Ghislaine Maxwell 'opened door to hell' – victims speak out as 65-year sentence looms

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Anna Fox

By Anna Fox

Published: 27/06/2022

- 16:55

Updated: 14/02/2023

- 10:55

Victims of Ghislaine Maxwell have spoken out as the socialite prepares to be sentenced in the US

Victims of the 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".

Despite the trial indictment only identifying four of the 61-year-old's victims, other accusers have also confronted the court, asking to be heard when she is sentenced on Tuesday.

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".

Ms Giuffre was not included in the trial, despite being one of the most outspoken accusers of Epstein. Earlier this year, she accepted an out-of-court settlement from Prince Andrew.

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.

Ghislaine Maxwell will be sentenced on Tuesday morning
Ghislaine Maxwell will be sentenced on Tuesday morning
Chris Ison

The only victim to testify under her full name, Annie Farmer, asked Judge Alison Nathan to consider the “significant shame” she felt as a result of Maxwell’s crimes.

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 Duke of York, Virginia Giuffre, and Ghislaine Maxwell
The Duke of York, Virginia Giuffre, and Ghislaine Maxwell
US Department of Justice

The second accuser to submit a statement filed it under the pseudonym "Kate".

She 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 rollercoaster 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 heard statements from four other accusers, who have all previously gone public with their stories.

Teresa Helm, another accuser, 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 condemned 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".

She concluded 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.”

The 61-year-old is facing up to 65 years imprisonment for luring young girls into massage rooms for disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein to molest.

Maxwell was found guilty of sex trafficking last year. Having been in a US jail since her arrest in July 2020, she will be sentenced tomorrow morning.

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