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Giuffre allegations will be excluded from Maxwell case

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Virginia Giuffre speaks during an interview on the BBC programme 'Panorama'

Virginia Giuffre speaks during an interview on the BBC programme 'Panorama'

A court artist's depiction of Ghislaine Maxwell at her hearing

A court artist's depiction of Ghislaine Maxwell at her hearing

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Virginia Giuffre speaks during an interview on the BBC programme 'Panorama'

When Jeffrey Epstein’s long-time companion Ghislaine Maxwell goes on trial next week, the accuser who captivated the public most – with claims she was trafficked to Britain’s Prince Andrew and other prominent men – will not be part of the case.

US prosecutors chose not to bring charges in connection with Virginia Giuffre, who says Epstein and Ms Maxwell flew her around the world when she was 17 and 18 for sexual encounters with billionaires, politicians, royals and heads of state.

She is not expected to be called as a witness in Ms Maxwell’s trial, either.

Prosecutors will focus instead on four other women who say they were recruited by Ms Maxwell as teenagers to be abused by Epstein. None has alleged the type of abuse by powerful international figures that Ms Giuffre has detailed in interviews and court filings.

Bypassing Ms Giuffre’s allegations about Prince Andrew will keep the most explosive claims against Ms Maxwell out of the trial, but it will also allow prosecutors to avoid a big risk.

Records, witnesses and photos back up many parts of Ms Giuffre’s account of her time with Epstein, the financier who died by suicide in 2019 while jailed ahead of his own sex trafficking trial. But Ms Giuffre has acknowledged getting key details wrong in her story over the years, including initially falsely saying in a lawsuit that she had been 15 when Epstein began to abuse her.

The men she has accused have spent years attacking her credibility. Ms Maxwell’s lawyers might have tried to have some of them testify.

Besides Prince Andrew, Ms Giuffre has said she was sexually trafficked to former New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson, former US senator George Mitchell, the noted lawyer Alan Dershowitz, the French modelling scout Jean-Luc Brunel and the billionaire Glenn Dubin, among others.

All have said her accounts are fabricated.

David Weinstein, a former federal prosecutor who is not involved in the case, said making Ms Giuffre part of the Maxwell case could have complicated matters unnecessarily.

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“There is no reason to give the defence anything to work with that can sow the seeds of reasonable doubt,” Mr Weinstein said.

Ms Giuffre’s lawyers de- clined an interview request, but she has stood by her allegations and repeatedly shown a willingness to go into civil court to prove them, sitting in depositions and assembling a legal team that includes one of America’s most influential lawyers, David Boies.

In a 2019 interview with Dateline NBC, she said inconsistencies in her story were the innocent mistakes of trying to recall events that happened years ago, when she was a traumatised teenager.

“When you are abused, you know your abuser,” she said. “I might not have my dates right. I might not have my times right, but I know their faces and I know what they’ve done to me.”

The Epstein scandal burst into public view in 2005 when he was arrested in Florida and accused of paying a 14-year-old girl for sex.

Police identified under-age girls who were paid to perform sex acts, but in 2008 the investigation was cut short. Prosecutors allowed Epstein to plead guilty to a charge of procuring a person under 18 for prostitution. He served 13 months in jail.

In her 2009 lawsuit, Ms Giuffre said Epstein pressured her into having sex with “royalty, politicians, academicians, businessmen and/or professional and personal
acquaintances”.


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