLOOMBERG) - An alleged victim testifying in Ghislaine Maxwell's sex-trafficking trial said Jeffrey Epstein started sexually abusing her at age 14 but asked if she had "younger friends" after she turned 18.

"That's when I realised I was too old," said Carolyn, who is testifying in Manhattan federal court only under her first name to protect her privacy.

Carolyn is the third of at least four women who are expected to testify about their experiences with Maxwell, who is accused of luring underage girls and then grooming them for sexual abuse by Epstein, her former boyfriend and employer.

Maxwell has pleaded not guilty to the charges, and her lawyers say she is being scapegoated for the crimes of Epstein, who committed suicide in 2019 while awaiting his own trial on sex-trafficking charges.

'Mr Epstein's House'

Carolyn said Maxwell told another girl to "show her what to do" before sending them upstairs to Epstein's Palm Beach, Florida, massage room to participate in her first sexual encounter with him. She said she eventually had more than 100 sexual encounters with Epstein between the ages of 14 and 16.

Prosecutors claim Epstein and Maxwell targeted vulnerable girls with difficult home lives.

Carolyn said she grew up in nearby West Palm Beach with an inattentive mother who was an alcoholic and a drug addict and dropped out of school in the seventh grade.

Asked by prosecutor Maurene Comey how she supported herself at the time, Carolyn answered, "I went to Mr Epstein's house, and I got money that way."

Carolyn said she was introduced to Maxwell and Epstein by Virginia Giuffre, who has publicly accused Maxwell and Epstein of abuse but is not testifying at the trial.

Giuffre is currently suing Maxwell, as well as Prince Andrew and Harvard Law School professor Alan Dershowitz, whom she claims Epstein shared her with for sexual abuse. The Prince and Dershowitz have both denied Giuffre's claim.

More appointments

According to Carolyn, it was Giuffre whom Maxwell first asked to take her to Epstein's massage room. Before Epstein arrived, Giuffre opened up the massage table, got it ready and then took her clothes off while Carolyn wore only her underwear.

Then Epstein entered, brushing his teeth. Carolyn said the two girls massaged Epstein and then she watched Giuffre have sex with him.

"I was sitting on the couch right in front of them," Carolyn said as she started to cry.

A court artist's sketch shows Ghislaine Maxwell listening as witness "Carolyn" answers questions, on Dec 7, 2021. PHOTO: REUTERS

After that, she, her boyfriend at the time or her mother would get calls from Maxwell or Epstein's assistant Sarah Kellen to set up other massage appointments.

Epstein would sometimes send a car for her, or her boyfriend or mother would drive her to his house.

On one occasion when she was 14, Carolyn said Maxwell came up to her as she stood naked in the massage room and commented on her hips and breasts.

"She said I had a good body type," Carolyn said, adding that Maxwell then touched her breasts, hips and buttocks. "She said I had a great body for Mr Epstein and his friends."

Other girls

When she was around 15, Epstein asked her to bring other girls for massages, Carolyn testified. She said she eventually brought another 15-year-old and two girls who were 16.

Epstein paid her US$600 per massage, while her friends were paid US$300, she recalled. Carolyn said she used the money to buy drugs, having turned to marijuana, cocaine and other substances to "block out" her appointments with Epstein.

She told the jury that she was later arrested for cocaine possession and also spent 52 days in jail for pawning a stolen Xbox. She said she is currently taking Xanax, Methadone and another drug to treat schizophrenia.

Maxwell's defence lawyers aggressively questioned "Kate," another Maxwell accuser, on Monday about her previous drug use, suggesting it may have impaired her memory of events. Kate denied that.

Under questioning by Comey, Carolyn said her memories were not affected by drugs. She also said her schizophrenia did not prevent her from telling the difference "between the truth and a lie."

Carolyn said she took a "break" from Epstein to run away with her boyfriend. She went back to Epstein when she was 18 because she had had a son and needed money, she said.

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.