‘She opened the door to hell’ – Maxwell victims to speak out at sentencing
ictims of predatory British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell have urged the court to consider statements at her sentencing hearing in which they say she “opened the door to hell”.
The trial indictment identified only four of the 61-year-old’s victims but other accusers have also asked the court to be heard when she is sentenced on Tuesday.
The Duke of York’s accuser, Virginia Giuffre, is set to have her statement heard, in which she will say Maxwell used her “femininity to betray us” like she was “a wolf in sheep’s clothing”.
Giuffre was not included in the trial but has become one of the most well-known accusers of Epstein after settling a sexual assault case against the Duke of York. Andrew denies her claims.
Ms Giuffre’s statement will say: “I want to be clear about one thing: Without question, Jeffrey Epstein was a terrible paedophile.
“But I never would have met Jeffrey Epstein if not for you.
“For me, and for so many others, you opened the door to hell.”
Two accusers who were part of the trial indictment have also submitted statements for the court’s consideration.
Annie Farmer, who was the only victim to testify under her full name, asked Judge Alison Nathan to consider the “significant shame” she felt as a result of Maxwell’s crimes.
For me, and for so many others, you opened the door to hell.
Her statement reads: “This toxic combination of being sexually exposed and exploited, feeling confused and naive, blaming myself all resulted in significant shame.
“That sickening feeling that makes you want to disappear.
“Maxwell had many opportunities to come clean, but instead continued to make choices that caused more harm.
“Judge Nathan, I hope when you consider the appropriate prison sentence for the role Maxwell played in this sex trafficking operation, you take into account the ongoing suffering of the many women she abused and exploited as we will continue to live with the memories of the ways she harmed us.
“I ask you to bear in mind how Maxwell’s unwillingness to acknowledge her crimes, her lack of remorse, and her repeated lies about her victims created the need for many of us to engage in a long fight for justice that has felt like a black hole sucking in our precious time, energy and wellbeing for much too long now. These things cannot be replaced.”
The second accuser from the trial indictment to submit a statement, who testified under the pseudonym “Kate”, also urged the judge to consider Maxwell’s “heinous manipulation and abuse”.
Her statement reads: “It was the very skilled grooming, perpetrated on me, intentionally and consistently, that instilled in me the belief that I could not say no to Ghislaine Maxwell, or Epstein.
“I witnessed her relentless and insatiable drive to meet the sexual needs of Epstein, at any cost to the vulnerable girls and women, upon whom she preyed and fed to Epstein and other powerful men, to whom she wished to ingratiate herself.
“Being around her was like being spun really fast in a circle and then trying to maintain balance.
“It was like a roller coaster ride, designed to disorient and disempower me as a vulnerable, young girl, for the sole purpose of providing me to Epstein for sexual abuse.”
The court has also received statements from four other accusers, who have all previously gone public with their stories.
Ms Farmer’s sister, Maria, said of Maxwell: “She wasn’t happy just destroying my career, she also assured me my future was destroyed and she did everything in her vast power to accomplish this goal.”
Another accuser, Teresa Helm, addressed Maxwell directly with her statement submitted to the court, in which she said: “You crafted your impact on me.
“You groomed me. Then, you sent me off to another monster.”
Juliette Bryant also described Maxwell as a monster, adding: “Thinking about them still gives me frequent panic attacks and night terrors.”
Elizabeth Stein said she “felt like I was in prison” for “two-and-a-half decades”, adding: “She needs to be in prison so her victims can all finally be free.”
The final accuser, Sarah Ransome, told the court how Maxwell saw her as “nothing more than a human sex toy.”
You groomed me. Then, you sent me off to another monster
She ended her statement by saying: “To Ghislaine I say, you broke me in unfathomable ways. But what you didn’t break is my spirit, nor did you dampen my internal flame that now burns brighter than ever before.”
On Friday, Judge Nathan permitted Annie Farmer, Ms Giuffre and Kate to read their statements to the court orally.
The remaining accusers were told their statements could be submitted only in a written format.