'Too Broken': Ghislaine Maxwell Sought to Take Stand in Trial But Legal Team Urged Against Move
© REUTERS / JANE ROSENBERGGhislaine Maxwell watches as witness Eva Andersson is questioned by defense attorney Jeffrey Pagliuca during the trial of Maxwell, the Jeffrey Epstein associate accused of sex trafficking, in a courtroom sketch in New York City, U.S., December 17, 2021.
A New York courtroom earlier found British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell guilty on five of six sex-trafficking charges in relation to the late pedophile and high-profile hedge-fund manager Jeffrey Epstein. A sentence ruling in the case is expected sometime in the next several months.
Ghislaine Maxwell, a longtime associate of Jeffrey Epstein, reportedly intended to take the stand during her New York trial but ultimately stood down at the behest of her legal defence team, it has been revealed.
Citing sources with knowledge of the move, the Daily Mail reported on Saturday that Maxwell was effectively "talked out of [taking the stand]" on account of her legal team's concerns regarding her mental stability.
"Ghislaine wanted to take the stand in her own defence. If she was the 'old' Ghislaine, she would have done so," the unidentified individual told the outlet. "She wanted to take the stand, but she is too frail, too broken."
However much Maxwell sought the stand, the source underscored that officials decided after "many spirited discussions" that she was simply "not strong enough to withstand a withering cross-examination."
The report further detailed that Maxwell knew her trial would not end in her favor.
"She never believed she could get a fair trial, which is why she showed so little emotion when the guilty verdicts were read," the individual suggested, adding that Maxwell fears the possibility of the presiding judge tossing her in prison for the rest of her life.
"[Maxwell] believes the judge will throw the book at her and sentence her to the maximum 65 years," the source stressed. "She is expecting a long sentence, a sentence that likely means she will die in jail. She does not believe she will see the outside world again."
While Maxwell, who turned 60 ahead of her recent guilty verdicts in the Empire State, faces up to 70 years in prison, she also has two separate trials on perjury counts to face. She is not expected to attempt any deals with prosecutors in exchange for lighter sentencing.