A second accuser took the stand in the sex-trafficking trial of Ghislaine Maxwell on Monday, claiming that the British socialite ordered her to put on a schoolgirl uniform and deliver a tray of tea to Jeffrey Epstein before he engaged in sex acts with her.
The 44-year-old woman, who testified under the pseudonym “Kate,” recalled the incident occurred during a visit to Epstein’s Palm Beach mansion. (Kate was previously referred to as Minor Victim-3 in the indictment against Maxwell, but the defense argued she was of the age of consent in London when the alleged abuse occurred.)
Kate said she was “approximately 18” when the couple invited her to Epstein’s Florida estate, which she said had a “beautiful swimming pool” and was decorated with a multitude of photographs of young girls who were “unclothed.” “They were in almost every room,” Kate recalled of the disturbing images.
When Kate entered her guest room in Palm Beach, she says, there was a schoolgirl outfit on her bed, with a short pleated skirt and white socks. She testified that she went downstairs to ask Maxwell what the costume was for, and Maxwell handed her a tray and told her she “thought it would be fun” to bring Epstein his tea while dressed up.
Kate said she didn’t know anyone in Palm Beach and was terrified to disobey this directive. At the time, Epstein was next to his pool house working out with a personal trainer. The trainer left, Kate said, and Epstein then initiated sexual contact.
“She asked me if I had fun and told me I was such a good girl and that I was one of his favorites,” Kate testified of her conversation with Maxwell after the encounter.
Asked why Kate continued to see Epstein and Maxwell into her 20s and 30s, Kate answered, “I had witnessed how connected they both were and I was fearful.” (On cross examination, Maxwell’s lawyer Bobbi Sternheim pointed out that Kate emailed Epstein while he was in jail in Florida in 2008 for soliciting a minor and kept in touch with him through 2011.)
Why don’t you give his feet a little squeeze to show him how strong you are?
During her testimony, Kate described how she was a 17-year-old living in London when Maxwell befriended her and encouraged her to give Epstein sexualized massages—including in a small upstairs room at Maxwell’s townhouse in a tony neighborhood.
Kate said she first met Maxwell during a trip to Paris in 1994, when she was dating a man 18 years her senior who happened to be an Oxford classmate of the heiress. The accuser said Maxwell was “very sophisticated and very elegant” and asked Kate questions about her life. When Kate returned to London, Maxwell invited her to tea at her home.
“I was excited to be friends with her,” Kate testified. “She was exciting… She was everything I wanted to be.” Kate told jurors she felt “special” in Maxwell’s presence and believed they had a genuine connection. She told Maxwell about problems in her home life, including her mother’s poor health, and her aspirations of pursuing a career in music.
In turn, Maxwell told Kate about her boyfriend, Epstein, a philanthropist who liked to help young people. Maxwell said it “would be great for me to meet him,” Kate testified. “She said he was going to love me and that I was exactly the kind of person he would help…”
Weeks after this tea date, Maxwell allegedly invited Kate back again to meet Epstein. “She was very animated, very excited and there was this sense of urgency,” Kate testified.
When Kate arrived, Epstein was wearing sweatpants and a hoodie and sitting in a chair, talking on the phone loudly. Maxwell told Epstein that Kate was talented, possibly going to Oxford, and surprisingly athletic for her 95-pound frame.
“Why don’t you give his feet a little squeeze to show him how strong you are?” Maxwell asked Kate, who rubbed Epstein’s feet before giving him a shoulder massage.
Maxwell would call Kate a couple of weeks later saying that Epstein’s massage therapist had canceled and asking if Kate could “do her a favor because [she] had such strong hands.”
Kate testified that during this second meeting with Epstein, Maxwell led her to an upstairs room with massage tables and towels. Epstein was already inside, wearing a robe. She said Epstein slipped off the robe and was naked, while Maxwell stood in the doorway facing him.
According to Kate, Maxwell handed her some massage oils and shut the door. That’s when Epstein initiated sexual contact with Kate.
When Kate came back downstairs, Maxwell allegedly asked, “How’d it go? Did you have fun? Was it good?” Kate said Maxwell seemed “very excited and happy” and thanked her.
On a third occasion, Kate testified, Maxwell brought her to the upstairs massage room and said, “Have a good time,” before shutting the door.
“You’re such a good girl. I’m so happy you were able to come… he obviously likes you a lot,” Kate recalled Maxwell saying after the “massage” session was over.
Kate testified that she once saw a blonde and slim girl meeting with Maxwell in the London townhouse, too.
Maxwell also asked whether she knew of anyone who could give Epstein “a blow job because it was a lot for her to do,” Kate testified.
“You know what he likes—cute, young, pretty like you,” Maxwell allegedly said.
“She said he needed to have sex about three times a day,” Kate added of Maxwell. While Maxwell said it, according to Kate, “her demeanor was almost like a schoolgirl.”
But Kate testified that she never recruited girls for Epstein or Maxwell.
When assistant U.S. Attorney Lara Pomerantz asked Kate of her understanding of the relationship between Maxwell and Epstein, the woman said she thought they were dating but that “I understood her job was to take care of Jefftey’s needs.”
Those needs included managing his properties around the world and supervising the household staff using “aggressive” commands. Kate said Maxwell told her that she owned her home in London and a place in New York which “Epstein got for her.”
During cross examination, Maxwell’s legal team worked to discredit Kate by asking her about the $3.25 million settlement she received from the victim’s compensation fund and peppered her with questions about her prior substance abuse, asking if it impacted her memories of the timeframe she claims Epstein and Maxwell sexually exploited her.
Sternheim asked Kate whether she was hoping to secure a special visa for victims who cooperate with the government; Kate said she inquired about it.